MP Mike Freer ‘threatened by Muslim group’ at Finchley mosque
16:38 30 October 2011
A Tory MP was allegedly threatened by supporters of the extremist Muslims Against Crusades group during a constituency surgery at a mosque in north London.
Up to a dozen protesters forced their way in to North Finchley mosque in Barnet borough on Friday afternoon.
Mike Freer was meeting constituents there, and officials had to lock him in a private room for his own safety.
A chilling message ahead of the incident on the Muslims Against Crusades’ website referred to Labour MP Stephen Timms who was stabbed while holding a surgery in east London last year.
It warned the attack on him should serve as a “piercing reminder” to politicians that “their presence is no longer welcome in any Muslim area”.
Messages the website, as well as on Facebook, urged supporters to target the Finchley and Golders Green MP, who had played a prominent role in the campaign against Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah’s visit to the UK earlier this year.
Mr Freer said there was a vocal demonstration outside the mosque as he began his surgery, but then a second group of people arrived and forced their way inside.
“One of them sat at a table where I was dealing with a constituent and was abusive,” he said.
Mr Freer, a member of Conservative Friends of Israel, said he was called a “Jewish homosexual pig”.
He was escorted by staff at the mosque to a locked part of the building until assistance arrived and described the incident as “uncomfortable”.
But it was only when he was made aware of the web reference to the attack on East Ham MP Mr Timms that he realised the potential danger.
The message also stated that “as a member of the Conservative Party”, Mr Freer “has the blood of thousands of Muslims on his hands”.
“Had I seen the website beforehand, I suspect it might have been a bit more worrying,” the MP said.
As well as the campaign against Mr Salah, Mr Greer also spoke out against the proposed visit to the UK by US pastor Terry Jones, and stressed he will “continue to condemn all forms of religious intolerance”.
Mr Freer said he wanted home secretary Theresa May to closely monitor the actions of Muslims Against Crusades and subject them to the “full force of the law”.
He said: “The difficulty is with this group is it’s the third incarnation of other groups. Every time it gets banned, it just renames.
“What I’m saying is the Home Office needs to be continuing to monitor this group and as soon as they overstep the mark then the full force of the law should come down on them.”
A Met Police spokesman said: “Officers attended North Finchley mosque at 4.10pm on Friday after a disturbance by protesters inside the building. There were no arrests.”