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Legoland booking cancelled due to ‘extreme Islamophobia’

Legoland booking cancelled due to ‘extreme Islamophobia’

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday March 18 2014

BBC News reports on the Chair of the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) Haitham Al-Haddad’s comments that the organisation’s private hire of Legoland for a family fun day was cancelled because of “extreme Islamophobia”.

The MRDF had hired Legoland for the fun day on 9 March expecting a large number of Muslim and non-Muslim families to attend and enjoy the theme park’s attractions during the off peak season. The theme park is usually closed during the off-peak season and is open to private hire over this period. Although Legoland had fully supported the booking, it was forced to cancel following an avalanche of abusive anti-Muslim comments and far-right threats posted on its social media accounts. Such anti-Muslim comments were further exacerbated by Richard Littlejohn’s column in the Daily Mail about a “Jolly Jihadi Boy’s Outing”.

On LBC radio yesterday, Duncan Barkes’ The Whole Show asked whether the cancellation was the result of Islamophobia. A secular Jewish female caller drew comparisons with people of the Jewish faith who have also hired out venues privately for communal social outings. Despite this, she expressed her disagreement with Legoland’s decision to allow Al-Haddad to hire out the park rehearsing claims that he is a ‘hate preacher’.

Another caller rightly pointed out if Al-Haddad was indeed a hate preacher, he would have already been arrested by the police on charges of incitement to hatred, clear indication that such allegations though bandied about, have not been substantiated.

During the late night radio discussion, a participant caller observed that the majority of people in Britain are not Islamophobic but that this event had been sabotaged by a ‘small group’ of far right members. However small the far right movement may be, it cannot be denied that its impact on Muslim communities has been immense and significant.

According to the BBC Asian Network, Al-Haddad said the Muslim community had been “victimised because of extreme Islamophobic attitudes by some in the UK.

“We welcomed everyone to enjoy our halal day of fun and to experience how we as Muslims live.”

The event was cancelled on the advice of the Thames Valley Police to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. The police force have consequently launched an investigation into the comments posted on Facebook and Twitter for violations of the Malicious Communications Act and incitement to hatred.


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