Brick Lane march proceeds without incident

Excellent partnership work between Tower Hamlets Council, local residents, the business community, faith groups and the Metropolitan Police Service ensured that a public march on Brick Lane, (13 December, 2013) went ahead without incident.
The march began at 2pm on Osborne Street, moved along Brick Lane and lasted approximately an hour. It was monitored carefully by the police and by the council’s CCTV team but just 30 people demonstrated.
Tower Hamlets Mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said: “We strongly believe in the right to free speech and association, and I am pleased that, with the police’s support, this group were able to exercise that right whilst upholding respect for our communities – which is the hallmark of our ‘No Place for Hate’ pledge.”
Supt De Souza Brady, from Tower Hamlets police, said: “We will continue to balance the rights of individuals and groups to free expression with the rights of the community to go about their business with minimal disruption.”
Salman Farsi from the London Muslim Centre said: “Whilst Islam may prohibit the consumption and sale of alcohol for Muslims – it is not for any particular groups to impose those views on others –nor bully other communities. We stand steadfast with our partners to ensure Tower Hamlets is not divided by those seeking to harm our community. We live in a pluralistic society and we should learn to respect each other’s faiths and values.”
Azmal Hussain, Chair of Brick Lane Caterers Association, said: “Brick Lane is the Curry Capital of the UK and we are a major tourist attraction. It is good that these people did not disturb our businesses when they visited. We stand firm with the community and police to oppose voices that wish to divide us.”
Alan Green, Chair of Tower Hamlets ‘No Place for Hate’ and the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum, said: “We respect difference here in Tower Hamlets. That means that Muslims are free to practice their religion, but also that Muslims are free to contribute to our wider society without compromising their own values. This is what constitutes a free society and we will stand against outside groups who wish to undermine the good relationships that exist here.”

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