Britain First 'battalion' invades mosque demanding removal of 'sexist' entrance signs

The far-right group have given Bibles to Muslims and conducted 'Christian patrols'

A self-styled battalion of the far-right group Britain First has “invaded” a mosque in south London.

The stated aim of the altercation on Sunday was to “demand the removal of sexist signs” outside the Crayford Mosque.

The signs designate separate entrances for men and women, so they can enter for segregated worship as is the custom in most mosques.

Men and women also sit apart in Orthodox Jewish synagogues and some Sikh gurdwaras.

A film of the encounter was posted on Facebook, set to dramatic drumming music and ending with the slogan: "Britain First Defence Force. No fear. No retreat. No surrender."

All sporting matching black flatcaps, the group of five “activists” marched into the mosque and asked to speak to the imam, before quickly giving up and speaking to the first person they came across.

The leader, Paul Golding, announced: “We’re Britain First, yeah? We object to your signs that are outside, the signs for men and women… in this country we have equality.”

The man politely asked them to remove their shoes in a place of worship but the Britain First members ignored him.

“When you respect women we’ll respect your mosques and you’ve got signs out there that segregate men and women,” Mr Golding told him.

A female member of the group accused Muslims of taking equality back “a hundred years” and told him to take the signs down.

The man promised quickly to take the signs down and ushered them outside but then there was another demand – to cover up the Christian cross built into the brick of the building, which is a former Methodist Church.

Mosque members explained it was part of the structure and under council control but Britain First called it “offensive” to Christians.

Syed Alam, who volunteers at the North West Kent Muslim Association, told the News Shopper they found Britain First "aggressive and threatening".

"They are filthy people creating trouble in our society," he added.

"They were quite lucky because if they had come earlier there would have been lots of people finishing their prayers and there could have been real trouble."

A statement on the group’s website claimed that members of the “Kent Battalion” had their homes searched by the Metropolitan Police hours after the incident on Sunday.

A spokesman said police had been called to "reports of a disturbance" but no arrests had been made.

He added: “The incident is being investigated by detectives from Bexley Community Safety Unit to establish whether any offences have been committed.

“Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team are carrying out additional patrols in the area.”

 

The “invasion” is one of many conducted by Britain First, which has been known to carry out “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas and hand out Bibles to Muslims.

Britain First, formed in 2011 by former members of the British National Party, proclaims itself as a “patriotic political movement”.

The group’s Facebook page was briefly shut down last month after a complaint about hate speech but was quickly restored.

Read more: Britain First Facebook taken down
BRITAIN FIRST HAND OUT BIBLES OUTSIDE MOSQUES
FAR-RIGHT GROUP THREATENS TO ARREST ANJEM CHOUDARY
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine