A nun has removed a controversial black Islamist flag from a London housing estate.
Sister Christine Frost, 77, of the Roman Catholic church, is a well-known community activist in east London.
When she and members of the local Muslim community decided the black Islamist flag was too similar to flags flown by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, a group that beheads non-believers, she took it down.
It ran the risk of destabilizing community cohesion, Sister Frost told The Guardian.
Now the community is debating whether the flag was in support of ISIS or an emblem of solidarity with the people of Gaza, representing a call for “cross border unity between Muslims.”
Residents of the area claim the Arabic writing on the flag was the creed, or shahada, of Islam: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon called the flag “extremely inappropriate,” reports The Daily Mail.
Sister Frost denies that the flag was raised to show support for radical jihadists.
“There's no way they would have thought it was to do with ISIS,” Frost said. “I couldn't believe it had been up for two weeks. I believe it means 'There is no other God but Allah.’
“The problem is that it has been adopted by ISIS,” she continued. “It's as ridiculous as saying the St. George's Cross is a symbol of the BNP. It's exactly like with the Union Jack and the BNP supporters. It's nothing to do with being British. They're just young hot heads, naive. I'm Irish and its as ridiculous as saying that I represent the IRA.
“The issue is aggression and insensitivity,” Frost added. “It could be seen to be aggressive.”
It is unclear exactly who raised the flag, but is believed to have been a group of youths.
A local banker admitted that he was “unnerved” by its presence.
Another Christian resident said he found the flag “very intimidating given what Isis are doing in Iraq to Christians and others.” He also felt that “an entry to a housing estate shouldn't have the creed of Islam hanging on it.”
Regardless of why the flag was raised, and to serve what purpose, it caused plenty of debate and alarm.