Far-right protesters shouted and chanted outside London’s Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre this afternoon as Muslims were attending prayers.
Police officers were present to prevent any disorder.
Around 100 members of Britain First and the English Defence League gathered on the pavement opposite and some chanted anti-Islamic messages.
Others waved banners and placards.
Their protest took place while hundreds of men, women and children were inside for afternoon prayers.
An equal number of police officers kept the far right activists away from the front of the mosque in Regents Park.
They were supported by a National Police Air Service helicopter from Redhill that relayed an aerial view of what was going on the ground.
Members of the EDL sang ‘It’s our country, we’re taking it back’ to the tune of the Beach Boys’ Sloop John B as prayers were being held, while others simply shouted ‘Scum.’
The insult was returned in Twitter messages by some British Muslims.
Radical cleric Anjem Choudary was also attending worship and outside he advised Muslims not to cast any votes in the General Election.
He distributed leaflets with the title ‘why it is strictly forbidden to vote in Islam,’ and explaining that ‘Only God can make things lawful and unlawful.’
The London Central Mosque issued a statement saying:
Any Organisation which chooses to stand directly outside the Mosque can inadvertently portray a misguided perception to the public that they are somehow linked to the Mosque which they are not and never have been.
The Mosque also explained that it had asked the police to prevent the protests taking place:
We have asked the authorities not to allow such demonstrations to take place specially so close to the Mosque for a number of reasons including the disruption to prayers by the noise and the congestion it causes from thousands of peaceful worshippers (families and children) leaving the Mosque after prayer.