Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hate Mob Attacks Galloway; Candidate Says Police Saved His Life

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hate Mob Attacks Galloway; Candidate Says Police Saved His Life

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

THE bitter election battle in the East End has spilled into violence, with extremist Muslims and antiwar protesters targeting George Galloway and Oona King.

Antiwar campaigner Mr Galloway was forced to take refuge from Islamic militants who denounced him as a "false prophet".

The former Labour MP said "the police saved my life" after supporters of radical

group Hizb-Ut-Tahrir clashed with members of his Respect party last night.

Labour's Ms King had her car tyres slashed and the vehicle was pelted with eggs by a gang of youths angry at her support for the Iraq war. Both incidents triggered fears for the safety of Mr Galloway and Ms King as they prepared for a stormy hustings meeting in Bethnal Green and Bow tonight.

Labour's 10,000 majority in the seat is

under serious threat from Respect and the contest has been marked by some of the most vitriolic campaigning in the general election.

Mr Galloway was electioneering on the Osier council estate in Bethnal Green last night when a gang of 30 Muslim fundamentalists, who claim voting is un-Islamic, surrounded him and his supporters.

The men said they were angry at Mr Galloway's attempt to woo Muslim voters. They said they were "setting up the gallows" for him and warned any Muslim who voted for

his antiwar Respect party that they faced a sentence of death".

After a fight broke out between the two groups, police were called and Mr Galloway was forced to hide in his car in an alley until the violence calmed down. Two men were later arrested.

One resident said: "I heard shouting and looked out into the street to see a large group of Asian men. Many of them were fighting.

"There were punches and kicks thrown, Continued on Page 5 _ serbut then a large number of police arrived and broke up the riot."

Speaking to the Standard minutes after the attack, Mr Galloway said it was clear the men were worried that he could become MP for an area with a large Muslim population. …

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