Old Bailey scuffle before race-hate trial

1st November 2006

Fisty cuffs: police and pro-Muslim demonstrators fight outside the Old Bailey

A scuffle broke out between police and pro-Muslim demonstrators outside the Old Bailey today as a man was due to go on trial accused of a race hate crime.

Among the demonstrators was Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen - who interrupted a speech by John Reid in September when the Home Secretary asked Muslim parents to keep a close eye on their children and act if they suspected they were being radicalised by extremists.

The Old Bailey, London

It is understood that at least one person was arrested.

A policeman's helmet was knocked off as a man was held on the ground. Police reinforcements arrived.

Around 25 demonstrators had gathered outside the main entrance to the court where Mizanur Rahman, 22 from Palmers Green, north London, is due to go on trial.

He has denied soliciting murder and using threatening words or behaviour to stir up race hate during a London demonstration in February over cartoons satirising the prophet Mohammed published in Denmark.

The City of London police said later that four people were arrested - one for allegedly attempting to assault a cameraman and three others for allegedly attempting to prevent that arrest.

There are no reports of injuries.