Society

Anti-Semitic Youths Defend Black Flag Resembling ISIS Banner In East London

| by Jared Keever

A black flag with Arabic writing, similar to the ones flown by the jihadist group ISIS, flew from the entrance of a housing estate in east London Thursday.

The Guardian reports that the flag had been hung from an arch over the estate’s entry for a couple of days.

ISIS is an acronym that stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The group is responsible for the violent insurgency spreading across northern Iraq. It has the stated goal of establishing a new caliphate in the region, governed by strict Islamic law.

“People were taking photos of it last night,” a local resident said of the flag in London.

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The flag was flanked by Palestinian flags and banners with pro-Palestinian slogans.

When reporters from the Guardian went to the entrance Thursday to take more pictures, they were reportedly approached by a group of about 20 youths who asked them to leave the area.

One of the youths threatened to smash a camera. Another asked a passerby who also tried to snap a picture if he was Jewish.

"Would it make a difference?” the passerby responded.

"Yes, it f***ing would,” responded the youth.

When asked if the black flag was an ISIS flag, one man said, "It is just the flag of Allah.”

"So what if it is?” answered another.

A London police spokesman said his department had received no complaints about the provocative display. 

The Netherlands banned the display of the black jihadist flag in advance of a pro-Palestinian march in Amsterdam earlier this month.

The ban was the result of a wave of anti-Semitic violence in the country following the launch of the Israeli offensive in Gaza in early August.

“Nazi symbols, Hitler salutes and burning flags will not be tolerated. The same applies to the ISIS flag. Demonstrators may not carry it,” a police spokesman said before the march, according to The Irish Times.

Flying the ISIS flag in London is still legal, as it is in the rest of Europe.

The New York Daily News reports, though, that the black flag was removed from the London archway Friday morning, but the Palestinian flag and Gaza banners remained.

'Isis' flag flown in east London: http://t.co/A65VRgUc3L

— The Guardian (@guardian) August 7, 2014

Sources: The Guardian, The Irish Times, New York Daily News

Photo Source: Martin Godwin/Guardian, Wikipedia