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UK minister concerned over anti-Islamic protest

world Updated: Sep 12, 2009 21:04 IST
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Concerned over anti-Islamic demonstrations in the streets of London at a 9/11 protest, a British minister has said that recent clashes between white protesters and Muslims have parallels to the violence provoked by 1930s-era fascists.

Announcing a government drive to address issues alienating white, working-class people at risk of being "exploited" by the far-right, John Denham, the secretary of state for communities and local government, singled out protests being organised by the English Defence League.

The group, has organised a number of protests in recent months which have turned violent. It is to hold events in Manchester, Leeds, London and Bristol in the coming weeks. On Friday small groups of EDL supporters gathered for a protest outside a mosque in Harrow, north-west London.

They were confronted by at least 1,000 anti-fascist protesters. Police arrested 10 people after clashes, nine of them for allegedly possessing weapons. No injuries were reported.

"I think the English Defence League and other organisations are not actually large numbers of people," Denham was quoted as saying by Guradian.

"They clearly though have among them people who know exactly what they're doing. If you look at the types of demonstrations they've organised."

He pointed to historical "parallels" with Mosley's events. "You could go back to the 1930s if you wanted to – Cable Street and all of those types of things.