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Friday, 1 July 2011

Anti-Islam insults 'not acceptable' in city protest march (UK)

Muslim leaders say insults against Islam during a march in Cambridge by the English Defence League (EDL) will not be acceptable.

The newly-formed Cambridge Muslim Council has issued a policy statement in response to the far-right group’s rally on Saturday, July 9.

It has also called on Muslims not to take part in the counter-protest arranged by Unite Against Fascism and the Trades Union Council.

Muslims are being urged not to resort to violence and to ignore any taunts from the marchers protesting against the building of a mosque in Mill Road.

The group’s emergency response committee said: “We wholeheartedly embrace everyone’s democratic right to freedom of expression. Nevertheless we emphasise that with this right comes responsibility. We hope the sensitivities of the Muslim community will not be infringed.

“The usage of disparaging remarks, insults or any incendiary allusion to our beliefs, values, or to any of what Muslims hold sacred, will not be acceptable.

“The Muslim community will not resort to any counter-protest or deploy any violent means.”

It also announced “routine affairs within the mosques will not be suspended on the day” but added: “We have serious concerns about the safety and security of sites of religious importance, properties and members of our community.

“We are ready to extend all possible co-operation to the police and emergency services to ensure nothing untoward happens in that hour of extreme urgency.

“We request all members of the wider Muslim community (local and national) to show their support through solidarity of ideals rather than violent altercation on the day.

“We encourage them to engage their local community in constructive dialogue.”

It appealed to Muslim groups outside Cambridge not to come for the march.

Mirza Baig, vice-chairman of the council, told the News: “We hope it will be business as usual in Cambridge on the day of the march and ask Muslim groups outside of Cambridge to stay away. We do not want to make this march more than it is.”

Police have said they will not tolerate violence.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson expects around 400 protesters.

A member of the group was refused a breakfast booking for 1,000 people at The Regal pub, St Andrew’s Street.

Cambridge news