The decision by the English Defence League to demonstrate against the annual Al-Quds demonstration was misguided says Pat Harrington of Third Way.
“The Palestinians are struggling for their nation and for freedom. We as Nationalists have a lot of sympathy for them. They deserve support not abuse. I was saddened to see the EDL demonstrating against them. EDL literature says that they are only against the most extreme interpretations of Islam so I fail to see how this fits into their agenda. It shows a lack of political knowledge and sophistication. Doubtless this kind of error is one reason why the EDL has not been endorsed by any of the Nationalist political Parties in this country.”
In contrast to the simplistic and extreme view put forward by the EDL was that of the Palestinians themselves. One was quoted in the Guardian newspaper. Motahare Yadegarfar, a 23-year-old pro-Palestinian demonstrator who had travelled to the march from Manchester, said: “We are gathered here to say we want the end of the occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza. We want Israel to stop killing innocent people.”
She said anti-Islamic opposition to the rally was based on ignorance.
“There are some Muslim extremist groups who do things that are not Islamic,” she added. “There is a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance.
“If they [anti-Islamic groups] got to understand what this [protest] is about, I don’t think they would oppose it.”</