I have had my differences with East London Mosque and believe that it is a pernicious political influence in the area. But there are many decent people who attend the mosque and no one deserves to be threatened with violence by these extremist thugs.
Hats off to Hope Not Hate, the anti-fascist organisation, which has been lobbying hard to persuade the authorities to see sense on this issue.
Oddly, Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy thought the march should go ahead. His argument that EDL violence loses it supporters is very peculiar and I can’t believe he really means it, predicated as it is on other people being hurt or having their property damaged.
Dave Hill gives some good context in his blog. In particular he claims that Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, who has previously been a deeply divisive figure, has worked with his political rivals to bring the community together in opposition to the march. If true, this is a welcome development.
Unfortunately, however, Hill makes the mistake of suggesting that the EDL has been influenced by journalists who have warned about Islamist politics in East London. He provides no evidence for this line of thinking, which veers dangerously close to the nonsense touted by Socialist Worker. In an extract from a new book published on Multiculturalism published in the Trot paper Dilowar Khan, the director of East London Mosque, has even made the outrageous claim that the EDL has been inspired by my journalism and that of Andrew Gilligan.
This would be laughable if it weren’t so irresponsible.
For now, however, let’s be glad that the police have done the right thing and hope that Teresa May does so too.