Labour MP Rushanara Ali has called for marches by extremist groups be banned – but only singled out right wing demonstrators in her call for legislation.
The Labour Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow made the comments Monday evening during an appearance on Sky News. Ms. Ali referred specifically to the English Defence League and the far right group Britain First saying that demonstrations from both groups should be banned in London.
Ali said that the government needed to “redouble their efforts” when it came to tackling extremism.
“We have seen over the years many marches here in the East End and around the country by organisations like the English Defence League and more recently by British [Britain] First,” she said.
Without naming names Ali said that certain individuals were stoking up hatred. Earlier Monday evening, UK political blogger Guido Fawkes singled out EDL founder Tommy Robinson, comparing him to Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary who is currently in prison for links to Islamic radicals.
Ali continued: “We also need to make sure the government takes firm action against extremists and ban marches where they are willfully and deliberately trying to provoke hate and intolerance in our country.”
She then added she had heard the EDL had plans to hold a march in London and called the move “unacceptable” and said the government needed to “get a grip” and ensure that no right wing marches could take place.
Ms. Ali has had a seat in parliament since 2010 and has occupied several shadow cabinet posts. In 2014, she was one of 43 MPs to reject the government’s proposal to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Iraq resigning from her shadow cabinet post in order to be able to abstain from the vote.
Despite saying she rejects extremist marches, Ali did not mention the anti0Israel al-Quds Day march which occurred over the weekend in which marchers brandished the flags of Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organisation in much of the world.
Earlier in the day on Monday, the BBC chose to interview Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the so-called Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), who organised the al-Quds Day march and has alleged links to Hezbollah.
Shadjareh blamed right-wing political commentators like Douglas Murray, Katie Hopkins, and Maajid Nawaz for “bombarding our society with hatred” toward the Muslim community and putting out “Islamophobic” rhetoric.
“I think we need to address, above everything, this level of hatred, and the fact that we have got hate preachers now on our radio stations – be it, Maajid Nawaz, or Kate Hopkins, or Douglas Murray – they are bombarding our society with hatred towards Muslim community [sic] and indeed towards to mainstream Islam, and this can not go on,” he said.
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