London Marches Against Islamophobia

A cohort of British figures and anti-racism organizations will organize a rally in the heart of London to condemn stigmatization and demonization of Muslims and to call for freedom of religion, conscious and thought.

London Marches Against Islamophobia

"The aim is to develop a national campaign to defend freedom of religion and culture and to combat the rise of Islamophobia," the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), the main organizer, said in a press release mailed to

Under the slogan "End Attack on Muslims", the event will feature a range of key speakers drawn from across the political spectrum and from various faiths and none.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), and prominent Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan will address the gathering.

The BMI, formed in February 2006, is an independent initiative that seeks to stand up for the rights of Muslims in Britain, estimated to number more than 1.8 million.

British Muslims have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 attacks, which killed 56 people, including the four British Muslim bombers.

Systematic Campaign

The meeting at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster represents the broadest yet response to the issues raised by the recent barrage of attacks on British Muslims.

"Britain today faces a systematic campaign by sections of the media and some politicians, fanned by the BNP, to undermine this right by sowing hatred against Muslims," said the BMI.

"This has culminated in physical attacks, fire bombings and assaults on women."

The Independent said Saturday, October 14, that physical and verbal attacks against British Muslims have been on the rise since former foreign minister Jack Straw's call for Muslim women to remove their face veils.

The BMI said the hate campaign has encouraged attack on civil and religious liberties including an attempt to suppress the right of persons of all faiths to dress in accordance with their religious convictions.

"It must be strongly opposed, as indeed should any attack on the rights of Christians, Jews, Sikhs or any other religious group."

A Muslim teacher in northern England has been suspended for refusing to remove her veil while on the job.

The Archbishop of Canterbury warned on Friday, October 27, that a British ban of Muslim women's face-veil (niqab) and other religious insignia would be "politically dangerous".


"The attack on Muslims in reality threatens freedoms for all of us," Livingstone warned.

Livingstone asserted that the sizable Muslim minority is unfairly demonized.

"Over recent weeks we have seen a demonization of Muslims only comparable to the demonization of Jews from the end of the nineteenth century," he said in a press release.

"The attack on Muslims in reality threatens freedoms for all of us, which took hundreds of years to win - freedom of conscience and freedom of cultural expression," Livingstone warned.

He urged for a fight back against prejudices, stressing that communities from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds should live together in a spirit of tolerance and respect.

"The living standard of every Londoner depends upon the ability of this city to welcome companies and people from every part of the world.

"Every person who values their right to follow the religion of their choice or none should stand with the Muslim communities today."

Cristina Odone, the deputy editor of The New Statesman magazine and one of the rally speakers, warned Britain against joining the war declared on Muslims in many European countries.

"Britain's believers have recently had to fight for the right to wear symbols of their faith, whether that be a burqa or a crucifix," she wrote in the Observers Sunday.

"Is it any wonder that Muslims principally, but other believers too, are getting a persecution complex?"

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16