Yet Another Harrow Mosque Protest: Stewards Wanted

// November 26th, 2009 // Blog

I met one of the trustees of Harrow Mosque, Mahmood Awan, during my trip to Bristol last weekend (read more about why I was there in the first place, and see my photos here).

We briefly discussed the recent SIOE protest, where a small group of protesters were greeted by several hundred Muslims, many of whom were youths. Though I commend their loyalty to the community, we all know how notoriously hard it is to keep large groups of young men calm, even at the best of times! Therefore, I, and many others, felt justified in our fears that the counter-protest would quickly descend into chaos, without proper stewardship.

I mentioned to brother Mahmood that, at the time, I had posted a request on MuslimMatters, calling for self-restraint, and suggested that in the future there should be more leadership through action, from the older, more level-headed individuals amongst the male members of the Muslim community.

Now in the face of yet more threats from SIOE to protest, the mosque has taken the responsible step to train a small army of community volunteers to help diffuse any tension that may arise during the next mass gathering.

Assalam alaikum

As you may be aware Harrow Central Mosque is once again the focal point for right-wing Islamophobic extremists who will be holding a protest on Sunday 13th December.

Harrow Central Mosque would like to have a number of community volunteers to act as stewards to try and make sure that the young people, and others attending, are kept safe and are not encouraged to do actions by others which will simply damage the image of Muslims in Harrow and the reputation of the mosque.

The key group behind the protest, Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), had made it very clear that the intention of such protests is to show how violent the Muslims are. It is our intention to refute this by making sure those who attend are not pulled into actions which may break the law or allow the media to get that “money” shot.

We are looking for up to 50 volunteers. You should be calm and level headed and be able to speak with people in a manner which will deflate tensions. We are not here to police the event nor expect you to assist the police in making arrests or controlling opposing protesters. We simply want to make sure that we do all we possibly can to prevent the young people attending, majority of whom will be Muslim, from getting into unnecessary trouble with the Police and providing a voice of reason and trust.

Training will take place on:

Sunday 6th December
Harrow Central Mosque
(after Maghrib salah)
Duration: approx 1 hr.

If you are interested in helping please contact info[@] . Please do let us know if you are coming so that we can make adequate arrangements. Training will be provided by the head of the security firm hired by the mosque.

Please feel free to pass this email onto other brothers and your networks.

If you're a brother based in London, and wish to help on the day, please contact the mosque asap. I'm sure any respectful advice would also be most welcome from those with experience in handling such potentially volatile situations.

4 Responses to “Yet Another Harrow Mosque Protest: Stewards Wanted”

  1. Yusuf Smith says:

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I just noticed something … a friend of mind just set up a blog and used the same theme as this, albeit in blue instead of grey. Yet, I didn’t think “oh this looks familiar” until I came back here! I notice Woo charges for themes — did you pay for this one? (Her blog is here.)

  2. iMuslim says:

    Wa ‘alaykum salam wa rahmatullah

    This theme was one of their free ones… probably the best of the free ones, IMO, masha’Allah. They do good themes. :)

  3. alf says:

    “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” and the
    “English Defence League” a group of racist
    football hooligans with links to the fascist
    BNP are threatening to invade Harrow on
    Sunday December 13th to demonstrate
    against the Harrow Central Mosque. We
    cannot stand by and let these racists attack
    any section of our community. An injury
    to one is an injury to all.

    Islamophobia – bigotry against Muslims – is
    as unacceptable as any other form of
    racism. Its aim is to divide us by making
    scapegoats of one community as the Nazis
    did with the Jews in the 1930s. Today they
    threaten the mosque, tomorrow it could be a
    synagogue, temple or church. Today they
    threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be
    Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, blacks, gays, travellers
    or any other minority.

    Fascists have been beaten before by
    people standing united against them: at
    Cable Street in the 1930s, Lewisham in the
    1970s and in Derbyshire this Summer where
    black and white, young and old, Hindu,
    Christian, Muslim and Jew, gay and straight
    all came together to oppose the BNP’s
    fascist rally. In September we made it clear
    that these thugs are not welcome in
    Harrow. Now we must make Harrow a
    No-Go Zone for Nazis.

    Please sign the statement of support for Harrow Central Mosque
    Join the demonstration on Sunday December 13th
    We are black, white, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Jew
    Assemble 12 noon Sunday December 13th on the wide pavement
    outside Harrow Civic Centre opposite the Central Mosque
    Called by UAF Brent & Harrow ● and National UAF: ● PO Box 36871 London WC1X 9XT ● 020 7801 2782 there are many, many more of us than

  4. Yusuf says:

    I remember watching this. I know there was a counter demonstration held by the Anti-Fascist group along with Muslim youths. It was sad to see Muslims playing into their hands. We had a small group of young muslims protesting Greet Wilders recent visit to UK with ‘Islam will dominate eruope’ banners as well recently. Sometimes silence can be a better answer – maybe the mosque should serve cold water bottles to the English defence league demonstrators :).

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