Derbyshire’s Pride event on Saturday was postponed at the last minute due to the flooding experienced across the north of England.
The event had been due to go ahead at the Bass’s Recreation Ground but was called off at the last minute along with many other events in the area, to take place later in the year.
Organiser Andy Manning told the Derby Telegraph: “We have been on Bass’s Rec since 7am this morning and we were desperate to be able to put Derbyshire Pride on. But the water is just everywhere and it’s up to our ankles already.
“We have no real choice but to postpone because of the safety issues in going ahead.”
The postponement of the event has scuppered an anti-gay protest by a small group of Muslim extremists who have picketed the event in previous years with some being handed criminal convictions for stirring up hatred against gay people and causing distress with threatening behaviour.
A group calling itself the Derby Muslim Action Force had been publicising the planned 2012 protest on its blog.
Following news of the postponement on Saturday, it issued a statement saying: “I know that many of you will be disappointed that they will not be able to confront the evil, but Alhamdulillah Allah (swt) knows our intention and will reward us accordingly.
“For all those that made placards and other such banners in preparation, please keep them safe, indeed they will come in use for next year’s gay parade, or can be used in other such demonstrations.”
A message specifically addressed to the LGBT community said: “You may have avoided the Muslims on this occasion, but know that your Lord (swt) is all seeing and all hearing and on the day of judgment you will be judged accoing [sic] to your actions.
“We ask you to leave this great sin that you are committing. We invite you to Islam and to the vastness and pleasure of the hereafter, and know that your Lord is not in need of your worship, but YOU are in need of Him.
“On the day of judgment we will say to Allah (swt) that we conveyed the message to you, if you embrace Islam you will live a good life and if you do not, then we the Muslims are rising and will continue to forbid the evil that you commit…”
The Derby Muslim Action Force had said last week: “The heat always seems to bring out the worst of this society and this summer is no different with the upcoming Gay Pride march … As Muslims it is our duty to forbid this major, deplorable evil of society.”
With an image of a red bar through a rainbow flag, the Force’s blog post said it would call on gays to follow “a natural way of living as detailed in Islam” and claimed to have had national support for its protest this year but at least one local Muslim leader has confirmed they do not represent the views of most Muslims in the area.