'UK needs new policies to tackle issues that racists exploit'
A top British Minister has said that UK needs new policies to tackle issues that racists exploit, following a spate of anti-Islam demonstrations in the English cities and compare those behind the protests to the 1930s fascists.world Updated: Sep 13, 2009 15:49 IST
A top British Minister has said that UK needs new policies to tackle issues that racists exploit, following a spate of anti-Islam demonstrations in the English cities and compare those behind the protests to the 1930s fascists.
After violent clashes outside a mosque in Harrow, northwest London, on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks over the construction of a new five-floor mosque nearby, British Community Secretary John Denham expressed fears of a return to 1930s fascism.
He said "if you look at the types of demonstrations they've organised, it looks pretty clear that it is a tactic designed to provoke and get a response and hopefully create violence."
Drawing historical parallels, Denham said "you could go back to the 1930s if you wanted to - Cable Street and all of those types of things. The tactic of trying to provoke a response in the hope of causing wider violence and mayhem is long established on the far-right and among extremist groups."
He said there was a need for a broader strategy from government to "undercut issues that racists try to exploit".
Right-wing extremist groups, particularly the English Defence League, have organised a number of protests in recent months in Luton, Birmingham and London which have turned violent and they are to hold demonstrations in Manchester, Leeds, London and Bristol in the coming weeks.
Police have arrested 10 people on Friday as they intervened to quell clashes between the activists of the English Defence League and about 1,000 Muslim protesters outside the mosque. Hundreds of anti-Islam extremists are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square tomorrow.
Announcing a government drive to address issues alienating white, working-class people at risk of being "exploited" by the far-right, Denham singled out protests being organised by the league.
He said "you need to be prepared to let people's real underlying fears and concerns come out, but to be able to address them frankly and openly".