CAIRO - Hundreds of Britons have staged a 'victory rally' in Walthamstow district in northeast London to celebrate a Home Office ban on a planned march by far-rightists against Muslims.
"The EDL [English Defence League] wanted to come to Walthamstow to intimidate Muslim and other communities including trade unionists, Hugh Lanning, deputy general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), told the Morning Star."They have been given a resounding no. Let's celebrate this victory together and united."
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The victory rally was launched after the Home Office banned a planned march by the EDL against Muslims in Waltham Forest.
The 30-day ban across much of east London forced a handful of EDL supporters to hold a static demo outside Parliament.
Showing up for celebrating the defeat of the far-right, politicians and union leaders lined up to celebrate their victory.
"The EDL are in a very weak and isolated position at the moment and all the signs suggest they will continue to get weaker," UAF joint national secretary Sabby Dhalu said.
"While their leaders are getting arrested support for our movement has grown considerably, including from many MPs."
Comedian and local resident Ava Vidal saw it as an "insult that the EDL targeted our area."
The EDL, a far-right group that emerged in 2009, has held numerous protests against what it calls Islamic extremism in Britain.
Far-right groups like the EDL and the British National Party (BNP) are playing the card of immigration to stoke sentiment against Muslims and immigrants.
In November 2010, British police warned that the anti-Muslim demonstration by the EDL fuel extremism and harm social cohesion in Britain.
The Walthamstow rally is not the first to be banned for the extremist EDL group.
In September, the EDL was humiliated in Walthamstow when anti-fascists comprehensively routed it as it tried to stage a "national" demonstration.
British lawmakers hailed the defeat of the far-right, reiterating rejection of their rhetoric against Muslims and their faith.
"We stand by our Muslim communities and reject any form of racism and xenophobia, MP Stella Creasy said.
Dhalu, the joint national secretary of UAF, agrees.
"The police restriction preventing the EDL from entering Walthamstow is a major victory for our movement, he said.
This is also a victory for the Muslim community which has successfully prevented an Islamophobic demonstration in an area with a large Muslim population that is celebrating `Eid," Dhalu said.
"The EDL is weak and isolated, while our movement grows stronger.
"This victory must be celebrated.
British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.5 million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 2005 attacks.
A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.
A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.The anti-Muslim tide has also been on the rise across Europe, with several countries are restricting the freedom of Muslims to wearing face-veil and building mosques.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net