Anti fascist festival attracts big name speakers

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AN ANTI Fascist festival marked a new page in protests against the activities of anti-mosque groups in Harrow yesterday.

Last night’s Festival of Unity was billed as a positive way to celebrate the area’s ethnic diversity by organisers Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

The group has been countering protests by Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) against the expansion of Harrow Central Mosque. The last protest, on September 11, descended into violence.

The SIOE intends to hold a further rally outside the mosque, in Station Road, on December 13.

Last night trade union officials including Bob Crow, the General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and Jo Lang, President of the Harrow Teachers Association, joined MP Tony McNulty and Suresh Grover, chair of the National Civil Rights Movement, which was set up in 1999 to challenge institutional racism and stand up for minority rights to give a series of short speeches in support of the UAF’s plight.

Muslim hip hop group Mecca to Medina were among the musical acts while poetry came from Somali poet Lady S.

Alf Filer, 55, of the Brent and Harrow UAF, who spoke at the event, said: “When we heard the SOIE was going to return we decided to counter it.

“The SOIE argue there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. The Harrow community stands united against this, there is no room for racism in Harrow.

“We want to spread a message of hope, there is an alternative message to the racist message being put out by the far right groups in this country.”

Stephen Gash, of Stop Islamisation of Europe, has previously told the Harrow Times: “We don't believe in moderate Muslims. We are saying to the moderate Muslims if you are moderate kick those extremists out of the mosques.” continues here

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