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Letter to Mayor of London regarding failure to act against extremists

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Sadiq Khan did not respond to questions about the abuse and violence faced by Londoners who attended the Al-Quds day demonstration in June 2017


Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London

City Hall

The Queen’s Walk

London

SE1 2AA

mayor@london.gov.uk

04 April 2018

Dear Mr Khan,

I am writing further to my email of 16 October 2017. I note that you did not respond to my questions about the abuse and violence faced by Londoners who attended the Al-Quds day demonstration in June 2017. I hope you will find the time to answer my pressing concerns for the security of London for the upcoming Al-Quds day demonstration on 10 June 2018.

As you are no doubt aware, last year’s event was marred by the violent and aggressive behaviour of counter demonstrators and neo-Nazis. These ranged from extremist Zionists screaming “you are terrorists” at women and children to neo-Nazis yelling “F@%k the Palestinians”. I am sure you are also aware that the hatred and false propaganda directed by these two groups of people prior to last year’s march culminated in Darren Osborne deciding to target the Al-Quds day attendees. Fortunately, he was not able to reach the march. Unfortunately, he decided to go to Finsbury Park mosque instead where he murdered one worshipper and injured dozens of others.

During Osborne’s trial it was recognised that he had been radicalised by false propaganda from far-right figures like Tommy Robinson, who campaigned against Al-Quds day. In fact, during Osborne’s sentencing the judge acknowledged that those attending the Al-Quds day event were law abiding citizens who were committing no crime.

Despite the terrible events of last year, and the fact that the legality of this event has been also been acknowledged by the police and the Home Secretary, this year’s event has already come under attack from the very same people who radicalised Osborne. Robinson has already incited people in Luton to damage a poster advertising this year’s event, as well as issuing threats about the event itself via YouTube – this matter is currently being investigated as a religiously motivated hate crime by the police.

The police have confirmed to us that this year’s counter demonstration will consist of a coalition of Zionists, far-right extremists and neo-Nazi groups.

My fear is that the incitement of religious hate and false propaganda by people like Tommy Robinson and pro-Israel advocates, along with the history of violent behaviour by the counter demonstrators will lead to a repeat attack this year, and innocent people will be killed or injured on the streets of London.

Your office failed to defend the rights of Londoners to peaceful political free speech last year, and after the event officials from your team met with the counter demonstrators whose campaigns incited hate, while deliberately ignoring those who were the original target of Osborne’s violence.

I hope that you will abandon this divisive politics you have adopted and protect the rights and freedoms of all Londoners. If you cannot tolerate any criticism of Israel, I would request you refrain from inciting Zionists and neo-Nazis to attack us by falsely equating the event and its attendees with extremism. Not facilitating incitement to murder on the streets of London is the very least we can expect from our elected officials.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Massoud Shadjareh

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