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Fury over ‘Xmas hate’ posters across East End

17:44 21 December 2010

'Evil Xmas'... message of hate

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THE season of goodwill has been marred across the East End this week with ‘evil Christmas’ hate posters pasted up in the streets.

The poster headline declares “the evils of Christmas” which it says leads to debt, rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, blasphemy, exploitation, promiscuity, crime, paedophilia, paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, violence, vandalism, alcohol, drugs—and “claiming God has a son.”

Police, MP, community leaders and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets have stepped in to get rid of the posters festooned on walls across Poplar and Limehouse—as one community leader feared they could lead to revenge attacks.

The posters were first spotted by the East End’s famous ‘Neighbours in Poplar’ charity which distributes food and comforts at Christmas to pensioners and the lonely of all faiths and none.

“The more posters I saw, the more angry I got,” Neighbours In Poplar founder Sister Christine Frost told the East London Advertiser.

“Someone is stirring hatred which leaves the road open to revenge attacks or petrol bombs through letter boxes. I told the Mayor we are all scared.”

She added: “If we said such things about Muslims, we’d all be hanging from lamp-posts.”

The posters appear to be professionally printed and go on to say that “in Islam we are protected from all of these evils.”

They give a website address—but that brings up the ‘no display’ error message, while a mobile number given is ‘unobtainable.’

Neighbours In Poplar alerted MP Jim Fitzpatrick who asked Tower Hamlets council to take them down.

He said: “These posters are extremely offensive and have upset a lot of people—that’s why we jumped on it and asked the council to remove them.”

The Poplar & Limehouse MP praised Sister Christine for her charity work distributing meals and presents to pensioners and the lonely.

“She is rooted in the community and doesn’t take offence lightly,” he added. “But these hate posters really upset her. Christmas is close to her belief.”

Police confirmed today (Tuesday) that they had received complaints and were investigating.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman said in a statement: “The messages on these posters are offensive and do not reflect the views of the Council or the vast majority of residents.”

He organised a Christmas reception at the Town Hall for Christian leaders this evening to give an assurance that the posters which “upset and antagonised many residents” had been swiftly removed by council environment teams as soon as a formal complaint had been received.

Sister Christine is now setting up an inter-faith group of volunteers after Christmas to counter extremism and raise awareness of the East End’s multi-culture.

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