Not a good look

This does not seem like the way to prove you’re a non-violent religion.

Skirmishes broke out between police and Muslim youths in North London last night as large crowds gathered to defend a mosque that had been targeted by anti-Islam campaigners.

Groups of youths, in ski masks and motorcycle helmets, threw bottles and set off fireworks in front of riot police, who used kettling tactics to contain a crowd of up to 2,000 outside Harrow central mosque. Seven people were arrested for possession of offensive weapons including a hammer, chisel and a bottle of bleach. Another man was arrested “to prevent a breach of the peace”, police said.

Hundreds of Muslim youths and anti-fascist campaigners gathered to confront a fringe right-wing group calling itself Stop Islamification of Europe (SIOE). The group had threatened to hold a rally at the site, where a new five-storey mosque is under construction, but organisers said that they had called off the march at the request of police.

Attacking the police is stupid at the best of times, but it sounds like they were there to protect the mosque. The fact that they were attacked for their trouble (and SOIE called off their march at police request) surely proves the exact opposite point to the one the mosque leadership would like to make.

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