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Muslim rally mired in controversy

The Muslim Association of Britain is accused of links with Islamic terror groups, writes Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 20:26 IST

The campaigners behind the massive rally in Trafalgar Square for protesting the caricatures of the Prophet and who claim to belong to the moderate Muslim Association of Britain, were accused of close links with Islamic terror groups by a mass circulated daily.

The Mail alleged that the Association includes a former military commander of Hamas and that it was described in Parliament as the British wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the banned Egyptian group whose former members, the paper said included Osama bin Laden.

This would kick-start a major controversy.

The powerful Mayor of Greater London Ken Livingston had on the eve of the rally on Saturday given his support to it. He hosted a press conference two days earlier to say that the demonstration would give a chance to air the views of moderate Muslims.

But, a Labour MP countered and said the Association was an "extremist" group whose members repeatedly advocated suicide bombings in Israel.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 20:26 IST