Charlotte Meredith, Huffington Post UK, July 15, 2014
Members of the far-right, pseudo-militia group Britain First have “invaded” a mosque in south east London in protest at the building’s separate entrances.
A bizarre video, overlaid with some very dramatic music, sees the paramilitary-clothed activists “inform the Imams that they have exactly 7 days to remove sexist, segregationist signs from outside their building, or we will”.
Like most mosques, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Sikh gurdwaras, the North West Kent Muslim Association conducts acts of worship on the basis of gender separation.
But, the Britain First “Kent battalion activists” can be seen forcefully telling one elderly man at the mosque that they “object” to the signs.
“In this country we have equality,” one member says, as the Muslim man protests over the group refusing to take off their shoes in the place of worship.
“When you respect women, we’ll respect your mosques,” they argue.
They then demand the mosque “cover up” a cross on the front of the building, saying “it’s offensive to Christians . . . you don’t believe in Jesus.”
A statement on the group’s website under the headline “Britain First Activists invade Crayford mosque”, said: “Islam treats and views women as second class citizens.
“Britain First will not allow Islam to drag our standards back to the 7th Century.”
The controversial group is led by a former BNP councillor, Paul Golding, while their political guru, Jim Dowson–a hardline evangelical anti-abortion activist–was previously in charge of BNP finances.
Britain First is the most active far-right group to emerge from the collapse of the BNP and EDL over the last year.
The group’s Facebook page has more than 350,000 “likes”–making it more popular than the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, and arguably making it the UK’s biggest political Facebook site.
Files released by the Hope Not Hate group suggest that as many as 2 million people could be interacting with Britain First content online each day.