Golders Green MP hidden for safety during ‘racist abuse’ at mosque
PUBLISHED: 17:32 03 November 2011
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Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer was subjected to “homophobic and racist” abuse by an Islamic group during a constituency surgery in a mosque, it is claimed.
Mosque staff had to lock Mr Freer in an office for his own safety as a group of 10 or 12 men subjected him to vitriolic abuse.
As he tried to speak to constituents at the North Finchley Mosque, the Conservative MP said he was called a “Jewish homosexual pig”.
An angry mob, which is believed to have included members of the Muslims Against the Crusades group, were allegedly involved in the “uncomfortable” incident.
A small crowd had gathered outside the mosque in a peaceful protest last Friday, but Mr Freer claims the demonstration soon turned sour.
He told the Ham&High: “The mosque’s management committee was trying to keep them calm, but one of them came over and sat down at a table next to me and was being abusive face-to-face, while the others were in the background.
“That’s when I was moved to the office.”
The MP said the incident erupted when a member of the mosque took offence at his visit to the place of worship.
Mr Freer, a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel, said the two had a clash of opinions over how to solve issues in the Middle East.
A Facebook campaign was started, gathering pace and attracting the attention of the Muslim group.
In the lead-up to the incident, the group posted a message on its website referring to Stephen Timms, the Labour MP who was stabbed while holding a surgery in east London last year.
It warned the attack should serve as a “piercing reminder” to politicians that “their presence is no longer welcome in any Muslim area”.
Mr Freer said: “The issue with the group (Muslims Against the Crusades) was more to do with what they perceived to be my religion, which they got wrong, and also my sexuality and they do not believe in a parliamentary democracy.”
The group has since released a statement on its website which denies that Mr Freer was threatened by any of its members.
However, the statement did call his visit “highly insensitive”.
Police attended the North Finchley Mosque on Friday, but there were no arrests.
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