Mosque holds 'best of British' tea party in response to EDL rally

Birmingham's Central Mosque 'best of British' tea party Credit: ITV News Central

Officials at a mosque have answered the "hatred and division" of an EnglishDefence League (EDL) rally by hosting a "best of British" tea party.

The open-to-all gathering at Birmingham's Central Mosque, which saw thebuilding decked out with Union Flag bunting, was organised in response to an EDL event being held on Saturday in the city centre.

Originally earmarked to take place in the East Midlands, the EDL demonstration was switched to Birmingham after the Westminster terror attack to highlight what the group describes as a "continued increase in Islamic terrorism" linked to the city.

Birmingham Central Mosque's chairman Muhammed Afzal said local people would remain united irrespective of their religion or race.

The rally - condemned by Birmingham's political leaders in a cross-partystatement - is also said by the EDL to be a reaction to the city's so-calledTrojan Horse schools inquiry.

The West Midlands' elected Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, also attended the party.

Claiming the EDL was bringing "little more than division" to the region, MrJamieson said:

We are here today to celebrate the things that Brummies and English people hold in common.

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson

Birmingham Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne also addressed those who gathered to chat over cake, tea and coffee at the mosque.

The Labour MP told party-goers:

Today this is how we protest - by celebrating the quiet miracle of a normal life and the things that we love most about our city and about our country.

Birmingham Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne