- by Kelly Heffernan-Tabor (15.6.2010)
London, UK -- Muslim protesters and far-Right
groups fought in East London during a
homecoming parade of soldiers returning from duty
Members of the group Muslims Against Crusades
turned up to greet the parade waving anti-British
posters and shouting at the soldiers, calling them
butchers and cowards.
A group of far-Right activists, some from the
English Defence League stood across the street
hurling insults at the Muslim protesters.
The Muslim protesters, many dressed in black and
waving black flags, carried posters reading "Shariah
law will be in London before democracy will be in
Afghanistan." Singing nationalist chants, the English
Defence League called the Muslim protesters "scum".
Police had to separate the two sides and hold the
Muslim protesters behind barricades but scuffles
broke out and two men were arrested.
More than 200 members of the 1st Battalion of the
the Royal Anglian Regiment were being welcomed
home during the "Freedom March". Several thousand
lined the streets to greet them.
Local people were incensed that the Muslim protest
had been allowed to go ahead.
"Why are they in this country if they don't like us?
They hate our boys and we love our boys," said one
woman referring to the returning soldiers.
"Why are they protected? We're not protected but
they are," she complained of the police protection of
the Muslim protest.
"I think what they were saying was absolutely
disgraceful. They were talking about murderers, all
sorts of wrong things and they were stirring up
hate," said one elderly man.
Local politicians had asked Home Secretary Theresa
May to ban Muslims Against Crusades from
protesting at the event fearing violence.