Jihad in East Londonistan

Melanie Phillips, Spectator (London), March 16, 2008

I wrote yesterday about the attack on Canon Michael Ainsworth in his own east London churchyard by three ‘Asian’ youths. From the rather fuller stories about this incident in today’s papers, it is clear that this is far from the first such attack in the area. Indeed, there appear to have been many attacks on vicars or churches by Muslims who are clearly intent on turning east London into a no-go area for Christians (and, given the stoning of the Jewish group visiting the area on Holocaust Remembrance Day, for Jews as well. The mosque in the picture, by the way, was once St Sophia cathedral which was converted into a mosque on the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the fate of innumerable churches under Islamic conquest).

The jihadi nature of the attack on Canon Ainsworth, who was taken to hospital after being kicked and punched in the head when he asked three ‘Asian’ youths who had gathered in the churchyard of the ancient church of St George-in-the-East to quieten down, is unmistakeable. The Mail on Sunday reports that the church

has regularly had windows smashed by youths—who on one occasion shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque.’ . . . In another attack on the church, families were showered with glass when a brick was thrown through a window during a service. Mr Allan Ramanoop, a member of the Parochial Church Council, said often parishioners were too scared to challenge the gangs. The Asian church member, who lives nearby, said: ‘I’ve been physically threatened and verbally abused on the steps of the church.

On one occasion, youths shouted: “This should not be a church, this should be a mosque, you should not be here”. I just walked away from it—you are too frightened to challenge them. We have church windows smashed two to three times a month. The youths are anti-Christian.’ . . . The Reverend Alan Green, Area Dean for Tower Hamlets, said it was the latest in a series of ‘faith hate’ crimes in the borough. . .&bnsp;. ‘There are one or two incidents of faith hate every month across the borough and across all faiths’.

The Sunday Telegraph further reported:

A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety advice, found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months. The organisation suggested that vicars should consider taking off their dog collars when they are on their own.

Pinch yourself. This is Britain.


A clergyman is in hospital after he was beaten up in his churchyard by three Asian youths, in an incident which police are treating as a “faith-hate” attack.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, asked the gang to keep their noise down but they turned on him, taunting him about his faith and hitting him in the face and body.

He was found slumped in the churchyard of St George-in-the-East in Stepney, east London. Police said the gang made “remarks insulting his occupation” before fleeing.

A parishioner said: “There was blood everywhere. All the church members are in shock. Our canon is such a nice man who has done so much for the parish.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack on March 5. No arrests have been made. Mr Ainsworth was initially treated in hospital and given the all-clear, but has since returned for further treatment after feeling unwell.

The canon, a former member of the Church of England’s General Synod, moved to the area from Manchester last year. Colleagues said that his appointment was designed to improve the parish, which has a large Bangladeshi Muslim population and high levels of unemployment.

The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme, who used to work with Mr Ainsworth, said: “I would want to see a condemnation of this cowardly behaviour by senior Muslims in the community and really hope there isn’t an over-reaction from the white community.”

A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety advice, found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months. The organisation suggested that vicars should consider taking off their dog collars when they are on their own.

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