CAIRO – A video posted by a far-right British group showing the so-called “Christian patrols” has sparked fury inside UK, as Muslim community leaders expressed growing fears of community tension adding that they were "shocked" by the "fringe neo-Nazi" group.
“Efforts to intimidate and marginalize our community have been relentless,” Dilowar Khan, executive director of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, told Huffington Post UK.
"However, we take comfort in the support given by our partners in the community, of all faiths and none, who have always stood firmly together to oppose hatred and division.
“We are working with the authorities in response to this incident, which has left many people in fear of intimidation and threats.
"Our response to the so-called ‘Muslim Patrols’ was unequivocal; our response to the so-called ‘Christian Patrols’ will be the same. We will not let those who espouse hatred to damage our wonderful community relations.”
Shot by members of his far-Right Britain First organization on Friday, footage showed "activists" handing out leaflets advertising their so-called Christian Patrols in Tower Hamlets.
Britain First, which is led by Paul Golding, filmed themselves drinking cans of lager, handing out leaflets for ‘Christian Patrol’, and seeking out 'Muslim Patrol' for a confrontation.
The footage ended with them holding a banner by the doors to the mosque, which read: "We are the British resistance."
Holding a picture of murdered British soldier Lee Rigby, the caption read, "The day Lee Rigby was murdered, thousands of patriots were born... the fightback has begun."
The video appeared as a reaction to another footage posted in January 2013 which showed a number of hooded men calling themselves “Muslim Patrol” that was widely condemned by British Muslim community leaders.
Anti-racism groups have joined the chorus of condemnations for the far-right patrols, expressing solidarity with British Muslims.
“The ‘Muslim Patrols’ had nothing to do with the East London Mosque or the mainstream Muslim community. The so-called ‘Christian Patrols’ from this hate group have nothing to do with the Christian community either,” Julian Bond, director of the Christian Muslim Forum, said.
Dr Glyn Robbins, chair of the local anti-hate network, United East End, has also expressed opposition to the patrols.
“The people of Tower Hamlets will not be intimidated by this mindless stunt. We have shown our solidarity in the face of such intimidation before and will do so again,” he said in a statement cited by Huffington Post.
"Police at Tower Hamlets are aware of an internet video showing recent activity on the Borough," a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
"We will work with our partners in policing the diverse communities in Tower Hamlets to provide a safe environment for those who live, work and visit the borough.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan police said it was aware of the video but no arrests had yet been made.
"The Metropolitan Police Service takes these incidents very seriously and any activities that may raise community tension will be monitored.
"No arrests have been made."
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.
The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.
In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Responding to the statement “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.