MEP Sajjad Karim ‘threatened’ over EDL protest by home

Editorial. Sajjad Karim is a Conservative MEP for North West England. That means his politics are anathema to most anti-fascists. Nevertheless, while we have profound differences with Mr Karim, indeed with the entire Conservative Party and government, nobody should be forced to suffer intimidation  from gangs of EDL thugs and football hooligans outside their front door. Saturday’s manifestation was in fact part of a national flashmob programme, which had been organised by the EDL, to “celebrate” their second birthday. We can’t help wondering how many similar displays of testosterone fuelled machismo went unreported  up and down this supposedly tolerant country of ours. 

An MEP has said he and his family felt threatened when a group of people carrying English Defence League banners protested outside his Lancashire home.

Sajjad Karim, who represents the North West in the European Parliament, said up to 40 demonstrators arrived outside his house on Saturday lunchtime.

The Conservative MEP said he believed they wanted to intimidate him, his wife and young daughter as they were Muslim.

The English Defence League is yet to comment.

‘Huge mob’

A spokesman for Lancashire police said the force was investigating.

Mr Karim said: “We discovered a huge mob of people – I would say anywhere in the region of 30 to 40 people outside our home behaving in a very intimidating, threatening manner, holding up placards from the English Defence League.

“My wife and eight-year-old daughter were in the house as well. It was very intimidating experience for us.”

Mr Karim, who defected from the Liberal Democrats in 2007, said the group had gone to his house in Burnley, claiming that one member had wanted to deliver a letter to him.

He said people normally used a stamp or arranged to deliver the letter to his parliamentary address.

“That really was a pretence,” he said. “Their intention was to intimidate, to cause fright to my family and that is why they went about things in the way they did.”

He said he believed he was targeted because the EDL have an “anti-Islamic agenda” and his family is Muslim.

On its website, the EDL said it was opposed to “radical Islam”.

From BBC News . 05.07.11


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