A day out for Muslim families had to be cancelled at Legoland after staff and children were threatened by far-right extremists.
The theme park in Windsor, Berkshire, had been hired out exclusively to Haitham al-Haddad, who is said to be among the top 25 radical preachers in Britain.
More than one thousand Muslim families were expected to attend at a cost of around £100,000. Tickets would have cost around £17 each.
Al-Haddad, who leads the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), based in Tower Hamlets, had booked the children’s park for a day of ‘halal entertainment’ on March 9.
But after being inundated with abusive and offensive phone calls, emails and posts on social media, bosses at the amusement park decided to cancel the event.
One Neo-Nazi group wrote that it would make police in Thames Valley their ‘b****’ and that threatening children ‘rocks’.
The post on the group’s Facebook page also said: ‘My dad would be so proud if he knew I existed #itsgreatbeingus’
Members of the English Defence League were also said to have been involved.
A spokeswoman for Legoland told MailOnline the neo-Nazi group also posted a picture of one of their Muslim workers on Facebook with an offensive comment.
She added the extent of the abuse led Legoland to take down its Facebook page for a week.
The decision to cancel the event completely was made on the advice of police after no guarantees for the safety of staff and guests could be made.
One staff member at Legoland said that they were ‘appalled’ at the outcome and blamed misinformation ‘fuelled by a small group with a clear agenda.’
She added: ‘The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort prides itself on welcoming everyone to our wonderful attraction; however due to unfortunate circumstances the private event scheduled for Sunday March 9 will no longer take place.
‘This was an incredibly difficult decision made after discussions with the organisers and Thames Valley Police, following the receipt of a number of threatening phone calls, emails and social media posts to the resort over the last couple of weeks.
‘These alone have led us to conclude that we can no longer guarantee the happy fun family event which was envisaged, or the safety of our guests and employees on that day – which is always our number one priority.’
She said: ‘Sadly it is our belief that deliberate misinformation fuelled by a small group with a clear agenda was designed expressly to achieve this outcome.
‘We are appalled at what has occurred, and at the fact that the real losers in this are the many families and children who were looking forward to an enjoyable day out.
‘We would like to apologise to them and to the organisers, and to thank them for their understanding.’
Thames Valley Police are investigating reports of the offences under the Malicious Communications Act.
A police spokesman added: ‘As there is an ongoing police investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.’
The Muslim Research and Development Foundation could not be reached for a comment.
The MRDF’s leader al-Haddad was reported to be on a list of 25 extremist clerics identified by security chiefs and Downing Street as candidates for anti-extremism Asbo banning orders.
He has spoken in favour of a form of female genital mutilation, although he recognises it is illegal in Britain, and following the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, he wrote because he was a Muslim he would “enter paradise”.
Legoland has previously hosted several exclusive parties and celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as well as David and Victoria Beckham.
Source: Daily Mail