‘Fear and hatred on the streets of Luton’

Luton riotDavid James Smith reports for the Sunday Times on tensions and conflict between communities in Luton, following the highly-publicised Al-Muhajiroun protest in March.

The article includes an interview with Mikey Birch, one of the organisers of the counter-protests against Al-Muhajiroun, including the notorious 24 May demonstration that ended in rioting.

Birch has presented himself as the voice of moderation, publicly declaring his opposition to fascist involvement in the 24 May protest. The Sunday Times article, however, indicates that Birch’s attitude to far-right racism and violence is rather more sympathetic than he made out:

“Birch said he had no affiliations with a far-right party, but he did say that if the BNP were in charge at the town hall, Luton would not be so biased towards Muslims. ‘I’m not being racist, but…’, he said, ‘…I don’t want my kids being Islamified. I don’t want them forcing their religion on us.’ He was concerned about the number of Muslim councillors in Luton…. ‘Have Al-Muhajiroun or Al-Qaeda infiltrated the council? That’s what people are saying.’ It was Birch who told me that people had talked of storming the town hall in protest. ‘The BNP will get a stronghold here because people feel they are the only party prepared to take on the Muslim extremists. And if the police and the council won’t fight the war against Sayful Islam, then we will fight it for them’.”

Update:  Over at his Lionheart blog Paul Ray, the defender of the 24 May rioters (“No one thinks that removing the militant wing of Islam from our land is going to be easy, and if the government will not do it then the people will, and they will quite obviously be wearing balaclavas to do that”) takes exception to Smith’s report:

“His upper-class Liberal view is that the lower-class white community are all racists, even though I am not a racist, and those involved with UPL including ‘Mikey Birch’ are not racists, but this journalist doesnt care, he just wants his Liberal anti-white, pro-Moslem, racist, story for the Times magazine, and doesnt care what he writes about people so long as it is in line with the Liberal world view according to David James Smith.”

There, there Paul, of course you’re not a racist. Although, to be fair, you are currently on bail facing a charge of incitement to racial hatred, aren’t you?

Further update:  And I can’t resist quoting this introductory paragraph from a post on another far-right blog attacking the Sunday Times report:

“I had the displeasure of reading what has to be one of the worst pieces of journalism in a British broadsheet. It stinks with appeasement and of course its underlying message is that British people should accept multiculturalism. No doubt the author (David James Smith) is either an immigrant, anti British, a student of Marxism or all three.”