Birmingham Mail: English Volunteer Force protest in Birmingham’s Centenary Square finishes trouble-free. ‘A major police operation ensured that rival demonstrations in Birmingham city centre by far-right extremists and anti-fascist campaigners ended peacefully yesterday. The English Volunteer Force (EVF) – an offshoot of the English Defence League (EDL) – gathered in Centenary Square to protest about the ‘Islamification of Great Britain’. A counter-protest, organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Chamberlain Square, was also trouble-free’.
The Independent: Baroness Warsi: Fewer than one in four people believe Islam is compatible with British way of life. ‘Highlighting unpublished research showing that a majority of the country now believes that Islam is a threat to Western civilisation Baroness Sayeeda Warsi will say that “underlying, unfounded mistrust” of Muslims is in itself fuelling extremism’.
The Guardian: ‘Muslim patrol’ gang: police arrest three more after homophobic video. ‘Detectives investigating a self-styled Muslim patrol gang have made three more arrests, Scotland Yard has said. Officers are investigating a string of incidents in east London over the weekend where the group harassed members of the public. A video posted on YouTube showed the gang hurling homophobic abuse at one man, whom the police have urged to come forward’.
Belfast Telegraph: Jury undecided on hoax bomb message. ‘A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the case of a taxi driver who sent a message to the English Defence League (EDL) saying one of its marches was going to be bombed. Father-of-five Sakander Mahmood, 26, admitted sending the right-wing group a hoax message through its website which said: “14th July in Bristol, You are getting bombed”.’
The Guardian: Six charged with violent disorder after attack at anti-fascist event in Liverpool. ‘Six men have been charged with violent disorder after anti-fascist campaigners held a fundraising event in Liverpool city centre. The men, aged between 17 and 52, are all believed to belong to the North West Infidels, an extreme far-right group. Among those charged is Shane Calvert, 31, from Blackburn – known as “the diddyman” in nationalist circles and thought to be the Infidels’ second-in-command.’
Varsity: Opposition mobilises as English Defence League march announced in Cambridge. ‘The English Defence League (EDL), an extremist far-right pressure group, has announced that they are planning a march in Cambridge. The anti-Islamic group will gather on the 23rd February, following their controversial march in July 2011. In response, the Cambridge branch of Unite Against Fascism (CUAF), a national anti-fascist campaigning organisation, has called for a ‘massive’ counter march.’
Comment: The Independent: These misguided Muslim ‘Sharia squads’ are playing right into the EDL’s hands. ‘Now here’s a news story to inflame the prejudice of internet Islamophobes…No wait, I’m a practising Muslim and this gets my blood boiling too; a string of videos under the name ‘Muslim Patrol’ recently surfaced on YouTube, showing Muslim vigilantes on night patrols in London streets…’