Plans were announced this week by the extreme-Islamist ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ organisation, and in response by the far-right ‘English Defence League’, to hold protests in front of Westminster Abbey on the day of the Royal Wedding, according to the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam.
Quilliam said it views this as another desperate attempt by two fringe extremist organisations that do not speak for the vast majority of British people to grab publicity and to gain a prominence out of all proportion to their small number of supporters.
As a result, the Royal Wedding celebrations now risk becoming a battlefield for rival sectarian fringe groups, according to Quilliam, which said it urges media outlets to cover these events responsibly, and to remain aware that the Muslims Against Crusades group does not speak on behalf of British Muslims.
According to Ghaffar Hussain, Quilliam’s Head of Training and Outreach, “It is deeply disappointing – but also entirely predictable – that these two extremist groups have announced plans to disrupt the Royal Wedding. The Royal Wedding celebrations now risk being hijacked by a few publicity-hungry fanatics whose only aim is to divide our society and to sow suspicions and hatred between Britain’s different peoples. We urge the media to ensure that these groups are portrayed, if at all, as the fringe elements they are.”
In the opinion of Hussain, “These protests show the urgent need for government strategy to move-ahead on tackling systematically all forms of extremism across society – and to recognise that Islamist extremism is currently fuelling right-wing extremism and vice-versa. For too long such extremism has been left to fester in Britain unchecked.”
Quilliam warned that even though the police has refused permission for the Muslims Against Crusades protest there is a strong chance that the group will try to hold a protest anyway.