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News Code: 1115


Far right group's 'invasion' of East London Mosque 'thwarted by parking ticket threat'

An 'invasion' of one of London's largest mosques was today dramatically thwarted - by the threat of a parking ticket.

Members of Britain First targeted the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, where they are alleged to have handed out bibles and ranted about 'extremism'. 

The gang of four are also believed to have worn shoes in the place of worship - a move branded disrespectful by religious leaders.

A post on the group's Facebook page read: "Britain First Defence Force activists have just invaded East London mosque.

"The Muslims have demanded our activists are arrested. Many British Army Bibles are handed out to worshippers."

But staff at the mosque told how their attempted "invasion" was cut short when they realised a police officer had pulled up next to the car. 

Media officer Salman Farsi said: "They turned up at about 12.35, and about four individuals came in and started filming.

"They had their shoes on and they trampled over the carpets. They were attempting to see the Imam."

But he explained: "They had parked in zig zag lines next to the traffic lights, and were told they were getting a parking ticket.  When they saw they were going to get a parking ticket and they ran off and jumped a red light. It was like they had no regard for any kind of traffic law."

He added: "Obviously we are upset about the manner in which they came into the mosque and didn't respect it as a place of worship."

Britain First was established as a political party in 2011. Senior members have described it as a "street defence organisation" opposed to extremism.

Source: ABNA