Key figures from Preston’s religious and civic organisations have signed a statement speaking out against a planned demonstration by the English Defence League.Advertisement
The far-right group have applied to Lancashire Police for a static protest on the Flag Market on Saturday 20 February to highlight what they claim is a ‘creeping Sharia’ in the city.
A statement denouncing the demonstration has been issued and is signed by the likes of the leader of Preston City Council, to multiple Lancashire Bishops and Umar Ayub a popular Virgin Trains worker at Preston Train Station.
The statement, co-authored by the founders of the Christian Muslim Encounters, Mohammed Ali Amla and the Reverend Dr Anderson Jeremiah, has been publicly issued and they ask for it to be shared on social media.
“The EDL has decided to hold a demonstration in Preston on Saturday 20th February 2016.
“The people of Preston are saddened that the far right has chosen to come to our city to express views which we consider to be hateful and divisive to all our communities. As proud citizens of Preston we totally reject the bigoted views of the EDL and express our strong opposition to this proposed demonstration. We are confident that the vast majority of Prestonians want these people to stay away.
“Lancashire has had to endure many such demonstrations over the years, all of which have proved to be counterproductive. This is totally unacceptable and has a detrimental effect on the lives of each and every member of our community.
“Preston is a multicultural and multi-Faith city, with a proud history of tolerance, respect and community cohesiveness. Our communities live peacefully together, work together and socialise together. We celebrate our unity and call on all to continue to foster good relations between our different communities.
“We invite all those who care for Preston to share this message on Twitter and Facebook and sign our message of solidarity with Prestonian’s opposing this unwanted presence on our Facebook page.”
Related: Opinion from Max Neil on why Preston must be heard against the EDL
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said they are still considering the application for the demonstration from the EDL and no decision had been made yet.
The full list of signaturies who back the statement against the EDL planned demonstration
The Rt Rev’d Julian Henderson Bishop of Blackburn
The Rt Rev’d Geoff Pearson Bishop of Lancaster
The Rt Rev’d Philip North Bishop of Burnley
Cllr Peter Rankin – council Leader – Preston City Council
Julie Ward MEP – Labour Party
Clive Grunshaw – Police & Crime Commissioner
Father Timophy Lipscomb – Vicar of Preston
Rabbi Ariel Abel – East & South Lancashire Jewish community
Co-ordinator Preston Christian Action Network
Trustee : Al-ansaar welfare and education
Nirinder Singh – Guru Nanak Gurdwara Cultural and Recreational Centre
Lakh Rai – Guru Nanak Gurdwara Cultural and Recreational Centre
Melanie Close – Chief Executive Disability Equality (nw) Ltd
Fiona Frank – secretary of Lancaster and Lakes Jewish Community
Cllr John Collins – Preston Deputy Mayor
Rev Pete Hamborg
Revd. Malcolm Hickox, Minister Fulwood Methodist Church, Preston
Revd Canon Ed Saville – Lead Officer Social Responsibility Blackburn Diocese
Council for Christian Muslim Relations
Pay It Forward Foundation/global movement
Cllr Drew Gale – Labour Party
Liz Neat MBE – NCBI International Associate
Maulana Amjad Yoosuf Patel
Connor Dwyer, Member of Youth Parliament for Preston.
Shaykh Salim Mohammed – Head teacher Iqra education centre
Frank Harrington – Preston Faith Forum trustee and lecturer in ‘Religion Culture and Society’
Julie Morrow. Head Teacher. Preston
(Moulana) Khalid Ibrahim – Head teacher & coordinator Quwwat Education Centre
Rev Mark Slaney, Superintendent Minister
Preston Ribble Methodist Circuit
Cllr Anis Faruki MBE – Labour Party
Dr Zakaria Terry Horne, treasurer of city mosque preston
Jeremy Dable – Chair Preston Faith Forum
Donna L Hussain Social Sector development Officer
Peter Lumsden – Trustee of Preston Faith Forum / Methodist district inter faith dialogue officer
Shoayb Bux – Jamea masjid committee member
Brett Lund Director Preston Green Centre Limited / Beautiful Planet Café
Cllr Martyn Rawlinson – Labour Party
Suafina Aslam – Vice Chair Sisters 4 Sisters
Cllr Roy Leeming – Labour Party
Kamran Ahmed – deputy and trustee at Iqra education centre
County Councillor Kevin Ellard – Labour Party
Cllr Terry Cartwright – independent
Rev Marc Wolverson, Vicar – St. James Church, Leyland.
Cllr Matthew Brown – Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Inclusion & Policy.
Sumaya Kovariwala – Preston Faith Forum project officer
Cllr John Browne – Labour Party
Ahmed James community Worker
Cllr Robert Boswell – Labour Party
Nigel Hartnup – retired
Rev Andrew Webb – Methodist Minister Preston Ribble Circuit
Cllr Peter Moss – Labour Party
Cllr Jason Jeffrey – Liberal Democrat
Father Peter Randall – assistant priest St Wildred’s
Mike Kewley, MA Philosophy student at the University of Liverpool.
Cllr Stephen Mullen – Liberal Democrat
Cllr Ismail Bax – Labour Party
Irene Flack – student at UCLan, secretary of UCLan’s Environmental and Ethics society
Asif Timol – Prestonian
Cllr Nicholas Pomfret – Labour Party
Ellie McGowan Youth Link co team leader
community cafe, Foxton Centre
Cllr Mark Yates – Labour Party
Yasha Mashoko- Methodist Minister, Preston Ribble Circuit
Kailash Parekh – volunteer & devotee at the Hindu temple
Cllr Jonathan Saksena – Labour Party
Christine Laubin, mother and grandmother
Cllr Brian Rollo – Labour Party
Anna Rachel Debbage, member of Preston Faith Forum and Hope Community
Jon Ranulf Aveyard, member of Hope Community
Cllr Pauline Brown – Liberal Democrats
Cllr Javed Iqbal JP – Labour Party
John Ogden, retired university teacher and Methodist minister
Cllr Elizabeth Atkins – Labour Party
Alistair Sinclair Director UK Recovery Federation
Denise Karen Plant
Councillor Phil Crowe – Labour Party
John Mansfield – Teacher of young people with learning disabilities.
Alison Naylor, Data Analyst, NHS.
Katie Pugh, team leader.
Luke Bosman, School teacher.
Cllr Salim Desai – Labour Party
Kerry Mansell – complementary therapist ,
youth work student
Emma Taylor, web designer from preston
Sarah Bell, support worker, Leyland
Loz Lomax, retired Hoghton, Preston.
Cllr James Hull – Labour Party
Cllr Yakub Patel – Labour Party
Cllr John Swindells – Labour Party
Saima Afzal MBE
Cllr Carl Crompton – Labour Party
Cllr Veronica Afrin – Labour Party
Cllr Salim Sidat – Labour Party
Cllr Noordad Aziz Hyndburn Borough Council
Najjif Shah – Training in Counselling
Umar Ayub – Prestonian
Gloria Bullen – living in Preston
Darren Smith. Born & raised in Preston, now a teacher of Religious Studies in Durham.
Alastair Sanderson – Teacher in Korat Thailand now, but from Preston.
Liam Darwen, logistics, leyland
Ibrahim Tanner – Light Foundation.
Nicola Harper Lee
Hillary Hopwood – East Meets West Lancaster
Tanya Wilcock – Walmer Bridge Village Committee
J E Bamber ….. Bamjimba Productions
Sue Taylor – Secretary to the Bishop of Blackburn and Churchwarden of Preston St George the Martyr
Natalia Lotocka Mystery Tea House
Jane Bell Labour Councillor South Ribble-Chair of Leyland Neighbourhood Forum
Arfan Iqbal – Light Foundation
CCllr Yousuf Motala – Labour Party
Valerie Wise, Chief Executive of Preston Domestic Violence Services
The Rev’d Canon Dr Shannon Ledbetter, Community Canon, Blackburn Cathedral
Cllr Phil Crowe – Labour Party
Ismail Timol, Executive Committee Member of Masjide Saliheen (PMCC)
County Councillor Matthew Tomlinson LCC
Terry Mattinson Youth Worker St Clares Preston
Cllr Keith Martin – South Ribble Labour Group – Penwortham Town Labour Group – Co-op Member – Unite the Union Workplace Rep
Chris Lomax President Preston and South Ribble Trades Council
Fr Ted Gannon – Parish Priest
Will you be sharing the statement? What do you think about the EDL demonstration? Let us know in the comments below