HARROW communities are bracing themselves ahead of two rival protests being held today outside Harrow Central Mosque on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) is holding a rally outside the mosque, in Station Road, starting at 5pm, saying it wants to commemorate the victims of the terror attacks.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has rallied supporters to hold a peaceful vigil and counter-demonstration between 1pm and 7pm in the same place today.

Metropolitan Police officers are expected to be out in force this afternoon, amid fears there could be a repeat of violent clashes in recent weeks at similar demonstrations in Birmingham and Luton.

The Harrow Times is standing shoulder to shoulder with the mosque and community leaders, condemning any attacks on the Harrow community and appealing for calm in Wealdstone this afternoon.

Navin Shah, assembly member for Brent and Harrow, is due to address the UAF demonstration this afternoon alongside Tony McNulty, MP for Harrow East.

He said: “I am going to be emphasising the message of unity.

“Harrow is one of the UK's most vibrant multi-cultural communities which thrives on racial harmony and the many achievements we have had.

“I will ask people to not let attacks from within or outside our community damage what we have achieved in Harrow.”

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who is chairman of UAF, spoke out ahead of the demonstrations against the SIOE rally.

He said: "People should wake up to the fact the protests outside mosques are taking us back to the fascism of the 1930s, when fascist thugs marched against Jews and their places of worship.

“This demonstration should be condemned and banned on the grounds of blatant religious discrimination and a threat to public order."

You can follow the progress of the demonstrations on this website throughout the day, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Harrow_Times