“Say no to alcohol” was the message of Muslim group The Shariah Project during a march through Brick Lane on Friday.
The leader of the group, Anjem Choudury, led 30 Shariah Project supporters through one of London’s most popular nightspots, in an attempt to persuade Muslim businesses to stop selling alcohol.
EDL and British Patriotic Force members were present at start of the rally at Altab Ali Park, but were kept away from protestors by a heavy police presence.
Choudury said: “I think at this time of the year everyone agrees alcohol is a big problem. The problem is that these shops that are Muslim shops, are now selling alcohol.”
“The mother of all evil in our society is alcohol. I think the police and NHS would agree that a lot of their time is taken up during the night through alcohol offences.”
Sharia Project supporters handed out flyers to local businesses on Osborn Street and Brick Lane before ending at the Brick Lane Masjid.
The protestors also made speeches on why they believe the consumption and sale of alcohol is wrong.
Abdul Haq, 32, from Camberwell, said: “Obviously the alcohol epidemic is something that is affecting the whole of Britain. Muslims who are supposed to be the best of people, rather than trying to combat the evil, they are profiting from the evil financially.”
Other members of the public also voiced views in opposition to the rally.
Pascale Luce from West London, was shopping in Brick Lane. She said: “I am amazed that he can say that and nobody reacts. It is extraordinary. I am really angry. I can’t believe that these people can impose their garbage on a free society.”
The Shariah Project was set up in North East London last year with an aim of implementing Shariah law in Britain.