Arson at liberal London mosque

Morden mosque on fire

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Morden mosque fire: two teenage boys arrested on suspicion of arson

A 16-year-old and a 14-year-old have been detained for questioning over the fire at the mosque in south London

Caroline Mortimer

Sunday 27 September 2015 12:53 BST

Two boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with a huge fire at Britain’s largest mosque in south London on Saturday.

A 16-year-old and a 14-year-old have been held for questioning over the fire at the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden, a spokeswoman for Scotland Yard has said.

The blaze began at around midday and was tackled by 70 firefighters.

According to the London Fire Brigade, the fire was confined to an administration building and the mosque itself was undamaged.

There were few worshippers in the mosque at the time of the fire but one man was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire is believed to have damaged half of the building’s ground floor.

The mosque was built for the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, an Islamic sect founded in India in the late 19th century, and bears the sect’s motto “Love is for all, hatred is for none.”

It is the largest mosque in Western Europe and can house up to 10,000 worshippers.

Local councillor Imran Udding, whose ward includes the mosque, told the Evening Standard: “The really important thing to note is that the blaze took hold really quickly, but the hall where it started was also evacuated very quickly.

“We need to investigate what happened here. The mosque is very popular in the area. It has a very positive impact. It does a lot of community work.”

He said it “could have been a lot worse” if the fire had struck a day earlier when the mosque was full of worshippers celebrating Eid.

Fareed Ahmed, national secretary for external affairs for the Ahmadi Muslim Community UK, said: “It’s a very difficult time. This is a devastating accident to happen to any mosque.”

Ahmadiyya Islam is considered to be a liberal tendency.

Ahmadiyya Muslims sometimes are attacked by ultra orthodox Muslims.

Now in London apparently the violence is by teenagers who read too much corporate media Islamophobic propaganda which lyingly equates all Muslims with terrorists.

RECENTLY the popular BBC religious affairs programme Songs of Praise broadcast from the migrant and refugee camp in Calais. The outpouring of bile this provoked showed how ugly the debate on asylum and immigration has become in recent years, but the change in public mood in the weeks since then shows that progressives can win our arguments on issues relating to the need to welcome refugees and also to stop the scapegoating of both migrants and refugees for the problems facing “austerity Britain”: here.

Artists’ Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor London pro-refugee march

Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor march near Downing Street 10 in London, AFP photo

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Ai Weiwei‘s and Anish Kapoor‘s pro-refugees action

Today, 14:53

The world-famous artists Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor have led a demonstration in London to support refugees. They called for a “human rather than a political” solution to the refugee crisis. Both wore gray blankets as symbols of the plight of the 60 million refugees in the world. Several hundred people joined the duo.

“This problem affects everyone,” said Ai Weiwei. He called on the British government last week to let in more asylum seekers. The Chinese artist is in London to open a major exhibition of his work. It is the first time that he can do that personally since he got his passport back in July from the Chinese authorities who had taken it four years ago.

Anish Kapoor recently hit the headlines because his sculpture Dirty Corner in the palace gardens of Versailles on two occasions had been daubed with anti-Semitic slogans.

During their more than 10 kilometers long march they passed, eg, the official residence of the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament near the Thames. Ai Weiwei and Kapoor will repeat this action in the near future in other cities around the world.

Big pro-refugee demonstration in London, England

This video from London, England says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn speaks to 100,00 at Refugees Welcome Here rally

12 September 2015

On the day he was elected leader of the Labour Party, 12 September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn’ spoke at the huge demonstration in London at which over 100,000 people expressed their solidarity with refugees. It was his first public appearance after he won the leadership vote.

Pro-refugee demonstrators in London today, photo Ingrid Cobben / NOS

From daily The Guardian in Britain today:

Thousands join Solidarity with Refugees rally in London

Jeremy Corbyn joins marchers in Parliament Square hours after being voted Labour leader

Nadia Khomami and Chris Johnston

Saturday 12 September 2015 16.23 BST

Tens of thousands of people have marched through the streets of central London for a rally in support of refugees, with similar events taking place in other European capitals.

The Solidarity with Refugees event on Saturday began at Park Lane and proceeded to Downing Street, with speeches in Parliament Square from a number of politicians and public figures including Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of the Labour party, and musician and activist Billy Bragg.

Others expected at the event were Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green party, and representatives of participating organisations such as the Refugee Council, Amnesty International, the Syria Solidarity Movement, Stand Up to Racism and the Stop the War Coalition.

Parliament Square was packed with Corbyn supporters waving banners reading “refugees welcome” and other messages of support. They cheered and chanted “Jez we can, Jez we can” as he took to the stage hours after being voted Labour leader and demanded that the government recognise its “obligations in law”.

Corbyn said: “Recognise your obligations to help people which you’re required to do by law, that would be good. But above all, open your hearts and open your minds and open your attitude towards supporting people who are desperate, who need somewhere safe to live, want to contribute to our society, and are human beings just like all of us. Together in peace, together in justice, together in humanity, that surely must be our way forward.”

His speech was followed by an enthusiastic solo rendition of The Red Flag by Bragg.

There had been a feeling of optimism throughout the day among marchers and speakers, some of whom reported hearing waves of cheers across Marble Arch as Corbyn’s victory was announced – particularly from members of Stop The War.

Corbyn also referred to the refugee crisis in his acceptance speech at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster earlier in the day. “Many people face desperation in other parts of the world, and I think it is quite incredible the way the mood in Europe has changed over the past few weeks, of understanding that people fleeing from wars – they are the victims of wars, they are the generational victims of war, they are the intergenerational victims of war – end up in desperation, end up in terrible places, end up trying to gain a place of safety, end up trying to exercise their refugee rights,” he said.

“They’re human beings, just like you, just like me. Let’s deal with the refugee crisis with humanity, with support, with compassion to try to help people who are trying to get to safety, trying to help people who are stuck in refugee camps, but recognise that going to war creates a legacy of bitterness and problems.”

Billy Bragg said he was encouraged by Corbyn’s success, which he hoped indicates a return to “civic culture”. The singer said: “People are beginning to understand that we do have a lot in common with one another and it’s possible to create a society where people’s needs are put first.

“The demonisation of people in need that’s gone on in this country is not the kind of Britain I grew up in – that everyone who’s in need is a scrounger and all refugees are terrorists. It’s not the compassionate society I want Britain to be seen as around the world.”

Diane Abbott, the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said human rights causes “could not ask for a better supporter” than Corbyn.

Saturday’s march was held ahead of emergency talks on Europe’s refugee crisis on Monday that will be attended by the home secretary, Theresa May, and her EU counterparts.

Pro-refugee demonstrators in London today

Organisers of the march said that May needed to convey the message that Europe should not continue to allow thousands to die trying to reach the EU and exercise their legal right to claim asylum.
“We have to ensure that refugees can reach Europe safely. There needs to be either official safe transport provided, or if people could apply for asylum from outside the EU they would be able to enter by official routes,” organisers said on Facebook.

“We need to prioritise the fast processing of asylum claims from people from particularly dangerous regions, such as Syria. We can’t allow any EU countries to close their borders or build fences. There needs to be Europe-wide consensus on providing help where it is so desperately needed, relieving pressure on the Mediterranean countries.”

Up to 30,000 people gathered outside the Danish parliament in Copenhagen on Saturday, chanting in English: “Say it loud and say it clear: Refugees are welcome here!”.

Moroccan-born Mohammed Harra told Politiken newspaper: “I am here to support refugees who have been driven out of their houses because of what has happened in Syria, with the bombings and the killings.”

… The rallies come as Hungary’s prime minister called for a giant aid package for countries around war-ravaged Syria to stem mass migration to Europe.

MORE than 100,000 people marched through central London from Hyde Park to Parliament Square on the REFUGEES WELCOME HERE! march on Saturday: here.

Pro-refugee demonstators in London

Demonstrations in defence of refugees Saturday saw tens of thousands turn out in the UK, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal. Thousands of people also took part in rallies in Australian cities on Friday and Saturday. Up to 100,000 people protested in London, with smaller rallies held in towns and cities including Bristol, Newcastle, Manchester, York, Brighton, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff: here.

The Iraq war: The root of Europe’s refugee crisis: here.

Europe invaded mostly by “regime change” refugees: here.

The neocon prescription of endless “regime change” is spreading chaos across the Middle East and now into Europe, yet the neocons still control the mainstream U.S. narrative and thus have diagnosed the problem as not enough “regime change,” as Robert Parry reports: here.

Hold a banner in London, go to jail

This video says about itself:

15 February 2015

Several protesters were arrested at Parliament Square, London, on Saturday during a peaceful demonstration organised by the activist group Occupy Democracy.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Man in court for holding a banner

Thursday 6th August 2015

A “RIDICULOUS” case is being brought against a peaceful protester today, for holding a banner without permission.

Ryan O’Sullivan faces charges for holding a banner on Parliament Square without having requested Mayor Boris Johnson’s prior permission.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is bringing forward the suit against Mr O’Sullivan, who engaged in the alleged “prohibited activity.”

Mr O’Sullivan, who is being supported by the Occupy Democracy campaign, said: “It seems wrong that we have to ask Boris permission to protest outside Parliament.

“The fact I was asked to provide public liability insurance for holding a banner demonstrates how ridiculous things have become.

“The risk is that it will deter people from wanting to protest outside Parliament.”

Today’s hearing is part of the third in a series of trials which, according to the group, “demonstrate the absurdity of the policing of the Occupy Democracy protests.”

Twelve people have so far been acquitted of charges linked to the protests outside the Houses of Parliament last November.

Occupy Democracy legal adviser Matthew Varnham said: “Peaceful protest should never require authorisation.

“This point was made by the UN Special Rapporteur in his 2013 Report on the UK when he concluded that at most there should be a regime for notification.

“The fact we have seen people arrested for sitting on a tarpaulin and holding a banner, found to be unlawful because prior permission had not been sought, is an affront to the democractic principle of freedom of expression.”

An ongoing judicial review challenging Mr Johnson’s decision to exclude all protest from Parliament Square was launched by Occupy Democracy and human rights group Liberty this March.