The Union Jack came out in full force in the heart of Britain on Saturday 7 April as two very different events took place in Birmingham. The English Defence League (EDL) marched through the city centre. But Birmingham Central Mosque held a counter event with bunting, cakes, and tea.
— Free Radio News (@freeradionews) April 8, 2017
Guess which was better attended?
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
— Will Black (@WillBlackWriter) April 8, 2017
OK, if you need helping out, people chose [paywall] cake over hate:
— BarryButler (@barryjbutler) April 8, 2017
— Lucy (@LucyONicholls) April 8, 2017
— Naznin (@Naznin08) April 8, 2017
It was no coincidence, of course. The tea party was a direct response to the EDL March. And people thought it was a perfect way to make a stand:
— Neil Marshall #FBPE (@ANMarshall) April 9, 2017
— Cllr Majid Mahmood 🌹 (@CllrMajid) April 8, 2017
And it’s obvious where the police wanted to be:
Fantastic spirit (and samosas!) at Birmingham Central Mosque's tea party show what Brum is really about. pic.twitter.com/XJbGid6WEo
— Piali Das Gupta (@PialiDG) April 8, 2017
Excellent event at Birmingham Central Mosque. More unites than divides us pic.twitter.com/Aas6ivaOjF
— WestMidsPCC (@WestMidsPCC) April 8, 2017
And unity was certainly the message the Mosque were trying to get across:
— ITV News Central (@ITVCentral) April 8, 2017
— Birmingham TV (@BhamLocalTV) April 8, 2017
Down with this sort of thing
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said the EDL were “spreading a message of hatred”.
They have come from outside Birmingham and don’t understand our values.
Being English doesn’t mean hating other people. It’s about [us] all being part of something. And its nice that the mosque have opened the doors.
And this isn’t the first time England’s Muslim community has tackled hate with tea. In 2013, six protesters turned up outside York Mosque to protest. Members of the Mosque met them with tea and biscuits and invited them in. And it seemed to work.
Some might regard these responses as being quintessentially English. Indeed. There is more that unites us than divides us. Carry on.
– Read more Canary articles on Islamophobia.
Featured image via TwitterSupport us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.