A Grantham resident has written to Grantham district councillor Ray Wootten begging him to do what he can to prevent a march by the English Defence League in the town in protest against plans for an Islamic community centre.
A group calling itself Grantham Town EDL plans to protest in the town on Saturday, February 22, from 1pm, against the building of an Islamic community centre in Mowbeck Way, off Alexandra Road.
The resident wrote to Mr Wootten, saying: “If there is any way you can do anything to prevent this march I beg you to do so.”
In the letter, the resident says they are “mortified” by the thought of the EDL coming to town. The letter continues: “I for one, as a student of religious studies, welcome the idea of a community centre for the Muslims of Grantham. There is a lot of misconceptions about their faith and I believe this centre would help educate and show people what Islam is about rather than believing the scaremongering often printed in the media. The people who will be attending Saturday’s protest are not residents with concerns about traffic or parking at the site, they are essentially football hooligans without a match to attend. Having seen a number of islamophobic postings regarding this event on social media I am concerned violence, be it physical or verbal, will undoubtedly occur as English Defence League members from across the country spill into our town. I will be keeping my children at home so they do not have to witness such hatred and I feel many others will too stay out of town, ensuring businesses of Grantham do even less trade on a Saturday than usual.”
Coun Wootten, who is a Police & Crime Panel Council Representative and Chairman of the Grantham East Neighbourhood Policing Team, as well as Chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I support peaceful and lawful protests. However, violence and intimidation is wholly unacceptable. If it should occur, individuals are subject to the law of the land and I call upon Lincolnshire Police to deal with any suspected criminal offences robustly and put them before the courts to be dealt with as soon as possible.”