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Harrow Central Mosque: don't counter anti-Islam protest
A HARROW mosque is calling for counter-demonstrations against a planned anti-Islam rally to be cancelled.
Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) intends to protest outside Harrow Central Mosque, in Station Road, on December 13 but the plans are bitterly opposed by many.
The group's last rally, on September 11, sparked widespread anger and there was violence by some of those who turned out to support the mosque.
Campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) say they will counter the new demonstration, as they did on September 11.
Ghulam Rabbani, general secretary of the mosque, said: “Our message to the young people who will be attending is not to fall into the trap from those who clearly want to provoke you into an angry response.
“Foremost, our message is: if you want to help, then stay away on the day. We have the fullest confidence in the police to safeguard the mosque.
“If you are to attend we request that you are not disruptive. We should be open, proud of our faith and behave with the correct Islamic etiquette at all times.”
He also asked anti-Fascist groups to avoid counter-demonstrations, saying they “only sow more discord on the day”.
Sarah Cox, of the Brent and Harrow branch of UAF, said the group will take the mosque's request into account but stressed the rally posed a threat to the whole community.
She said: “I know there was division last time between those who thought you can keep your head down and the Fascists will go away and leave you alone.
“It doesn't work like that. You do have to stand up and confront them with numbers. I'm not talking about confronting them violently – the aim is to get the numbers to represent the whole community.
“It's not just the mosque and Muslims who oppose these people – by attacking the mosque they are attacking the whole concept of a multi-cultural society.”
Politicians from all three main parties have spoken out strongly against SIOE and efforts were made, unsuccessfully, to try and get the rally banned.
The police say there is no legal basis to stop the protest, as it is “static” rather than a procession moving through the borough's streets.
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