Editorial: How parks get caught in religious hate

VampireTheme parks have recently become innocent victims in viral campaigns of religious hatred and fear.

False reports of ‘Muslim only’ days at Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures have circulated on the internet on a huge scale.

A link to a six-year-old story on the sensationalist Sun newspaper’s website has been the biggest culprit.

It reported on how the Staffordshire theme park was initially hired out by a Muslim organisation for private use.

The day did not ultimately go ahead due to a lack of interest, but it but it was never set as an exclusively Islam day in the first place.

This year, Chessington World of Adventures has been privately hired by the Muslim Research and Development Foundation on 9 November. The event is open to all faiths.

It is a great shame when embarrassing elements of opportunistic organisations such as the English Defence League use theme parks – which are supposed to act as outlets of escapism – to spread misplaced fear and religious hatred.

Chessington is closed to the public on 9 November in any event. No discrimination can possibly have taken place.

There will always that lack the life experience to think first before spreading fear without understanding the facts – but those such as the English Defence League and The Sun cannot so easily be forgiven.