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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Muslim leader calls for Bradford emo to be halted (UK)

A peace organisation has urged Bradford’s Muslim community not to retaliate should the English Defence  League (EDL) march in the city.

Dr Mohammed Iqbal, president of the Bradford branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, has backed the Telegraph & Argus campaign for the Home Secretary Theresa May to ban the planned Bank Holiday demonstration by the EDL.

Thousands of members of the group plan to swamp the city centre with supporters in what it has called “The Big One” on August 28.

Dr Iqbal said: “Ideally, I would like to think that the Home Secretary should step in and stop the march – that would be the best thing for all of us.

“I have had a discussion with all the political figures about this and the last thing we want is trouble.”

He added: “If it is not stopped at that level, then it must not be used as an excuse for violence and disorder. If it is, then they (The EDL) will win and that would be a tragedy for all of us.”

Dr Iqbal said he believed the march had been planned for “inflammatory” purposes and urged Muslims in Bradford not to “fall into the trap” set by the EDL.

Already, the umbrella organisation Bradford Together has collected more than 7,000 signatures in support of the ban.

Supporters include the Unite union, Bradford Chamber of Trade, Bradford University, Bradford Council for Mosques, MPs, councillors and members of the public.

The EDL says it is opposed to “Islamification”. It has held demonstrations in Leeds, Luton, Birmingham, Bolton and Dudley in recent years.

T&A readers can backthe ban by signing our petition calling for the Home Secretary to outlaw the march planned for Saturday, August 28.

Telegraph and Argus