Black jihad flag hoisted on East End estate taken down after nun's protest
PUBLISHED: 17:51 08 August 2014 | UPDATED: 20:03 08 August 2014
The Black jihad flag of war similar to those flown by jihadist fighters in Iraq which was hoisted above a housing estate in London's East End has been taken down after confrontation involving journalists and Muslim youths.
A campaigning Christian Holy Order Sister living on Poplar’s Will Crooks estate has persuaded youths to remove it from the entrance—but a Palestinian flag with Arabic writing on it remains flying.
“I told them ‘no politics please’ after seeing the Black flag,” Sister Christine Frost told the East London Advertiser.
“So they took it down. They had no idea of the implications of the black flag being taken over by Isis fighting in Iraq, in the same way the BNP appropriated the Union Jack and gave a bad feel to it.”
The flag bore similar writing to the jihadi flags flown by Islamic extremists.
The confrontation occurred last night when 20 youths swore at Guardian journalists approaching the estate in Poplar High Street and told them to “leave the area immediately”.
One threatened to smash a camera, according to the newspaper, while a passer-by trying to take a picture of the flag was asked if he was Jewish.
But Sister Christine, a member of the Order of Faithful Companions of Jesus who runs her Neighbours In Poplar community action group from her flat on the estate, refuted suggestions of anti-Semitism.
“It was never anti-Semitic—that’s being stirred up,” she insisted. “Some of the lads told me it wasn’t anti-Jewish. They were just concerned about Gaza.”
But asked if the Palestinian flag should also be taken down, she relied: “Possibly—it’s better if nothing was hoisted up.”
Feelings were being stirred up about Gaza while the plight of Christians in Iraq was “being ignored”, Sister Christine pointed out.
They were being “fired on and driven from their homes while the world ignores them”.
She added: “Christians in Mozal are being targeted by extremists daubing ‘N’ for Nazarenes on their front doors.”
Tensions over the flag hoisting in Poplar is being blamed on Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s decision to raise the Palestinian flag last week over the Town Hall half-a-mile from the estate—which was later taken down twice.
Opposition council members warned his action would incite race hatred and damage the East End’s fragile community cohesion.
Tory Group leader Peter Golds said: “Statements attributed to youths defending the Black Mantra and the appalling remarks to a reporter show what serious damage to community cohesion comes from the Mayor’s decision. I have real fears for future cohesion in the communmity.”
The town hall flag hoisting was followed by another at Timber Wharves playground on the Isle of Dogs the next day—which horrified parents worried that extremists were invading a children’s “safe” play area.