High ranking members of the English Defence League have been defeated in their High Court bid to hold a demonstration in Tower Hamlets, an area the EDL claims is “subject to Sharia law”.
The Met Police banned a proposed march to be held in the East London suburb on Saturday, with officers imposing the restrictions to prevent any outbreaks of “serious public disorder”.
Judge Mr Justice King ruled against the EDL, stating that the Met’s decision was reasonable. The Judge also blocked the group from pursuing a judicial review.
During the hearing, lawyers acting on behalf of the far right group argued that the police had imposed a ban on the demonstration due to concerns over counter-demonstrations, adding that the EDL simply wwanted to publicise the fact that the suburb was now subject to Sharia law and those that did not comply were often beaten.
The EDL will not be able to march through Tower Hamlets
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Lawyers said the EDL - which describes itself as a "human rights organisation" and says it believes that "proponents of radical Islam have a stranglehold on British Muslims" - wanted to demonstrate peacefully.
But the Metropolitan Police said senior officers had decided to stop the march a third of a mile short of its intended destination in the hope of preventing "serious" disorder.
Police lawyers said people taking part in EDL marches could be "unreasonably" provocative.
They said police thought that between 1,000 and 2,000 people would take part in the EDL march and "several thousand" in counter demonstrations by groups including Unite Against Fascism.
They said, if EDL marchers protested in the "faces" of the people their demonstration was aimed at and rival demonstrators clashed, police would be faced with "crisis management".
Mr Justice King, who was told that Tower Hamlets had the biggest Muslim population in the country, said the EDL had not shown the police decision to be unlawful, irrational, unreasonable or disproportionate.
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