Headquarters United Kingdom
|Motto Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense|
Website Stop Islamisation of Europe
Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE), also known as Stop the Islamification of Europe, is a group with the stated goal of "preventing Islam from becoming a dominant political force in Europe". It is a political interest group which has been active in Denmark and has conducted anti-Islamic protests in the United Kingdom. The group originated out of the joining of the Danish group Stop Islamisation of Denmark with English anti-Islam activists.
- Stephen Gash
- Anders Gravers Pedersen
- Central London
- Harrow Central Mosque protest
The group maintains that its aim is to oppose Islamic extremism; they have the motto "Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense".
The group describes itself as an alliance "with the single aim of preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe." The organisation calls for the total boycott of Muslim countries. The group advises boycotts of companies including Fisher-Price, Asda, Kentucky Fried Chicken and The Radisson Hotel chain because of their marketing of products to Muslims.
Stop the Islamisation of Europe was inspired by a Danish group of the same name who have held protests outside Danish mosques since the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The group has 6,600 supporters on its Facebook page. Social networking sites have been used to plan protests.
Stephen Gash (born 1953) stood in the Sedgefield by-election, 2007 (triggered by the resignation of Prime Minister Tony Blair) for the English Democrats Party. Gash gained 177 votes (this represented 0.6% of the votes cast at the election) . According to his election literature the main themes of his campaign were support for an English Parliament, resolving the West Lothian question and immigration control. Gash has also contested local elections for Carlisle City Council.
Anders Gravers Pedersen
Anders Gravers Pedersen was born in Denmark and lives in the small town of Storvorde. He contested municipal elections in Aalborg in 2005 and gained 383 votes and the group Stop the Islamisation of Denmark received a total of 1,172 votes. This represented less than 1% of the votes cast in the election. At the 2007 Danish Parliamentary Election Pedersen stood in Jutland and gained 73 votes.
In October 2007 the group staged a demonstration in central London.
Harrow Central Mosque protest
On 11 September 2009, SIOE co-sponsored a demonstration with the English Defence League (EDL) in Harrow which generated national and international media attention. The purpose of the demonstration was to campaign against the building of a five storey mosque, Harrow Central Mosque, which was under construction. The group had pledged to hold a peaceful protest after the EDL cancelled a planned protest on 29 August 2009.
In response to the protest, several Jewish community leaders condemned the group, after SIOE openly appealed to the Jewish community in an effort to encourage 1,000 Jews to carry the Israeli flag and support the protest. Rabbis Kathleen Middleton, Frank Smith, Aaron Goldstein, Hillel Robles and Mike Hilton sent a letter supporting the Harrow Mosque, saying SIOE use "outrageous lies" to try and divide Harrow's community, adding “As leaders of the Jewish community in Harrow, we are writing to express our support for our Muslim friends and neighbours, especially those at Harrow Central Mosque, who are under attack from those whose only purpose is to spread hatred and fear." The protests were also condemned by Councillor Susan Hall and Tory councillors Anjana Patel and Jeremy Zeid (who are Hindu and Jewish respectively), by The Jewish Chronicle newspaper, and the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors discrimination on behalf of the Jewish community in the UK. The CST asserted that SIOE "...provides the fuel for terrorism. British Jews should have no part of it." Unite Against Fascism was present to oppose the demo, as well as Muslims there to defend the mosque. In all, over 1,000 people gathered outside the mosque. Counter demonstrators clashed with the police, throwing bricks, bottles and firecrackers. Ten arrests were made during the protests, including the organiser of the protest Stephen Gash.
Stop the Islamification of Europe was originally a Danish anti-Islamist group which originated out of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. The group was founded in 2007 by Anders Gravers Pedersen, the leader of a small Danish party called the Stop the Islamisation of Denmark (Danish: Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark). On 11 September 2007, the group staged a demonstration in Brussels, Belgium.
Affiliate organisations have been created in 11 European countries including Denmark, Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden, as well as the United States of America.
In September 2009, John Denham, Labour's Communities Secretary, criticised the group and stated that it was "trying to provoke violence on Britain's streets" and called it "right-wing". Unite Against Fascism have opposed the group. The British National Party has consistently denied any links with SIOE.