5 held in UK over ‘Muslim vigilante’ videos Footage uploaded onto YouTube

LONDON, Jan 25, (AFP): Five men have been arrested in London after videos emerged of a self-styled “Muslim patrol” whose members abused passers-by for being gay, drinking alcohol or wearing mini-skirts, police said Friday.
The amateur footage was taken on the streets of east London, an area with a high concentration of Muslims, earlier this month and uploaded onto YouTube.
The East London Mosque in Whitechapel has condemned those responsible, saying they were a “tiny minority” whose actions were “utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord”.
Detectives voiced particular concern about a YouTube video entitled “Muslim vigilantes in London harass and taunt gay male”, in which a group of men verbally abuse a man in the street for being homosexual.
“Don’t you know this is a Muslim area?” an off-camera voice says. “You’re walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag, mate. You need to get out of here... You’re dirty, mate. You’re gay, mate, get out of here... You bloody fag.”
Detective Chief Inspector Wendy Morgan urged the victim to come forward, saying the police “takes such homophobic behaviour very seriously”.
Another video, entitled “Muslims enforcing Sharia Law on the streets of London” and dated January 2013, carries the voices of several men asking a woman in a mini-skirt to “not dress like this in a Muslim area”.
The men also ask revellers out on a Saturday night to move away from the mosque, and demand that one man put down his beer, saying: “No drink in this area... this is a Muslim patrol. Alcohol is evil.”
Five men aged between 17 and 29 years old have been arrested since Sunday, all on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and public order offences. One was held in Acton, west London, and the others in east London, police said.
In a statement on its website, the East London Mosque said self-styled ‘Muslim patrols’ had been harassing members of the public on the streets outside its premises late at night, and were not welcome.
“We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets,” it said.
The mosque said it had informed police and the local authorities about their presence, and urged anyone who was approached by them to do the same.
“We will monitor the situation closely and our imams will be speaking out against such actions,” it said.

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