Soldiers returning from Iraq – and marching through Luton as part of a homecoming parade – were greeted with banners branding them as "butchers, war criminals, murderers, terrorists — and baby killers" by Islamic extremists.

Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, told The Express: “This was a very offensive protest by a tiny number of known extremists who should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of Luton’s Muslim community."

The police had to form a protective cordon around the Islamic fanatics when local people turned against them:

Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox called the protests “disgraceful, appalling and offensive”.  He continued "It is only because of the sacrifices made by our armed forces that these people live in a free society where they are able to make their sordid protests."  ‘The Sun Says’ agrees:

"Our brave troops have enough to put up with as they risk life and limb in Afghanistan and Iraq.  To top it all, now they fly home to vicious abuse from Islamic fanatics.  The Royal Anglians had to face a chanting mob waving grotesque placards accusing THEM of terrorism and child murder.  Astonishingly, this despicable demo went ahead with police approval.  When it turned predictably ugly, who did our brave bobbies arrest?  Not the extremists who started the trouble, but a couple of locals who rallied to Our Boys’ defence."

What do readers think?  Should the police have approved this "despicable demo"?  I think not.  It was the wrong time and wrong place for such protests.

Tim Montgomerie