An Open Letter from British Fighters Against the Islamic State:
“We are some of an increasing number of British nationals fighting in Syria and Iraq as volunteers with local forces against the Islamic State.
We wish first and foremost to express our sorrow and anger at the recent terrorist attack in Westminster, London, and to convey our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families. We know only too well what is to lose friends, to treat those horrendously wounded, to pull the dead and dying from the rubble.
We also wish to express sympathy and solidarity with the many ordinary Muslims going to work and school today feeling that they are under special scrutiny, and fearful of what this might mean for them. We share their fear, and we urge anyone who might be tempted to take against ordinary Muslim people to think again. If you associate them with the Islamic State, you are giving such groups exactly what they want: a greater and more violent gap between the Muslim world and ours.
The familiar sounds of hate and bigotry are sounding again – on social media, and in the more guarded mainstream press - where the intent is nonetheless clear. Hate crimes will spike again. There are calls to demolish mosques. The fact that local Muslims raised thousands for victim support, in the immediate aftermath of the attack, is easily drowned out by the bandwagon. The EDL have called a snap demonstration, eager to make hay from the suffering of innocent people.
For all the sound and fury, we don’t remember seeing anyone from Britain First, EDL, UKIP, or their like, by our side in battle. Which is a good thing, because we wouldn’t have tolerated them.
Our ranks are made up of Kurds, Arabs, Yezidis, Brits, Yanks, Canadians, Aussies, Asians, Europeans - Muslims, Christians, Alevis, atheists - too many faiths and races to list. A multi-ethnic, multi-faith entity, standing united against hate and extremism.
The majority are, in fact, Muslims, and not only are we proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them - the truth is, we can’t do this without them.
The only way to defeat the Islamic State, and groups like it, is with ordinary, moderate Muslims on side. The only way to defeat hate and extremism is to not give in to it.
Don’t stand with Britain First, the EDL, UKIP or those who talk and think like them. Stand with us.”
Top - Westminster Abbey, viewed from the House of Parliament 1895
“A crime of mysterious character was committed last night at 16 Godolphin Street, one of the old-fashioned and secluded rows of eighteenth century houses which lie between the river and the Abbey, almost in the shadow of the great Tower of the Houses of Parliament.”
Note in Book: Godolphin Street is a fictitious address, but there are streets around the Abbey that fit this description well.
Middle Left - Charing Cross Station and Hotel Exterior 1864
Middle Right - Charing Cross Station Interior 1900
Mme Fournaye, wife of murdered spy Eduardo Lucas, was spotted causing a scene at Charing Cross the morning after his murder and was arrested four days later in Paris.
Bottom Left - Suspension Bridge, Hammersmith 1887
Bottom Right - King Street, Hammersmith 1903
John Mitton, valet to Eduardo Lucas, was cleared of the charge of murder because he was visiting friends in Hammersmith the night of the murder.
Note from Book: The original stone pillars of the bridge still stand, but the main support and bridge deck have been replaced to accommodate the increase in traffic and vehicle size.