Muslim group plans British royal wedding protest

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A group called Muslims Against Crusades has applied for permission to protest outside Westminster Abbey on the day of the royal wedding, British police said Tuesday.

The force has rejected the request as they have the power to ban protests along the main route that Prince William and Kate Middleton will take back from the abbey to Buckingham Palace.

However, the group may be able to stage a protest nearby and police said they were in negotiations on the matter.

A counter-demonstration is also planned by the English Defence League, which staged numerous protests against radical Islam in recent months, many of them turning violent.

"We've just been given notice of two potential demonstrations on April 29 one by the Muslims Against Crusades and the other by the English Defence League," a police spokesman told AFP.

"We're currently in negotiations with both parties."

Muslims Against Crusades says on its website that William is "one of the biggest advocates of British imperialism" and through his army and air force career has "direct involvement with the murderous British military".

It vowed to stage a "forceful demonstration" against Britain's interventions in Muslim countries, warning that "the day which the nation has been dreaming of for so long will become a nightmare".

Lynne Owens, assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard, told the BBC: "We see this as a day of celebration and what we will be doing is making sure that no protest disrupts that celebration of the royal family."

"We have to authorise a demonstration but we can put conditions on that demonstration and it's that negotiation process that we're engaged with at the moment," she added.

About 5,000 officers are being deployed to police the royal wedding, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of London.

© 2011 AFP

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