A rally held by the UK’s far-right Islamphobes has been countered by hundreds of protesters in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh.
The joint demonstration by the Scottish Defense League (SDL) and English Defense League (EDL) was aimed to “stop the Islamization of the United Kingdom.”
But the protesters voiced opposition to the anti-Islam demonstrators and rapped them as fascists.
Both groups faced off at Edinburgh’s City Chambers but a large number of police forces formed a buffer zone between the two to prevent any clashes.
Rafał Pankowski, a member of the Never Again group in Poland, said the far right had been trying to mobilize members of the Polish community in the UK against their Muslim neighbors.
He referred to Jacek Międlar, 28, an antisemitic priest, and his fellow activist Piotr Rybak who organized the event.
“Jacek Międlar and Piotr Rybak are well known as extreme hatemongers. They intended to promote their hateful message to the audiences in the UK. Unfortunately, there is a big surge in far-right nationalist activity among the UK Poles this year,” he said.
Despite having been suspended by the Catholic church for his controversial sermons, Międlar continues to address thousands at various right-wing rallies throughout Poland.
Piotr Rybak has been charged for setting fire to an effigy of an Orthodox Jew during an anti-Muslim protest, and was heard to say, “Our duty and the duty of the newly elected government … [is to say] we will not bring a single Muslim into Poland. Poland is for Poles.”
Tension has heightened in Britain following three terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
Muslims were targeted in Finsbury Park, north London, last week, in an attack during which one man was killed and nine others were injured. The attacker has been charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder.