The radical Islamist group Islam4UK, under the leadership of Anjem Choudary, has been banned under counter-terrorism laws. Home Secretary Alan Johnson had announced the ban, which took effect on 14 January. This comes shortly before a planned march of the group through Wootton Bassett to honour Muslims killed in Afghanistan. The small town is known for the informal public mourning for the soldiers of the nearby RAF station killed in Afghanistan.
The group, that among other things aims at establishing the Islamic republic of Britain and introduce shari’a law, has been banned under some of its other names before, e.g. al-Muhajiroun. Its founder, Omar Bakri Muhammad is banned from the UK and lives in Lebanon. Radical in charge Anjem Choudary claims that the ban is a sign of dictatorship and of the fact that freedom and democracy are wrong for the UK. He also explained that he will keep preaching as before.
Various Muslim groups have welcomed the ban, while other commentators feel that this might only render the organization more extreme. Some of its members have been charged with terrorist activities in the past and are still imprisoned. With the new ban, already the membership of Islam4UK becomes a criminal act and can be punished with 10 years in prison.