Extremist Muslim group calls off London rally

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A planned central London rally by a Muslim group accused of spreading extremist views was called off yesterday amid fears of violence and threats of prosecution from the city's Mayor, Ken Livingstone.

A planned central London rally by a Muslim group accused of spreading extremist views was called off yesterday amid fears of violence and threats of prosecution from the city's Mayor, Ken Livingstone.

Omar Bakri, the spiritual leader of al-Muhajiroun, cited security risks behind the move of the meeting from Trafalgar Square to Epping Forest, Essex.

Amid confusion about whether the rally was going ahead, 140 supporters of the National Front and United British Alliance turned up in Trafalgar Square as well as 60 members from the Sikh community. The Metropolitan Police said that four arrests were made, including one for carrying a knife in public and another for breach of the peace.

Mr Livingstone wrote to al-Muhajiroun's leader in Britain, Anjem Choudary, to warn him that he risked breaking the law if the Trafalgar Square meeting went ahead. Mr Choudary dismissed that threat, saying the consequences were only a £50 fine. The event was moved because al-Muhajiroun could not guarantee the safety of its supporters, he said.

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