Anti-Muslim protests over murdered British soldier, pressure on Cameron

'Unite Against Fascism' demonstrators shout across police lines at 'English Defence League ' demonstrators, during a protest in Whitehall, organised following the recent killing of British soldier Lee
‘Unite Against Fascism’ demonstrators shout across police lines at ‘English Defence League ‘ demonstrators, during a protest in Whitehall, organised following the recent killing of British soldier Lee Rigby

Around a thousand far-right protesters shouting “Muslim killers, off our streets” marched through central London on Monday against a backdrop of swelling anti-Muslim feeling following the killing of a British soldier last week.

Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old soldier, was hacked to death in broad daylight in a south London street by two men who said they killed him in the name of Islam. The attack has shocked Britain and stirred an anti-Muslim backlash, including attacks on mosques.

In a tense but largely peaceful demonstration, supporters of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) rallied in London outside Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence waving placards and shouting anti-Islamic obscenities.

“Islamic extremism is probably the number one threat to Britain,” said one protester, Ben Gates. Other demonstrators chanted “Muslim bombers off our streets”.

Another protester, Samuel Hames, said, of Rigby: “He survived his tour of foreign lands and comes home to his family and what happened to him is disgusting.”

Nearly 2,000 people marched at a similar demonstration in the northern city of Newcastle on Saturday. Two men were arrested overnight for throwing firebombs at an Islamic cultural center in Grimsby, in the northeast of England. Similar attacks were recorded last week.

As anti-racist groups warned there could be more reprisals, Cameron came under intense pressure on Monday for going on holiday, with pictures of him relaxing in Ibiza prompting newspapers to question his leadership at a time of unease.

“Is Ibiza chillaxed (relaxed) enough for you, Prime Minister?” asked the right-wing Daily Mail newspaper.

Faith Matters, a charity working to defuse religious tensions, said it had registered a spike in reports of Islamophobic attacks in calls to its hotline, describing incidents as “very focused, very aggressive attacks”.

Two war memorials in London were vandalized with red graffiti overnight, including the word ‘Islam’ spray-painted onto one monument.

Suspects Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, allegedly ran over Rigby with a car near his army barracks and butchered him with knives. Police shot the two, and they remain under armed guard in separate London hospitals.

In a dramatic video clip shot by an onlooker and shown on British television, one of the two men, his hands bloodied, says he killed the soldier in retaliation for the deaths of Muslims killed by British troops in faraway lands.

Police have arrested 10 people in connection with the murder. Three people have been released on bail.

The attack prompted an emotional outpouring of sympathy in Britain, with well-wishers laying hundreds of flowers in the street where Rigby was killed. But some were openly angry.

“We’ve had enough of our soldiers being abused… We’d had enough of the plots and the violence,” EDL wrote on its website.

In an attempt to counter the right-wing rally, anti-fascist group Unite Against Racism held its own demonstration nearby but was heavily outnumbered by EDL protesters.

A handful of far-right demonstrators threw bottles and coins at the anti-fascist rally. Police vans and officers blocked the two groups from approaching each other.

“They are a minority and a very scary growing minority,” an anti-EDL protester who gave her name as Clara said. “I feel ashamed to be a Londoner today. This is disgusting.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.