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Christians defend mosque from mob

18 November 2010

by Katy Hounsell-Robert

A CROWD demonstrated loudly outside the Jami mosque in Southsea, Portsmouth, on Saturday morning, and a large poppy was graffitied on a doorway.

Demonstrators were led by a former soldier, David Tallard, who had been wounded in Iraq. They had been angered by the burning of remembrance poppies in London by Muslim extremists chanting “British soldiers burn in hell” during the national two-minute silence observed on 11 November.

The crowd in Southsea was later joined by a coachload of English Defence League members, followed by anti-fascist groups. Firecrackers were set off and empty beer bottles, stones, and eggs were thrown at the Mus­lims standing outside the mosque, who were trying to reason with the crowd.

Canon Nick Ralph, who chairs the Portsmouth interfaith group, and its co-ordinator, Taki Jaffer, arrived with local churchgoers to try to calm things down and show support to the Muslims. Mr Jaffer praised Canon Ralph for going out in front of the hostile crowd. He said: “We condemn the people who burned the poppies, and we show respect to the people who died in the wars.”

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