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The Eve of Al Quds
by Esmerelda Weatherwax
It's that time of the rolling lunar year, the last Friday in Ramadan when all the world's Muslims, Shia and Sunni forgetting their differences, come together to bay for Jewish blood and the capture of Jerusalem, which Holy City they call Al Quds. In London this year it will be tomorrow, same place as last year and the year before. A slow and chaotic muster off Portland Place behind the BBC, a fashionably late start, a shuffle down Regent Street, whatever route the police decide along or around Oxford Street to Grosvenor Square and the US Embassy where such luminaries as Mad Dame Jenny Tonge will address them on the subject of the Great Satan (USA) and the other Lesser Satan Israel. Jeremy Corbyn isn't expected this year.
Friends and I have observed this for too many years now. Some years there have been enough of us to mount a counter demonstration. Other years we concentrated on trying to get the police to order the removal of the Hezbullah flags.
Last year several pro-Israel and Jewish groups organised a counter protest, Stand Against Hate, which was good to be part of. They intend to do the same again tomorrow. I hope to hear the couragous Kay Wilson, an Englishwoman born who survived a knife attack by Palestinian jihadists who did kill her Christian friend. As tour guides they were walking in the countryside when they were set upon.
Over the years my friends and I have written to the Major of London, our MPs, the Home Secretary (ineffectual Theresa May for much of that period) complaining about the open flying of the green and yellow (Mother be quick, 'cos I'm going to be sick) Hezbullah flags. Every year the reply is the same. Our complaint to the police on the grounds refers us to orders from above to allow the flags. The beings above then reply to written complaints saying that policing is down to the senior officers on the ground.
This year Sadiq Khan was put under some pressure, not just to ban the flags but the entire march. There was a petition. An open letter from Kay Wilson. And the more sympathetic arm of the press. He did meet with the head of the Metropolitan Police, the unfortunately named Cressida Dick, but ultimately the pressure was resisted. The Islamic Human Rights Commission who organise the London event are pleased to inform their supporters that
"participants are welcome to bring flags that show solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Flags of proscribed (illegal) organisations will not be allowed. For example, you can bring a Hizbullah flag to show support for the political wing of Hizbullah. This is because the political wing of Hizbullah is not a proscribed organisation"
So the Party of Allah and kalashnikov ("Then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant" (Quran 5:56), will fly across my city again tomorrow. The city where two Islamic terrorist attacks this year have killed 13 and injured 98, not to mention our fellow citizens in Manchester where 23 were killed and 119 injured.
I'm not happy about it. But after at least 10 years of groups opposing it, more people are at last waking up to how offensive this march is.