Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Tory Muslim peer pelted with eggs

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Baroness Warsi, who was hit by at least one egg, debated with the men

Conservative peer Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, named Britain's most powerful Muslim woman, has been pelted with eggs during a visit to Luton.

Baroness Warsi was taking part in a walkabout in the predominantly Muslim Bury Park area of Luton when she was confronted by a group of protesters.

The male protesters accused her of not being a proper Muslim and supporting the death of Muslims in Afghanistan.

Baroness Warsi, who was hit by at least one egg, debated with the men.

The shadow minister for community cohesion and social action was then taken into a nearby shop.

'Views challenged'

Baroness Warsi told the BBC that the men were "idiots who did not represent the majority of British Muslims".

She said these type of protesters "bring Muslims into huge disrepute".

"I stood up to this group and said I challenge your views," she told BBC News.

"They just weren't prepared to listen. They shouted. I said if you want to have this debate, listen."

She continued her walkabout with a police escort.

One of the protesters against Baroness Warsi, Sayful Islam, told the BBC they were "against everything she stands for".

He said: "She is not a practising Muslim. Clearly by looking at her she does not represent Muslims."

He said he and his fellow protesters did not throw the eggs at her.

Baroness Warsi was named as one of the most powerful women in The Power List - chosen by a panel led by Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The award was set up to celebrate high performers in business, the arts, media, voluntary and public sectors.



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