We won’t return to Birmingham – it’s too violent, says EDL

EDL in BirminghamLeaders of a controversial group which led protests against Islamic extremism in Birmingham have vowed never to hold demonstrations in the city again, because it is too violent.

The EDL spoke out as police chiefs from across the UK met in Birmingham to discuss ways of preventing extremist protests from wreaking havoc across the country.

Ninety people were arrested in Birmingham following a march on September 5 when supporters of the EDL, claiming to be protesting against Islamic extremism, clashed with Muslim youths.

In an article in a national magazine, Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob has accused the EDL of being a racist organisation attempting to “demonise and terrorise” Muslims. Ms Yaqoob claimed it was “predictable” that the English Defence League and young Asians would be involved in violence in the city earlier this month.

In an article for the New Statesman, she said: “If the violence of the EDL was predictable, it was also predictable that some Asian youths would ignore calls for restraint from myself and others. Many young people are simply not prepared to turn the other cheek when faced with this brand of violent racism.”

Birmingham Post, 18 September 2009