I’ve only recently caught up with this news item from Cambridge. I have read one or two commenters here on HP suggesting that EDL linked moves to protect communities from riots are judged by different, and harsher, criteria than similar initiatives from (for example) Turkish business owners. That point, to be fair, seemed worth thinking about. But scepticism about the motives of anti-rioters who invoke the EDL seems justified by the way they have gone about ‘protecting’ Cambridge.
There was some unrest in Cambridge, focused on the Grafton shopping centre and Midsummer Common. So it might seem odd that the EDL thought that Mill Road (unaffected by rioting) needed special protection. One target of their vigilantism was the owner of a popular local Algerian restaurant.
Foudil Rerizani, owner of Algerian restaurant Al Casbah in Mill Road, was confronted by the group.
He said: “There was a group of about 10 or so people who were very loud and aggressive shouting ‘EDL, EDL’.
“They looked at me and said ‘You are open tonight, you won’t be tomorrow’.
“They weren’t stopping anyone from rioting. There was no-one on the street who was rioting. It’s total rubbish. I wasn’t bothered by them. I am used to these people.”
Of course it’s not hard to work out why this group decided to wander down Mill Road rather than go somewhere which had seen some actual rioting. This is an area of Cambridge where many Muslims live and work and where a new mosque is being planned, the same area which was the focus of the EDL’s recent demonstration in Cambridge.
Hat tip: Rumbold