An Islamic hacker group has taken down the website of the English Defence League (EDL) in advance of this afternoon's EDL protest in Dudley, Birmingham.
The hackers, who call themselves the Izzah Hackers, have denounced the EDL as "an anti-Muslim hate organisation".
They attacked the EDL website as part of a online campaign against Islamophobic groups.
The EDL's Twitter feed has also been hacked, though it is not known whether the Izzah Hackers are also responsible. Satirical fictitious tweets are being sent out from it.
The EDL describes itself as "an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism". However, it is widely perceived and reported as a far-right anti-Muslim organisation.
Whether the hacks will hamper the EDL's organisation of today's protest is unclear, because its Facebook page remains active. Two thousand
Up to 2,000 EDL supporters are expected at the rally today, which is due to start at 2pm. The EDL are protesting against plans to build a new mosque.A large counterprotest by the Unite Against Fascism group will take place at the same time.
A counterprotest by Unite Against Fascism group will take place at the same time.
The mayor of Dudley, Councillor Margaret Aston, told the EDL supporters: "Don't come here intent on causing trouble." In an interview with the
In an interview with the Birmingham Mail, Aston said she was concerned about potential violent clashes between the two groups.
"I think everyone is a little nervous," she said.
The Bishop Of Dudley, the Right Reverend Graham Usher, has also made his views known, stating that he is "deeply saddened" that the EDL would "try to divide and sow the seeds of distrust in our community". He said: "I deplore, in the strongest terms, those who single out for hate our Muslim brothers and sisters. I see an attack on one faith as an attack on all faiths."
West Midlands Police will not disclose how many officers will be deployed. There will be road restrictions in Dudley to accommodate the protests.
David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, said: "We will protect the right of people to peacefully protest, but expect everyone who visits the borough to respect local people and their rights to live in harmony. Most of all though, violence in all its forms is not acceptable and won't be tolerated on Saturday."