Campaigners expose far-right bid to launch a race war off the back of insulting cartoon exhibition of the Muslim prophet Mohammed
A RACIST plot to spark a “civil war” in Britain by staging a provocative exhibition of prophet Mohammed cartoons was blown open by campaigners yesterday.
Anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate published a 32-page dossier alleging that a September 18 exhibition will be at the centre of a plan to spark confrontations in multicultural communities.
Chief executive Nick Lowles called on the authorities to stop the event, saying it is “simply seeking to incite division, hatred and violence.”
Mr Lowles warned: “Some simply want to provoke a violent reaction from Muslims in order to present them in a negative and intolerant light.
“Others hope the cartoons will spark a series of tit-for-tat violence that will ultimately lead to civil war.”
The Sharia Watch group — run by Ukip general election candidate Anne Marie Waters — announced plans for the exhibition earlier this month.
The event at an undisclosed central London venue is to feature cartoons from “satirical” magazine Vive Charlie, which counts Sun columnist Katie Hopkins among its supporters.
Infamous far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, previously banned from Britain as an “undesirable” for his virulent Islamophobia, is to be the main speaker at the event.
A similar exhibition attended by Mr Wilders in Texas this year was attacked by two armed men, who were shot dead by police.
The Home Office appeared to suggest yesterday that Mr Wilders could be barred entry to Britain to attend the event.
A spokeswoman said the government doesn’t comment on individual cases before adding: “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude non-British nationals from the UK.
“The government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they present a threat to our society.”
Organisers claimed the event was part of a campaign to defend free speech in the wake of the deadly attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in January by Islamic extremists.
But Hope Not Hate’s year-long investigation has revealed the real and “sinister” motives behind the event.
The group has insider evidence that Ms Marie Waters and other white extremists discussed using the exhibition to ignite race riots.
She met last month with English Defence League founders Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and Alan Ayling, as well as Britain First founder Jim Dowson, according to information passed to Hope Not Hate.
One idea allegedly discussed by the group was to hold a number of demonstrations in areas with large Muslim populations at the same time.
Racist activists would wave placards showing images of the prophet Mohammed in the hope of inciting a violent backlash from local Muslims.
“They believed that police would be too stretched to cope and at least one of the demos would lead to a riot,” the report states.
A source closer to Mr Lennon reported that “Isis sleeper sells within the UK would be activated to commit terrorist attacks” in response to the exhibition.
Mr Lennon was said to believe that ex-soldiers would then “take the law into their own hands.”
The report also highlights how British fanatics openly discuss plans for civil war scenarios online, including suggestions about urban warfare.
One recent fictional account of a civil war posted anonymously began with the publication of Mohammed cartoons.
Hope Not Hate says it is “highly disturbing” that people can openly talk about murdering Muslims in a civil war and face no police action.
Mr Lowles added: “This report is more than just an exposé of attempts to use the cartoons to incite a violent reaction.
“It is about a group of political extremists, as dangerous as the Islamists they claim to dislike, who are seeking to bring society to its knees and drive Muslims out of Europe through fear, violence and murder.”
Ms Marie Waters, who stood for Ukip in Lewisham East in May, denied the allegations and the party said it was standing behind her.
NICK LOWLES Hope Not Hate chief executive
The most important priority is to ensure that the cartoon organisers fail to incite the response they want.
They are setting a quite obvious trap and we must — at all costs — avoid falling into it.
That means no direct counter-demonstrations and trying to reduce the anger of people who might want to take to the streets.
We might feel good about expressing our anger so openly on the street, but the overall position — and the position of Muslims in this country — will be a lot worse if we fall for the trap.
There are a lot of people in Britain who are hostile to or suspicious of Muslims. Their views have been created, crafted and formed by inaccurate reporting, their own prejudice and the actions of Islamic extremists.
It would be foolhardy to do something that only exacerbates that.