A Limerick nun has become a London hero after removing an Islamist flag and taking on the might of terrorist group ISIS in her local community.
Sister Christine Frost, a 77-year-old member of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, has previously been awarded an MBE for her youth work in a deprived area of East London.
Now the Limerick native has become a cause celebre in England according to the Irish Independent newspaper.
The paper reports that Sister Frost hit the headlines when she ordered the removal of a banner linked with the notorious Islamic State from the entrance of a housing estate in Poplar, East London.
She was concerned that the banner would lead to community tension in the area as similar flags have been flown in videos showing beheadings by the fanatical Islamist group.
She previously took down Islamist notices that branded Christmas ‘evil.’ An act appreciated by most of our readers.
She said then: “The more posters
I saw, the more angry I got.
If we said such things about Muslims,
we’d all be hanging from lamp-posts.”
Sister Frost has denied she is a campaigner against Islam but says, on the contrary, that she has tried to highlight the social deprivation and sense of grievance that pushes Muslim youth in her area into the arms of extremists.
She insists that with care and attention she can persuade young Muslims to reject Jihad and embrace life in Britain and said her actions were never meant to set one faith against another.
She said: “We must find a way of bringing people together. We must create cohesion, or we will have a Bosnia/Serbia situation.”
Sister Christine also revealed that she knows what it is like to be an immigrant having moved from Limerick to London as a girl.
After leaving a convent school at 17 she qualified to study physiotherapy but chose to become a nun.
She added: “My parents wanted me to do the medical course, but I had a personal conviction.”
Now based at a community centre in the East End, she wants the nearby financial moguls in Canary Wharf to help the kids in her area.
She added: “I want the wealthy people who have millions and live in Canary Wharf to come over here and help the young people, get them into training. Make that an attractive alternative for them.”
She told the Irish Independent that many Muslims have a persecution complex, linked with Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq and, more recently, Israeli attacks on Gaza.
The Isis flag may be gone,
but tensions over Gaza remain
high in Tower Hamlets
The black flag may have gone but the sentiments which led to what some insist was a symbol of Islamic extremism being raised over an east London estate within view of the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf were still much in evidence today.
The Will Crooks Estate in Poplar found itself on a faultline this weekend between protest at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and accusations of a more sinister political flirtation after a black flag in Arabic script similar to those sported by jihadist groups in the Middle East such as the Islamic State was raised over its entrance.
The banner, which appeared alongside a Palestinian flag and slogans condemning the conflict in the Occupied Territory, was taken down on Sunday afternoon after appearing last week amid claims that youths gathered around it had made antisemitic remarks when challenged about its presence.
Today, after several rounds of talks had seemingly secured a deal for its removal only for it to reemerge, with police concerned it would attract far-right counter-demonstrators, the flag - and its accompanying symbols - appeared to have gone for good. But a vexed debate about its significance was still raging.
A 21-year-old resident, who would only give his name as Haroon, put it: “It’s gone. Everyone was getting heavy about it, saying it meant ISIS was in Poplar. That’s rubbish. It was put up because of all the shit around in Gaza.
(SDR wonders: How can we be blamed for Gazans not using toilets?)
So, the flag is gone but what made these guys put it up there - the anger about the way Muslims are treated, the poverty, the bloodshed - that’s still there and it’s making people act like this.....
To blame the British for being in their native country is pretty thick......
Who ever put up this flag should be accused of IS affiliation and propaganda as such a flag is not something you buy over the counter anywhere.
The Tower Hamlets estate, named after a campaigning trade unionist and overlooked by the glass and steel finance houses of Docklands, is at the heart of one of the most diverse boroughs in London, with a large Bangladeshi Muslim population.
But opinion was divided about whether the flag’s appearance was a calculated attempt to spread alarm and intolerance, a misjudged political protest or an innocent Islamic symbol whose appearance had been wilfully misinterpreted.
Sister Christine Frost, a 77-year-old nun who lives in the community and made headlines last week by ensuring the flag was taken down, said it was likely it had been raised by youths who did not understand the effects of its symbolism.
The Arabic script on the banner in fact contained nothing more alarming than a shahada or one of the tenets of Islam: “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” But its close resemblance to the banners that have featured in countless Islamist propaganda films, including beheadings of captives, was undeniable.
Sister Frost told the East London Advertiser: “I told them ‘no politics please’ after seeing the black flag. So they took it down. They had no idea of the implications of the black flag being taken over by ISIS fighting in Iraq, in the same way the BNP appropriated the Union Jack and gave a bad feel to it.”
Some residents, both Muslim and Christian, criticised a decision by the controversial Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman, to fly a Palestinian flag from the town hall, saying it had raised the political temperature in the area.
After all this .....
Mr Rahman call for the black flag to be removed, adding he would not tolerate antisemitism or any form of hate.
Councillor Andrew Wood, who represents the area, said: “Wiser heads have eventually prevailed to ensure the flag was taken down.
My understanding is that it was not even people living on the estate who put it up but others interested in stirring up some controversy.
But there is now a risk of a precedent here and other flags could now appear elsewhere.”
(UK Ireland and Scottish buildings)
At last but not least, the palestinian flag
that was raised by the Muslim Mayor himself ...
Is this how a Royal British town hall should look ???