19 April 2011
A recently formed group, Muslims Against Crusade, have called for a forceful protest on the wedding day of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The group was formed after radical Islam4UK was banned last year, which in turn was a successor to the outlawed group Al Muhajiroun, and although radical Anjem Choudary plays a role in all three movements, Muslims Against Crusade claim to have no links with Al Muhajiroun. The group’s plans of protesting outside Westminster Abbey on 29 April – ironically together with the English Defence League – were banned by the Metropolitan Police. Muslims Against Crusade announced that they would still go ahead with their demonstration, possibly in a different location, in order to protest the Royal Family’s support of the war in Afghanistan.
The Muslim Council of Britain has strongly condemned the radical group’s plans, called them “silly antics” who disregarded the teachings and the ethos of Islam.
The extremist organization Al-Muhajiroun, also operating under the name Islam4UK and headed by radical Anjem Choudary, plans a protest march through Wootton Bassett, an English town that has become famous with public mourning ceremonies for British soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Islamist organization now wants to carry 500 coffins through Wootton Bassett in memory of Muslims “murdered in the name of democracy and freedom”. Anjem Choudary claims that those who honor the soldiers are no different to those who support the 7/7 bombers – in fact, Choudary himself has never explicitly denied his support for the 7/7 attacks.
Moderate Muslim groups meanwhile urged the police to stop the protest to prevent a backlash against British Muslims by right-wing British extremist groups. Gordon Brown condemned the plans as “abhorrent and offensive”, while senior police officer Sir Hugh Orde claims it would be better not to stop the march in order to avoid tension. So far, Choudary has made no attempt to withdraw from the plans, despite largest opposition.
Conservative Muslim Peer Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury has criticized a group of Islamic extremists who pelted her with eggs and shouted abuse at her during a visit in Luton. The shadow minister for community cohesion and social action had been meeting local businesses with Tory candidates when she was attacked in the street.
Up to 10 local British male protesters, believed to be members of the controversial Al Muhajiroun group, started shouting abuse at the Peer, accusing her of not being a proper Muslim and supporting the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan. Members of the group then threw several eggs at her, with one hitting her on the side of the head and another soiling her jacket, but she was not injured.
Instead of escaping, Baroness Warsi, surrounded by colleagues and journalists, tried to argue with the group. However, the extremists were unable to engage in the discussion and simply repeatedly asked Warsi whether she was in favor of Shari’a. It is believed the protesters were from the same group of Muslims who earlier this year marred the homecoming of British soldiers from Iraq through Luton, at which occasion protesters waved placards calling them “Butchers of Basra”, “murderers” and “baby-killers”.
Demonstrators calling for shari’a law to be imposed in Britain cancelled a march on October 31 in central London amid security fears. Anjem Choudary, leader of the radical Islamic sect Al Muhajiroun, said organizers Islam4UK had been forced to cancel the planned “March for Shari’a” from the Houses of Parliament to Trafalgar Square because of security concerns.
The Islamic Society of Britain, which was planning to join other organizations in staging a “dignified, non-violent” counter-demonstration, hailed the cancellation as a “great success”. A spokesman said: “Pressure from all sections of the community, including Muslims, has resulted in the Muhajiroun and the hot-heads rethinking their position. They realized very few people would turn up to support them and they would attract only very negative publicity.”
In central London, only about 30 protesters gathered at the base of the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus. They were holding placards which read: “Islam will not dominate”, “Free speech will dominate the world”, and “March for England”. Tehmini Kazi, director of British Muslims For Secular Democracy, said the protesters wanted to “reclaim the public spaces for British Muslims”. The group was against everything that Mr. Choudary stood for, she said.
The planned march by radicals from Islam4UK had provoked massive debate among many representatives of society, Muslim and non-Muslim, and also caused right-wing racist groups to plan demonstrations.
A public debate organised by a banned Islamist group sparked scuffles and angry confrontations over segregated seating for women. Police were called after members of Al Muhajiroun physically prevented men and women from sitting next to each other leading to claims of assault and intimidation.
The event titled Sharia law versus British law was meant to see radical preacher Anjem Choudary debate Douglas Murray, director of the right-wing thinktank the Centre for Social Cohesion at Conway Hall in central London. However the venue’s owners cancelled the meeting before it even got under way because of “fundamentalist thugs” who clashed with Mr Murray’s supporters at the entrance.
It led to a noisy stand-off outside the building in Red Lion Square for more than an hour as police intervened to keep the two sides apart. Mr Choudary planned to use the event to publicly relaunch Al Muhajiroun five years after it was supposedly disbanded. It was led by Omar Bakri until his deportation for glorifying terrorism after praising the 9/11 hijackers as “the Magnificent 19”.
Terror suspects held at one of Britain’s most secure jails are secretly accessing the internet to contact their supporters. The discovery raises fears that some of the UK’s most dangerous terrorists could be plotting new attacks from inside prison. The serious security breach was revealed last week after The Mail on Sunday was alerted to messages on a “private” website linked to militant Islamic movement Al-Muhajiroun, which has been banned under anti-terror laws. The threatening emails were apparently sent from inside Belmarsh high-security prison in South-East London, which houses some of Britain’s most feared terror suspects. It is thought inmates are sending the illicit messages using smuggled mobile phones, many of which now allow access to the internet. The jail’s current prisoners include Abu Doha, who is accused of plotting to bomb Los Angeles Airport, and Dhiren Barot, who was jailed for life for planning terror attacks, including one using a radioactive “dirty” bomb. Jason Lewis reports.
By Philip Johnston LONDON – A leading figure in a militant Islamic group banned by the Government yesterday warned of further attacks like the July 7 bombings in London last year. Anjem Choudary said Al-Ghurabaa (AG) was a purely ”political organisation” campaigning against British foreign policy. Along with a group called the Saved Sect, it was proscribed under new laws against glorifying terrorism. Both are off-shoots of Al Muhajiroun, the organisation founded by Omar Bakri Mohamed, the exiled extremist now in Lebanon. Mr Choudary, who describes himself as a spokesman for AG, accused the Home Office of militarising Muslims and driving them underground. “If it reaches a situation when the life and the wealth of the people is violated then what happened on 7/7 could very well reoccur,” he said. “People like us are trying to prevent another 7/7, but it seems to me the Government are fuelling more of a frenzy within the Muslim community. Ultimately they are fermenting more of the same of what took place on 7/7. There is no evidence to suggest we are anything other than an ideological and political movement.” It will be a criminal offence for a person to belong to or encourage support for the two banned groups, to arrange meetings in their support or to wear clothes or carry articles in public indicating support or membership. Their financial assets can be frozen or seized. Al-Muhajiroun was wound up two years ago but spawned the two banned groups whose members were involved in protests earlier this year against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. They brandished placards with slogans including “butcher those who mock Islam”, “massacre those who insult Islam” and “behead the one who insults the Prophet”. Six people were later arrested and charged with offences including soliciting to murder, inciting racial hatred, disorderly behaviour and organising a procession without notifying police. The Home Office said that AG “courts publicity and makes deliberately provocative and controversial statements expressing extremist views”. The Saved Sect website “disseminates extremist material which it is considered falls within section 21 of the Terrorism Act 2006”. It added: ”It is believed that SS and AG websites are working in tandem to disseminate an Islamist message under the umbrella of Ahl Us-Sunnah Wal-Jammaa’ah, described as a sect within Islam.” However, this umbrella group has not been proscribed. The Government has also added two foreign extremist groups, the Baluchistan Liberation Army and Teyrebaz Azadiye Kurdistan, to the list of banned organisations.