Protesting Islam |Scottish Defence League protest in Edinburgh
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
Ever heard of the Scottish Defense League? Well, just as the SIOE[Stop the Islamization of Europe], which developed from a xenophobic anti-Muslim Dutch hate group, has its own satellite hate group in the U.S.[SIOA(Stop the Islamization of America), the English Defense League[EDL] has a few satellites of it’s own, namely the ADL and SDL, the Australian Defense League and the Scottish Defense League repectively.
Despite a wave of protestation and the certainty of a large counter-protest which will probably bring riots and unrest, like most EDL demonstrations or marches, police in Scotland are most likely to approve this planned protest in Edinburgh.
A controversial far-right group is set to win permission to stage a demo in Edinburgh after police chiefs said they had no objections to the Scottish Defence League being allowed to stage a parade – despite protests from politicians, trade unions and anti-racism organisations.
Critics believe the group has deliberately chosen the date to inflame racial hatred and capitalise on recent publicity linking its sister group, the English Defence League, with Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.
The SDL has given Edinburgh City Council, which will rule on the application tomorrow, “freedom of speech” as the main reason for holding the event, which it expects to attract around 200 supporters.
Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill wants the protest banned, claiming the group is known to espouse “both racist and homophobic views” and expressing concern the march could pose a threat to public safety. Local MSPS are also among those against the application.
Lothian and Borders Police has warned the local authority to consider the group’s proposed demo “in the context” of the recent riots that flared across several English cities.
But it has effectively given the green light to the march, which will include a rally beside the statue of the Duke of Wellington, despite admitting the group’s views are “controversial” and that a sizeable “opposition rally” is likely to be held.
Superintendent David Carradice has told the council he is confident the force can handle a demo by the SDL and any planned counter-demonstration, insisting it is used to catering for groups that want to “exercise their right to protest”.
He said: “Whilst there can be no guarantees there will be no disruption to the daily business of the community, we are confident that, with the assistance of the council, an operation can be put into place to minimise such and thereby allow the SDL rally to go ahead and cater for an opposition rally too.”
Here is what the SDL is about.
Friday, August 19, 2011
A far right group will not be allowed to march in Edinburgh on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist atrocity.
The Scottish Defence League wanted to rally in the capital’s east end. However, Edinburgh City Council backed opponents who said the gathering would be a threat to public safety.
The Scottish Defence League (SDL) is an offshoot of the English Defence League which has been associated with trouble at gatherings south of the border. That group was cited by Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik as an organisation he admired.
About 50 SDL supporters held a rally in Edinburgh last year. They were outnumbered by 2,000 counter protesters marching under the banner of Scotland United.
The SDL notified the council they intended to march from near the American Embassy to the east end of Princes Street on 10 September.
The decision to turn down the proposal was made by members of the council’s licensing committee on Friday over fears of public disorder.