FIRST, they targeted posters showing scantily clad women and posted their handiwork on YouTube. Then a bunch of Islamic zealots, calling themselves “Muslim patrols”, began targeting gays in East London, and badly-shot footage of one such incident appeared a few days later on the Internet.
Now, according to the Guardian, two men have been arrested after incidents in which people were being harassed in London’s Whitechapel area.
In the latest video, in which a group of men described themselves as “vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks”, a man is followed and told:
Get out of here you fag … Don’t stay around here any more.
His pursuers tell him that he is “dirty” and that he is:
Walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag.
The East London Mosque has condemned the actions. It said in a statement last week that individuals claiming to be “Muslim patrols” have been harassing members of the public on the streets of east London late at night, including outside the mosque after it has closed, and that it had contacted the police to alert them to the presence of the individuals and video.The mosque said:
These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord.
We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.
According to this report, Imam Shyakh Shams Ad-Duha, a principle at Islamic education centre Ebrahim College in Whitechapel, used a sermon last week – which was later uploaded to Youtube – to tackle the issue.
I want to address very specifically and directly something we’ve all seen on social media. What these brothers need to understand is they will be accountable before Allah for doing these things, for damaging the image of Islam, and for misrepresenting the Sharia.
These people must have thought ‘what in the world is going on here’. Some bloke comes up and goes ‘this is a Muslim area, you can’t drink’. I can’t even imagine – the guy’s completely stunned.
What are the chances that this guy is gonna want to have anything to do with Islam in the future? That’s his chances of ever being interested in Islam, gone.
The gay rights group, Stonewall, said:
This incident is yet another reminder of the homophobic abuse that gay people face all too often. We urge victims of all homophobic crimes and incidents to report them to the police and for the police to take action to protect gay people from these disturbing crimes.
The Metropolitan Police said that two men were arrested in connection with a series of incidents that took place over the course of 12-13 January in east London. A 22-year-old man was arrested in Acton on Sunday while a 19-year-old man voluntarily attended an east London police station on Monday.
A Met spokesperson said:
The pair were arrested on suspicion of GBH and Public Order offences and have been bailed to return to an east London police station on a dates in February and March pending further enquiries.
The Metropolitan Police Service takes these incidents very seriously and is pursuing various lines of enquiry with a view to identifying and prosecuting the individuals concerned.
Hat tip: ZombieHunter, Rob L, Agent Cormac