I was part of a small demonstration in Bradford today for the Free Sakineh campaign and against stoning as part of the 100 Cities against Stoning campaign. The problem was the policing measures on the day, due to an English Defence League (EDL) protest in the city that day.
800 members of the far-right EDL held a demonstration against militant Islam. The problem with the EDL is that their policy on human rights abuses in Islamic countries is that it’s fine. They believe the problem is the growing muslim population in the UK and they were proven wrong today.
The EDL had their demonstration and fought police, local people and each other but were ultimately ignorant of one thing that much of Bradford understood: that the stoning and torture of citizens by any state is wrong.
I was going to Bradford to protest the EDL but am a supporter of the campaign and felt it relevant to bring this up in Bradford at the anti-racist demonstrations. I talked to locals, especially muslim youth about the demonstrations and the case. Some knew of the case already and were supporters.
However, most were not willing to have a photo taken with the banner due to the tension in the city on the day. One man volunteered to have a picture taken holding the Free Sakineh banner that I had made in front of the police cordon that impeded our protest.
We unfurled the banner to cheers and applause from the anti-racist demonstrators. Anti-racists and muslim youth in Bradford know about Sakineh’s case.
The campaign against stoning has our support.
Together we stand, together we fight! We demand human rights!