BOTH anti-Islam and anti-fascist campaigners have declared victory after yesterday's protests outside Harrow Central Mosque.
Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) have posted a message on its website hailing the “success” of their demonstration “against the big mosque in Harrow”.
The group had told police before yesterday it was expecting around 1,500 supporters to descent on Wealdstone for its demonstration, but in the end less than 40 turned up.
However, the website message said: “At last it was possible for SIOE to use the democratic right and complete a demonstration against the big mosque in Harrow.
“It was a peaceful demonstration where SIOE were able to deliver the speeches without being interrupted by violent counter demonstrators.”
The SIOE protest, which was supported by members of the English Defence League (EDL), was countered by more than 200 people under the banner of Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
UAF's website today declared: “Victory in Harrow as humiliated anti-Muslim racists vow never to return.”
The group attacked SIOE's protest as a “flop” because of the low number of people who attended, and picked on SIOE leader Stephen Gash's pledge to not hold another protest outside the mosque, in Station Road.
It said: “The SIOE and EDL could only drum a dozen or so racists who were massively outnumbered and humiliated by 300-strong UAF counter-demo.
“Trade unions, local community groups, students and anti-racist activists all came together to deliver a single message that anti-Muslim racism was not going to be tolerated in Harrow.”
Yesterday's events passed off peacefully because the two sides were separated by hundreds of police officers and security barriers.
It was in stark contrast to the last time the two sides met in Harrow, on September 11, when SIOE activists were chased away by hoards of young Asian men.