Fears are mounting over a march through Weymouth by the right-wing English Defence League protesting at Islamic extremism.
The newly-formed Weymouth branch of the group organised the march following a TV programme that showed Islamic extremists on the streets of the town. They will be undertaking the protest in Weymouth on Saturday, April 30 at 1pm to protest the “entrapment of the youth of Weymouth by extremist Muslims”. A counter march by opponents of the EDL will take place at the same time.
The group, which was formed after the showing of the programme “My Brother the Islamist”, now has more than 330 members and has said it will be a peaceful protest.
The programme followed film-maker Robb Leech, originally from Weymouth, as he documented his step-brother Richard Dart’s sudden change to an extreme Islamist called Salahuddin with minority group Muslims Against Crusaders. In one scene he and a group based in London visited Weymouth and preached in the town centre.
The counter march will be headed by the Labour Party. The group said that it is a non-political peaceful protest and anyone from any party opposed to the EDL in Weymouth would be welcome. Richard Baker from the group said:
“We plan to peacefully oppose the presence of the EDL in Weymouth and I encourage councillors, candidates, MPs of all political parties, and the general public to join us; divided not by party, but united by a common humanity and compassion. We want to make it clear that the community of Weymouth and Portland does not share the narrow and prejudiced views of the EDL.”
According to the last census, Muslims make up 0.3% of the population of Weymouth.