A Facebook group has been set up for the ‘Deeside division’ of the far-right English Defence League.
The online group – which has about 120 members – was created in the aftermath of last month’s EDL protest in Shotton town centre over a proposal to turn the former social club into an Islamic culture centre. On the homepage the site administrator – the person who set up the group – says the EDL Deeside Division’s mission is to ‘stop the Islamification of Great Britain’. But it has been slammed by the North Wales Race Equality Network. A spokesman for the group said:
“There are about 200 Muslims out of a population of 149,000 in Flintshire, or about 0.13%, and just 3% in Great Britain. This group is really pursuing something that is a red herring, because the notion Great Britain, let alone Deeside, is to become a Muslim country is just plain stupid.”
The page states: “We are the Deeside division of the English Defence League. Why English Defence league and not Cymru Defence league? Well to be honest we chose this because of the success of the EDL protest in Shotton. Also there is a large amount of English people that live in Deeside. Nothing taken away from the Cymru Defence League, we are all brothers fighting the same cause. We are not racist, Islam is a religion not a race!”
The launch of the group has also angered Unite Against Fascism national officer Martin Smith, who said the contents of similar EDL pages usually showed racist comments. He added: “Where the EDL tries to claim it is not a racist organisation on groups such as these, you only have to look on the pages to see they are full of racist-type material.”
Plans for the Muslim centre provoked strong protests and about 100 members of the EDL marched through the streets of Shotton to voice their opposition. The BNP also co-ordinated a leaflet campaign against the proposals.
The social club, which has been closed since August, was destroyed by arsonists earlier this month, and a police investigation is ongoing. Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society (FMCS), the group behind the plans, says it will look for an alternative venue.
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up