Half way through a long cycle ride this afternoon, in London’s Trafalgar Square I happened upon the arse end of the latest anti-Israel manifestation. There was a great deal of police activity away from the square, and I pedalled past a branch of Starbucks with its windows smashed in. This proves that anti-Zionists do on occasion serve a useful purpose … in providing work for glaziers.
Within Trafalgar Square there were small groups of demonstrators lolling about, and among them a few Asian-British lads (“innit?”) waving the flag of the old Islamic Caliphate:
This banner, which features the Muslim creed, or Shahada, is not, as some bloggers have written, the standard of al-Qaeda. That has the long form of the Shahada in yellow on black, above a yellow circle denoting the sun. The caliphate flag is used by the salafist political movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir, but it is nonetheless increasingly associated with al-Qaeda fans in the lands of the infidel.
In this case what we have is a small group of dimwitted youth, and genuine al-Qaeda operatives would I’m sure view their antics as adolescent posturing. I watched as these scallywags took it in turns to wave their big bad flag while striking well ’ard poses, with another of their number filming the ridiculous spectacle on an expensive-looking digicam.
It was as much as I could do not to laugh at these silly little boys. Some plods in riot gear with whom I spoke were equally unimpressed, but they were reluctant to do more than watch and wait. This was probably for the best.