Anti-Muslim extremists plan Scots protest

news.scotsman.com - 17 September 2009 - From David Leask

ANTI-MUSLIM extremists linked with serious unrest in England are planning a major demonstration in Glasgow, it has emerged. The English Defence League (EDF) aims to take to the streets of Scotland's biggest city on Saturday, 14 November, sparking major safety concerns among police and council insiders.

The organisation, which denies it is racist and insists it is only

against Islamic militants rather than all Muslims, has set up a wing north of the Border called the Scottish Defence League.

An EDF rally in Birmingham erupted into violence this summer, prompting scores of arrests. Supporters are understood to have links with far-right groups and football hooligans. Some have been seen making Nazi salutes.

Communities Secretary John Denham this month raised fears of a return to 1930s fascism when he compared some far-right groups to Oswald Mosley's Blackshirts. The Scotsman understands that the EDF – or its purported Scottish wing – has still to ask for permission to march through Glasgow.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council yesterday said "any application would be considered". However, senior officials at the authority, which has the power to ban marches on police safety advice, would be keen to block any demonstration that is deemed likely to lead to violence.

Strathclyde Police were unavailable for comment last night (...)

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