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Pride Event Axed for Anti-Islam Ties

Pride Event Axed for Anti-Islam Ties

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A gay pride march planned for next month in London's East End has been canceled amid its organizers' controversial ties to anti-Muslim ideology.

The far-right English Defence League, a group that leads street protests against the spread of Islam, withdrew its plans for the event, citing criticism from other gay groups toward them and lead organizer Raymond Berry, who stepped down Tuesday. The march was tied to a rash of homophobic stickers (pictured) bearing lines from the Koran placed on buildings, walls, and other surfaces all over the East End.

Several local gay rights groups distanced themselves from East End Pride, including Out East, which issued an open letter accusing the organizers of using the event to stigmatize Muslim people.

U.K.-based gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who heads the group OutRage! issued a statement Wednesday withdrawing his support.

"We fear the march will be exploited and hijacked by the far right to create divisions and stir up intolerance against Muslim people," Tatchell wrote. "OutRage! opposes both homophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry. All forms of intolerance are wrong. The gay, Muslim, Jewish, Asian, and black communities know the pain of prejudice and discrimination. We should stand together, united against hate. Let's celebrate East London's multicultural diversity. Don't let bigotry divide us. Together, we can defeat the hate-mongers."

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