A call to counter-demonstrate against a small rally arranged by the now infamous Anjem Choudhary was on Britain First’s web-site for many days in a flagrant attempt to ratchet up tensions.
Both sides pitched across the road from each other just off Baker Street and the usual taunts were thrown across at each group whilst worshippers simply tried to enter and leave the Regent’s Park Mosque in Central London. The resulting stress was clear to see on the faces of some of the families and worshippers who were entering the mosque.
One of the worshippers who spoke to a member of the TELL MAMA team said:
“I am just trying to pray and want to come and do my Jumu’ah prayers and I feel frightened and just angry that such people want to play games outside the mosque. All we want is to be left alone to pray and get on with our lives, but this is just getting out of hand, where we have police and groups of people shouting at each other.”
The Regent’s Park mosque administration has on many occasions made clear that people should peacefully attend and worship at the mosque and the doors are always open to those who want peace, spiritual guidance and worship. They have taken a strong stance against any form of political gathering and this includes agitation by groups associated with Anjem Choudhary or Britain First. The mosque management has also made huge efforts to work with other communities to place the mosque in the heart of local communities in Westminster and Camden and such demonstrations, no doubt, affect worshippers and many who have worked hard to build community relations in the area.
We just hope that both of these extremist groups – Britain First and Anjem Choudhary’s brigade of followers realise that they are not wanted. They are remnants of a past which survived on agitating each other – and they represent all that the majority of people do not want. However, sadly we may see more of their inflammatory actions before we see calm heads prevail.