Members of a controversial Islam protest group have confirmed they are attracting support from Cornish people who do not want to see the county “ruined by mosques”.
Posters, stickers and graffiti in support of the English Defence League (EDL), a group dedicated to the eradication of extreme Islamic beliefs, have recently sprung up on the back of road signs in Truro, St Agnes, Scorrier, Towan Cross, Carnon Downs and Lanner.
A representative from EDL Cornwall Division refused to comment about the stickers but told the West Briton: “Indeed we do have representatives for the Cornwall area. I’m afraid Islam is starting to creep its way into our beautiful county.
“Recent events have made people sit up and take notice. I can not confirm or deny anything regarding stickers around the county.
“I would just say our supporters are ordinary hard working Cornish men and women that are not prepared to have this county ruined by any more mosques and people walking around like they are in third world countries.
“Our supporters travel far and wide in support of our brothers and sisters that have to cope with far more than we do, at present anyway.”
Cornwall’s EDL facebook page has gathered support from more than 1,000 members since it began in 2010.
Thomas Graham, from Redruth, spotted the stickers around the Truro area. He said: “Plastering EDL posters and other graffiti over public signs is not only a disgrace but causes the taxpayer an unnecessary expense. I felt it my duty to report this to Cornwall Council having been informed that this type of action is an offence.”
A spokesperson from Cornwall Council said: “The stickers are being removed as part of the Council’s street cleansing contract with Cory Environmental.”
Of course, it’s completely untrue that the EDL’s aim is merely the “eradication of extreme Islamic beliefs”. As the comments by its Cornwall Division’s representative indicate, the organisation’s target is Islam as a whole – and, by extension, the people who follow that faith.
To what extent is Islam “starting to creep its way into our beautiful county”, then? According to the 2011 Census, there are just 855 Muslims in the whole of Cornwall – 0.2% of a total population of 532,000.
(As to the stickers that have appeared, the ones that feature in the photo accompanying the report, which call for “home rule”, have certainly not been produced by the EDL, though it’s possible local EDL supporters were responsible for putting them up.)