Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) marched through Walthamstow calling for the creation of an Islamic Emirate in the north London borough. The English Defence League (EDL) staged counter-demonstrations. London, United Kingdom. 30 July 2011
Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), a north London group advocating the introduction of Shari'ah law in the UK, marched through the London borough of Walthamstow. Members of the English Defence League (EDL), the far-right British group opposed to 'militant Islam' in the UK, were also present to counter-demonstrate against the MAC.
MAC, led by Anjem Choudary, are calling for the creation of an Islamic Emirate in London. The group recently put up posters and stickers in Walthamstow designating a 'Shari'ah controlled zone' in which drinking and smoking, among other practices considered un-Islamic by the group, are not permitted. Addressing a crowd outside Walthamstow Shopping Centre, speakers told of the ills of western society, of drinking problems and drug abuse, all of which could be cured through the application of Shari'ah law. MAC's website features an article identifying the untimely death of Amy Winehouse as symptomatic of the problem, to which Shari'ah is the cure.
A strong EDL presence was expected, but they mostly remained inside pubs along the march route with scores of police separating the two groups.
Police presence was very high, and despite a tense atmosphere and expectation of violence between the MAC and EDL, confrontations remained primarily verbal. Two arrests were made at the end of the march, the reasons for which are as yet unknown.
The march route was from Leyton underground station to Walthamstow Shopping Centre, adjacent to Wathamstow Central station.