Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Muslim group condemns egg attack


A Luton businesswoman said a minority are trying to destroy unity in the town

A Muslim organisation in Luton has condemned protesters who threw eggs at Conservative peer Baroness Warsi.

The shadow minister for community cohesion was pelted with eggs at a visit to the town on Monday.

The Luton Council of Mosques (LCM) said it "strongly deplores the cowardly behaviour of a handful of individuals who threw abuse and eggs".

One protester said although they criticised the baroness they did not throw any eggs.

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.

'Shameful act'

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

Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, who was hit by at least one egg, debated with the men before being ushered into a nearby shop.

A spokesman for the LCM said: "The Muslim community totally disassociates itself from this shameful and appalling act.

"Such behaviour is not just unacceptable, but alien to the fundamental teachings of the Muslim faith - where the position of a woman is honoured and respected.

"Indeed, it was right and proper for Baroness Warsi to have received a welcoming reception as the town exhibits some excellent community cohesion."

Baroness Warsi being pelted with an egg
Baroness Warsi was pelted with an egg during a protest against her

Nigel Huddleston, the Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Luton South, who was with the shadow minister when the attack took place, criticised the protesters.

He denounced those responsible as "a small bunch of extremists bent on dividing the community".

Police are investigating the egg-throwing incident.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: "We would like to reassure the communities of Luton that we are undertaking a thorough inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the appalling incident."

Officers arrived at the scene shortly after it happened, he added.

Baroness Warsi told the BBC these type of protesters "bring Muslims into huge disrepute".

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

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

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