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
Local

Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio's New…

It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers…

National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

Music

polyphonic

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…