Dowson, a former BNP member, announced his departure on July 27. While Britain First blamed “media pressure” and family issues for the decision and said he would be missed “enormously” in a saccharine post. Dowson publicly shamed the group’s tactics as “unacceptable and unchristian”. The 49-year-old said: “Most of the Muslims in this country are fine. “They are worried about extremists the same as us. So going into their mosques and stirring them up and provoking them is political madness and a bit rude.” Britain First posts triumphant videos of the so-called “invasions” on its website and Facebook page, where its paramilitary-style arm is seen confronting imams and worshipers. The “invasion” of East London Mosque in May which is how Britain First described the incident on their Facebook page – ended after a local Community Support Officer had noticed three middle aged men and woman had parked illegally outside the mosque in Whitechapel Road, the four had run a red light as they fled.
In Bradford, the groups staged the protests outside 10 mosques, handing out bibles and urging worshipers to renounce Islam, as well as visiting the Keighley home of the Mayor Khadim Hussain.
The group also organises “Christian patrols” in ethnically diverse areas and has been known to hand out Bibles to Muslims.
The invasions are run by another Britain First leader, Paul Golding, who came in from criticism from his former ally.
Dowson said: “No matter how many times I told him [Golding] I did not want decent Muslims intimidated, he just continued doing it.
“I have come to the conclusion that no matter how hard I tried, you cannot escape from the fact that the group is being overrun with racists and extremists.
“I think he is fooling himself and lots of people that Britain First is a Christian group. Sadly, it has just become a violent front for people abusing the Bible.”
Muslim leaders have called for greater protection of places of worship following the mosque “invasions” in England and Scotland.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said Britain First had “violated a place of worship” and had “left many members of the community angered and disappointed with the inability of the Government and the authorities to curtail this type of thuggish behaviour.”
In a statement to The Muslim News the Muslim Council of Britain urged “the authorities and the Government to urgently reassure our communities that action will be taken to safeguard our places of worship as, up until this time, there has not been any form of public condemnation of this extreme behaviour which threatens the peace in our communities.”