Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppy-burning Muslim protesters mar Armistice Day commemorations as millions fall silent to remember war dead

Islamic protesters sparked fury today after they burned a model of a poppy and deliberately broke the silence at Armistice Day commemorations in central London.

As millions of Britons fell silent to remember those who have died in war, members of a group called Muslims Against Crusades clashed with police during an 'emergency demonstration' in Kensington, west London.

As the clock struck 11am, the Islamic protesters burned a model of a poppy and chanted 'British soldiers burn in hell'.

Inflaming tensions: The Muslim protesters set fire to a poppy near Hyde Park today Inflaming tensions: The Muslim protesters set fire to a poppy near Hyde Park today

They held banners which read 'Islam will dominate' and 'Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell'.

The Muslims Against Crusades website includes graphic images of children wounded in warfare and the torture of detainees at Abu Ghraib.

muslim protesters burn poppy
Fanning the flames: The protesters burn a poppy
The protest, in Exhibition Road, near Hyde Park, involved about 50 people while about another 50 counter-demonstrators had to be kept apart from the group by a line of police.

Three men were arrested at the scene - two for public order offences and one for assaulting a police officer.
Asad Ullah, of Muslims Against Crusades, said: 'We are demonstrating because this day is a day of remembrance to remember every single fallen soldier, including those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

'We find it disgusting that innocent people, innocent children, have been killed in an illegal and unjust war and we are demonstrating against that.

'We want the Government to pull the troops out from these countries and to stop interfering in our affairs.'

Mr Ullah added: 'We would like to have a protest closer to the memorial but it is difficult to get access. We want to break the silence and say, "What about the silence for others that have died?'"

Earlier this year, members of the group were involved in violent clashes with far-Right groups during a troop march in Barking, east London.

A series of incendiary comments were posted on a social networking website linked to the English Defence League.

Some members pledged to attend while others showered the Islamic group with abuse and criticised police for allowing the demonstration to take place.

The protesters were even given a police escort to their protest venue near the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington, thankfully the closest they were allowed to the focal point of Britain’s remembrance tribute yesterday.

English Defence League protester Clive Donnellan, 49, a construction manager said: 'The MAC could have chosen a more sensitive day to protest.

They are preaching hate and although it's great to have free speech this shouldn't be happening today. They can come down any other day and say what they think.'

It is understood the event took place in Kensington because it is outside a protected zone around Parliament where spontaneous protests are banned.

Police were questioning people they suspected were preparing to travel to Kensington after arriving at Victoria Station.

It is thought Muslims Against Crusades is a splinter group of Islam4UK, founded by Anjem Choudary.

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