This is Suleman Nagdi's First Person column, published in today's Leicester Mercury:
Why should we bear the cost of this protest?
Suleman Nagdi says the EDL needs to clarify its motives on several serious issues
As the visit of the EDL to Leicester looms large, it is a convenient time for us to gain clarity with regards to the EDL's position on issues that are important to us as a society in this country. How does the EDL feel on the need to recognise that violent extremism comes from many sources and the obligation to condemn violent extremism in all its ugly guises, regardless of the identification of the perpetrators?
We have always been appalled at mindless acts of violent extremism and know the importance of guarding against complacency so as to prevent atrocities committed by those such as the nail bomber David Copeland, the architect of the Oslo massacre Anders Behring and the attacks in Northern Ireland.
Does the EDL recognise the numerous threats to British society and will it condemn all threats unequivocally?
How does the EDL feel about placing a substantial strain on the police's resources caused by their visit? Leicestershire Constabulary spent more than £700,000 to manage the EDL's last visit. With the police intending to station the same level of officers, a similar cost is likely.
At a time of public sector funding cuts, this spending is necessary but ultimately unsustainable and crippling to the taxpayer.
What link does a reprehensible attack by a group of girls on an innocent girl have to do with violent extremism? Will the EDL stage a protest for every single assault committed in this country? How does the EDL feel about how money spent on managing their march stretching the resources employed on everyday policing to keep our British citizens safe?
How does the EDL feel on the public disorder created by some of its membership on its visits to cities across the country, public disorder which costs the taxpayer millions in terms of damage and which also forces thousands of peace-loving British citizens to stay at home for fear of becoming victims of public disorder?
How does the EDL feel about the fact that taxpayers' money which is used to pay for damages are diverted from spending on many other important areas of public concern?
How does the EDL feel about airing their grievances in a manner that is not such a threat to public order, namely through legal and other political channels? We are privileged to live in a country where we all have the democratic right to express ourselves so long as this is done in a lawful manner. We are blessed to have a legal and political structure where we can campaign for change as long as this is pursued in a suitable non-violent fashion. Does this approach not appeal to the EDL?
For the sake of saving taxpayers' money and preserving public order we must know what the EDL feels about the issues outlined in this article at a time when many of us are suffering from the harsh economic climate.
Suleman Nagdi is spokesman for the Federation of Muslim Organisations