Clashes as flag-burning extremists disrupt service
Published 12/09/2011 | 05:00
POLICE were criticised yesterday for allowing Muslim extremists to use a loudhailer to disrupt a 9/11 tribute in London.
Members of protest group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) shouted "USA terrorists" and brandished anti-American placards outside the US embassy as relatives of victims gathered for a memorial service.
They also set fire to an American flag during a minute's silence held to mark the moment when the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Centre in New York 10 years ago.
One attendee of the service, whose cousin died in the terror attacks, said: "They shouldn't be allowed to do it. It's very disrespectful. It's too loud.
"They can say what they want but not with the loudspeaker. They shouldn't obstruct the service."
There was also tension after English Defence League (EDL) protesters were told to move.
Some members of the 60-strong group of EDL supporters scuffled with police as they were forced away from their original location to a different part of Grosvenor Square.
A small group of Muslims also staged a counter-demonstration to the Islamic extremists, holding up placards reading 'Muslims Against Extremism' and 'If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi'.
One MAC member said: "You will always face suffering, you will always face humiliation, unless you withdraw your troops from Muslim lands."
Another declared that America had been "defeated in Iraq and defeated in Afghanistan".
But other Muslims attended to make plain the MAC was not wanted.
Abdul Sallam (41), who was waving a sign that read 'Keep The Silence', travelled down to London from his home in Glasgow to show the strength of his feelings.
He said: "I'm a Muslim. What they're doing is bringing shame on all Muslims. This is not part of the teachings of Islam.
"Islam teaches you that when you see anything bad or evil, you should speak out against it. If moderate Muslims spoke out, that would defeat them."
Two Islamic protesters were arrested near the entrance to the memorial service.
Around five EDL supporters who were at the scene scuffled with police.
Marble Arch was later brought to a standstill as EDL protesters clashed with departing Muslim extremists. One EDL supporter was arrested. (© Daily Telegraph, London)