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?
— Will Black (@WillBlackWriter) April 8, 2017
OK, if you need helping out, people chose [paywall] cake over hate:
— Hamish MacHaggis (@HMachaggis) April 9, 2017
— BarryButler (@barryjbutler) April 8, 2017
— Lucy (@LucyONicholls) April 8, 2017
— Naznin (@Naznin08) April 8, 2017
There was an EDL rally in Birmingham against Muslims. The people of Birmingham & central Masjid opposed it with lots of cakes, tea and fun. pic.twitter.com/JSmHEHUfMY
— Junaid (@ibrownlad) 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 (@ANMarshall) April 9, 2017
— Cllr Majid Mahmood (@ClrMajidMahmood) 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
— Made in Birmingham (@madeinbhamtv) 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 Twitter