The English Defence League (EDL) claims 400 people will march through Cambridge against plans for a new mosque in Mill Road.
Cambridgeshire police are gearing up for the far-right group’s demonstration and a counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism on Saturday, July 9.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson told the News he expects up to 400 people will attend the march against plans for a new £13 million mosque in Mill Road to replace the one in Mawson Road, which has space for just 500 of the city’s 4,000 Muslims.
He said: “We are against the building of this mosque which will be the biggest in East Anglia and we have had a lot of people in Cambridge contacting us who are worried about it. We are against the building of all mosques because they preach homophobia and anti-Semitism which we should not tolerate in this country.”
Councillors, trade unionists, Cambridge Muslim Council and Cambridge Islamic Academy have signed a declaration saying EDL is “deeply Islamophobic” and aim to “divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s”.
Richard Rose, Cambridge’s national officer for Unite Against Fascism, said: “The EDL is trying to divide our city but Cambridge loves its multi-cultural mix and they will fail.”
Muslim leader Abdul Arain, Mill Road store owner and Chancellor of Cambridge University candidate, said: “In Mill Road you will find the melting pot of Cambridge and you will find the EDL really do not have any support here or indeed across the city.”