Protesters, Cops Tangle as London Seethes Over Attack
Officials caution against anti-Islam response
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 23, 2013 4:46 AM CDT
Updated May 23, 2013 5:50 AM CDT
Far-right group English Defense League leader, Tommy Robinson, left, with EDL supporters outside the Queens Arms public house in Woolwich, southeast London.   (AP Photo/PA, Neil Lancefield)

(Newser) – Yesterday's brutal killing of a soldier in southeast London prompted a local backlash, with some 100 men hurling bottles at police as they railed against Muslims. The protesters, carrying English flags, were supporters of an organization known as the English Defense League, the Guardian reports. "Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace. It's not," said the group's leader, Tommy Robinson. "What you saw today is Islam."

Meanwhile, two attacks on mosques outside London resulted in a pair of arrests. A man entered one mosque with a knife; he's been arrested for attempted arson. Separately, a man was arrested for suspected racially-aggravated criminal damage to another mosque. In other news following the Woolwich killing:

  • The Muslim Council of Britain calls it "a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam ... We condemn this unreservedly." Another British Islamic leader tells the BBC that "the people who did this act yesterday do not speak in my name, do not speak for my community or the rest of the country."
  • "The dividing line is not between Islam and non-Islam," a former top official says, per the BBC. "It is between the terrorists and everyone else." Adds a local MP: "We must not allow this hideous incident to undermine or damage the harmonious relationship between the various groups who live in Woolwich and the surrounding area."
  • Leading British officials are meeting to discuss the attack, the New York Times reports. One major concern, per the Guardian: whether this was a "lone wolf" operation or a more organized one. Following a meeting, London Mayor Boris Johnson seemed to suggest the former, the BBC notes: "Everything I am hearing leads me to think that Londoners can go about their business in the normal way and we are going to bring the killers to justice."

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
DESTRO
May 23, 2013 9:11 PM CDT
In regards to "peaceful" muslims and "terrorist" muslims, how can be there such a divide when they are worshiping the same material? These "radical" muslims seem to be by far the most significant terrorist group. I don't see how there can be such a difference between a peaceful one and an unpeaceful one.
vlad
May 23, 2013 1:48 PM CDT
The Muslim Council of Britain calls it "a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam ... We condemn this unreservedly." Another British Islamic leader tells the BBC that "the people who did this act yesterday do not speak in my name, do not speak for my community or the rest of the country." interesting ! muslims who have never read the qur`an !
Murahu
May 23, 2013 11:39 AM CDT
There are already parts of London where the Muslims attempt to impose sharia law, by physically insulting those who walk in the neighborhood not wearing the proper clothing, covering up more and more if they are women. English rights are rent, as the Muslim fanatics deny rights to non-Muslims. And now they kill. In the name of diversity, the Labourites have imported enemies of the West, enemies of free thought, enemies of freedom. It is time some Englishmen take a stand against Muslim terror and its source in their bullying religion.