A Muslim group planned a royal wedding day protest outside Westminster Abbey, but had its application turned down. Muslims against Crusades had requested that it be allowed to stage a protest outside the building as Prince William and Kate Middleton get married on April 29.
Although the group has been denied permission, a “static” protest nearby has not been ruled out. Scotland Yard said they were in “on-going discussions” about whether demonstrations at other locations near the royal wedding would be blocked.
The English Defence League has also applied for permission to hold a protest, in reaction to Muslims Against Crusades.
Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens pledged that the royal wedding would not be disrupted.
Five thousand police officers will be on duty on the day and there will be 70-80 close protection teams for VIPs.
Earlier this year a member of Muslims Against Crusades was fined £50 for burning poppies at an Armistice Day ceremony and now the group is calling for Muslims to disrupt the wedding, describing the Royal Family as “enemies to Allah and his messenger”.
On its website the group said that the wedding should be disrupted because: “Unfortunately, Britain’s continued interference in Muslim lands is showing no signs of abating; the plundering of resources, the murdering of innocent (Muslim) men, women and children and the forced indoctrination of the satanic democratic creed have become hallmarks of a brutal regime led by a very brutal dictator.”
Muslims Against Crusades spokesman Anjem Choudary said the group still plan to protest on the day of the royal wedding.
“I think the timing on the royal wedding is absolutely spot on because it will raise awareness among the masses here and around the world that the Muslims will never remain silent,” he said.
Owens has been quick to reassure the public that even if a demonstration is allowed, the day will not be marred.
“What we have to do whenever we’re deciding about whether there can be a protest, if they’re asking to protest in the area around Parliament, it is defined by a very set definition of law – we have to authorise a demonstration but we can put conditions on that demonstration,” she told the BBC.
“It’s that negotiation process that we’re engaged in at the moment. But [people] should be absolutely reassured that it won’t disrupt the day and we’ll have a very safe and happy celebratory event.”
Scotland Yard said is currently in a position to impose anti-terrorism stop-and-search powers as there has been no intelligence of a specific terrorist threat to the wedding, report the BBC.
However, police do have powers to ban any major protests along the main route that Prince William Kate Middleton will take on the royal wedding day.
What do you think – should groups be allowed to protest near the royal wedding on April 29?