'Not all calls for Jihad are violent' say Met Police

The force said they are prepared to take ‘robust’ action against protestors


People take part in a 'March For Palestine', in London on October 21, 2023, to "demand an end to the war on Gaza". The UK has pledged its support for Israel following the bloody attacks by Hamas, which killed more than 1,400 people, and has announced that humanitarian aid to the Palestinians will be increased by a third -- an extra £10 million pounds ($12 million). Israel is relentlessly bombing the small, crowded territory of Gaza, where more than 3,400 people have been killed, most of them Palestinian civilians, according to the local authorities. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Metropolitan police say they are prepared to take “robust action” against antisemitic demonstrators this weekend but will not clamp down on all calls for jihad.

On Saturday, around 100,000 anti-Israel protestors are expected to march through central London a day before 40,000 to 50,000 people attend a rally against antisemitism.

Separately, a smaller protest has been organised by the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir to take place outside the Egyptian embassy on Saturday to demand Muslim nations take military action against Israel.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan, who will be the gold commander for London this weekend, said hate crime and communal tensions had risen since the start of protests following the October 7 attack.

Over the weekend, 1,500 officers will be on hand each day to reduce disorder.

Arabic-speaking officers and lawyers will be present in the Met’s control room, while trained officers will be on the ground to spot “hate placards”. 

Discussing the Hizb ut-Tahrir protest, Adelekan said calling for jihad was “always contextual” though it can “upset and concern” observers.

"If we think people are chanting to incite violence we will intervene,” he added.

Inviting supporters to attend the protest, Hizb ut-Tahrir said: “The Zionist genocide continues while Muslim rulers do nothing. The professional armies of Muslim countries must end the occupation now.”

The Met’s main challenge at previously demonstrations, Adelekan said, has been ensuring marchers disperse peacefully at the end.

A minority have previously set off into London’s West End where they have set off fireworks and caused “fear and intimidation”.

He added: “Our clean intention to ensure no one is left in fear of their safety by a roaming group… Criminal acts within the protest or after the protest has finished will not be tolerated.”

Organisers from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have agreed to conditions for Saturday’s march that include limits on its route and time frame.

In part, that is to prevent disruption to Shabbat services at synagogues along the route, Adelekan claimed.

Physical barriers will be put up at the Cenotaph and officers have been told to intervene to prevent criminal behaviour around them.

Marchers will be handed leaflets explaining what actions and chants are prohibited by law.

"What we’re seeking to do is give absolute clarity on what will lend people in our cells,” Adelekan said.

Hundreds of police officers will meanwhile be on duty to ensure the safety of those marching against antisemitism on Sunday.

The force expect around 40,000 to 50,000 people to attend the demonstration, making it the largest protest against antisemitism since the Cable Street battle, organisers say.

Anyone attempting to disrupt the march will be “swiftly dealt with,” Adelekan said.

There is no intelligence that there are any specific threats to Jewish protestors and their allies, however.

Gideon Falter, chief executive of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, which has organised the rally, said: “Week after week, central London has become a no-go zone for Jews. We have witnessed mass criminality, including glorification of terrorism, support for banned terrorist organisations such as Hamas, and incitement to racial or religious hatred against Jews. The sad truth is that Jews do not feel safe in our capital city.

“Britain is known for its tolerance and decency, and we know that the people of this country stand with the Jewish community in this difficult time. That is why those who stand with British Jews, from up and down the UK, will be marching in London this Sunday in solidarity against antisemitism.”

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