The protest will be held at Piccadilly Circus from 1 PM on Saturday 31 October. by the fountain, opposite the Trocadero.
Nearest Tubes: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment.
Train: Charing Cross.
Bus: See here.

 

Press Release

Muslim democrats triumph over Islam4UK

LONDON, Monday, 2nd November 2009

This Saturday British Muslims for Secular Democracy (bmsd) and our supporters reclaimed London streets and their religion from the anti-democratic and extremist message of Anjem Choudary's Islam4UK.

We were supported by many friends of other faiths and none.

We will all do the same again if the Islam4UK group, or any other front organisation of the extremists of al Muhajiroun, tries to stage another stunt like Saturday’s failed "March for Sharia" from Westminster to Trafalgar Square.

Islam4UK claims that it cancelled its march because it had received threats from far right groups. It may well have, but the bottom line is this: had al Muhajiroun dared to march on the streets of London, they would have been outnumbered to the point of complete humiliation.

The irony and cowardice of al Muhajiroun’s excuse is noteworthy. Al Muhajiroun have repeatedly praised the 9/11 terrorists as "magnificent", yet they wholly failed to muster up the moral courage to square up to the debut challenge by Muslim democrats. They ran scared - terrified by the prospect of an intellectual duel of conflicting viewpoints, in the full glare of the media and the public.

For since we launched our campaign three weeks ago, we have been inundated with messages of support and interview requests not just from the UK, but from places as far afield as Sudan and Australia.

Our satirical YouTube video (http://www.seculardemocracy.org/video.html) - which made it clear that the offensive demands of groups like Islam4UK are only on the fringe - has had 10,000 hits in just five days, in its various versions.

We have had extensive coverage in the blogosphere. For every comment that derides our support for secular democracy and one-law-for-all, there are six voices of encouragement.

On Saturday, Piccadilly Circus was teeming with journalists, bloggers, human rights activists, organisations from different shades of the political spectrum, and followers of a wide variety of religious beliefs and none, including Vaclav Havel, the former Czech President.

British Muslims for Secular Democracy wishes to thank all the individuals and groups who turned out on the day - as well as those who were there in spirit - to proclaim the virtues of liberal democracy. This was a day when everyone set aside their differences and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against the bigots who dream of taking away our freedom and liberty.

If there is to be another day like Saturday, we will be there.

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Notes to the editors:

  1. BMSD is made up of a group of Muslim democrats of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, who support a clear separation between religion and the State.
  2. BMSD’s mission statement: "To promote civic engagement, social inclusion, responsible citizenship and good governance particularly within constituent Muslim communities of Britain; in order to build an understanding of the shared values between all citizens to enable them to live in an inclusive, pluralist, secular and confident Britain."
  3. bmsd claims no mandate or false representative status. Our primary concern is democratic engagement not detailed theological analysis or debate. The level and depth of commitment to the doctrinal core and orthodoxy of the faith varies among Muslims as much as it does in members of other faith groups. bmsd founders wish to create a platform for alternative, diverse Muslim views, essential for a progressive, multi-layered, democratic identity that is not in conflict with itself or fellow citizens.
  4. For details please visit http://www.bmsd.org.uk

PHOTOS:

Free-for-use hi-resolution photos for the media are available at: http://seculardemocracy.org/photos.html

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For more informations about British Muslims for Secular Democracy, visit the BMSD website.