Hope not Hate in Harrow

SIOE Leader Stephen Gash had said that the SIOE demo at Harrow Central Mosque yesterday would attract 2,000 supporters out of the 3,200 he claimed as total membership for his organisation. However, the BBC reports that fifteen SIOE protesters turned up in Harrow. Although from my estimates, fifteen is possibly overly generous of Aunty.

Asim Siddiqui sees at least one encouraging sign in the rise of white-race supremacist movements of the far-right resurgent all over Europe and now getting its freak on in Britain:

“However, this kind of anti-Muslim bigotry has resulted in some interesting new dynamics. An attack on a mosque is an attack on a very sacred institution – as an attack on any place of worship would be. Muslim professionals who would otherwise not have been involved in mosque activities came forward to assist the mosque. In the past professionals have often been so disappointed with the competence of those managing the mosques that they have tended not to invest their time and expertise in them. Some mosque managers have also been quite content with this arrangement, running them on tribal lines, more suited to Pakistani villages than British cities. Given the external threat now directed at mosques and the need for them to raise their game in the public domain, there might now be a greater convergence between these two groups.

Sunday also saw a much welcome boost to interfaith relations with Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and non-faith leaders pledging support to the mosque. One journalist at the mosque on Sunday joked that he thought he’d turned up at the local synagogue given the numbers of Rabbis present. Some Jews, in particular, feel a wary sense of the risk that darker chapters of Europe’s history might be repeated. This provided a powerful response to the SIOE who had come waving Israeli flags in order to provoke a response.

Will the anti-Muslim bigots come down to Harrow again? Possibly. They are part of a Europe-wide trend against its own minorities. However, so long as communities remain firm in their opposition to all forms of bigotry and extremism then, in the long run, it may make us all a bit stronger.”

And that is a positive outcome we can all celebrate.

England 1, SIOE 0

This entry was posted in Activism, Anti Fascism, Anti Muslim bigotry, Antisemitism, Feature and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. Jai
    Posted December 16, 2009 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Excellent article, Faisal. Some very good points by Asim Siddiqui too.

    FYI: Spittoon readers (and its editorial team) may be interested to know that Stephen Gash recently posted a series of comments on Pickled Politics — see http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6807#disqus_thread .

    He has not responded to several questions I directed at him in relation to various assertions he had previously made (see my two comments posted on the thread above on 12/09/2009 at 05:57 pm and 06:00 pm respectively).

    Most of the latter follow from a large number of statements Mr Gash had made on a previous PP thread a few weeks ago: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6595

  2. Steven
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    There were 250 people there. 50 supporters of SIOE and 200 from BMSD and affiliated groups.

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