U.K. media is reporting that violence broke out during a demonstration to protest President Bush’s visit to London yesterday that was sponsored by a coalition including the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. According to one report:
Three people – including a 60-year-old woman accused of indecent exposure – have been charged after an anti-war demonstration. Scotland Yard made 25 arrests after 10 officers suffered minor injuries during a demonstration in Parliament Square as George Bush visited Downing Street on Sunday. Up to 2,500 demonstrators gathered.in the square to mark President Bush’s farewell tour of London, with around 1,200 police officers working on each day of his visit. Members of the Stop the War Coalition, CND and the British Muslim Initiative organised the rally.
The BMI billed the demo as follows:
President George W. Bush will visit London during his final European tour this Sunday. CND, Stop the War and the British Muslim Initiative are planning a protest in London on that day against Bush and his war crimes, and against the British government’s continuing support for his wars.
Troops Home from Iraq – No to US Missile Defence – Don’t Attack Iran
The British Muslim Initiative (BMI) is a relatively new organization whose leaders were formerly part of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). The BMI leaders include Anas Al-Tikriti, whose father is the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq, Azzam Tamimi, formerly with the MAB and closely tied to Hamas, and Mohammad Sawalha, a past President of the MAB and referred to by Israeli and U.S sources as a former Hamas military commander. According to sources in the U.K, the split between the MAB and the BMI appears to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Prior to the split, the MAB often joined in coalitions with far-left U.K groups such as those identified above. The Stop the War coalition, as well as the MAB and the CND (Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament), were the sponsors of the February 2003 anti Iraq war demonstration in London reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood organizations frequently ally themselves with far-left political movements in coalitions relating to U.S. foreign policy and to Israel.