A British Islamic charity has sparked outrage amongst Muslims after marching in unity with the EDL.
Ipswich based charity Jami’at Ihya Minhaj al Sunnah (JIMAS) marched in unity with the English Defence League in memory of slain British soldier Lee Rigby on Saturday.
A group of around 50 EDL supporters were joined by members of JIMAS including chief executive Manwar Ali.
They walked through the town centre and arrived at Christchurch Park to lay flowers at the war memorial. A minute’s silence was held before they dispersed.
Mr Ali said: “We have come to express our sentiments and feelings for Drummer Lee Rigby and support for his family. We want to show support for our troops.”
Ivan Humble, regional co-ordinator for the East Anglia Branch of the EDL, said: “This is what we need. We need to be seen working together and talking together. If we can work together, that has got to be good.”
A spokesman for Suffolk police said there were no reported incidents.
Muslims in Ipswich, however, were not so supportive of the JIMAS initiative. Speaking to worshipers of Shah Jalal Masjid in Ipswich, many voiced their discontent.
Medical student, Mohammed Nazrul said: “How could JIMAS walk in unity with the EDL, when the same EDL calls for Muslims to be violently attacked, demand us to be deported and mock the principles of our religion?”
Local businessman Joinal Miah said: “What happened in Woolwich was wrong and not from Islam. But to march with the EDL who have nothing but pure hatred for Islam is going a step too far.
“Condemning the Woolwich murder is one thing, but ignoring foreign policy and then referring to British troops as ‘our troops’ is another.
“I would question Manwar Ali if such statements are even allowed in Islam, considering the same British soldiers are responsible for the plight of the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who exactly is he trying to please?”
As a result of the Woolwich murder, some mosques and organizations in the country have held or intended to host memorial and fundraising events in support of British soldiers.
Lozells Central Mosque in Birmingham was exposed for attempting to hold a fundraising event for British army charity “Help for Heroes”, but the event was cancelled after massive public outrage.
Last week, York Mosque and Islamic Centre invited the EDL for a cup of tea and a game of football whilst Jamia Masjid Hanifa in Bradford held a special service in memory of Lee Rigby.
We contacted JIMAS for an interview but no one from the organization got back to us.