Scotland Yard is closely watching radical cleric Anjem Choudary to see if his proclamations break the law, one of the force’s most senior officers told MPs today. The former spokesman for the now-banned Islamist group Islam4UK, who admitted knowing one of the men charged with the soldier’s murder, is also understood to be receiving police protection outside his east London home.
The UK Home Office has banned the controversial Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) ahead of its planned protest (Hell for Heroes) at Armisticie Day Ceremonies (as reported). The decision to ban the group was made by Home Secretary Theresa May, who said that MAC was “simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names” (e.g. Islam4UK). The group was originally set up by extremist preacher Omar Bakri, who fled the UK six years ago, and was now led by Anjem Choudary. The ban of the group makes it a criminal offence to be a member of or fundraise for MAC. Following the ban of the group, Anjem Choudary had his house searched by the police. Choudary dismissed this search as a “fishing expedition”. While the MAC’s Remembrance Day protests were cancelled following the ban, Choudary announced, however, that it will not stop him from propagating what he believes in.
Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, 24, was jailed for 12 years for urging fellow Muslims to attack and kills British MPs who had voted for the war in Iraq. As the Guardian reports, Ahmad, an IT graduate, posted threats and material inciting religious hatred on the US-based website RevolutionMuslim.com, including a full list of MPs who had supported military action in Iraq. Ahmad called on Muslims to imitate Roshonara Choudhry, who was jailed last year for stabbing and attempting to murder Labour MP Stephen Timms. In addition, he posted links to a Tesco website listing cheap knives. Judge Royce, sentencing Ahmad to 12 years in jail, noted that Ahmad “became a viper in our midst willing to go as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system”. This position, according to Joyce, was “alien to what we stand for in our country”.
The Guardian also reports that Ahmad was radicalized as a teenager and became an active contributor not only to RevolutionMuslim, but also to Islam4UK and IslamicAwakening websites.
29 April 2011
For this article, the author has met British Muslim women who have taken on the fight against Islamic extremism. Tehmina Kazi, for example, who defended imam and lecturer Usama Hasan, who had received death threats after declaring that evolution were compatible with Islam. She is also the director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, an organisation that has always been headed by a woman, supports a young Muslim leadership programme, holds demonstrations against radical groups like Islam4UK and stands for diversity within Islam. The article cites many examples of female activism within the Muslim community and in society.
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.
December 24, 2010
Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.
Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.
The campaign’s organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK. Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson banned Islam4UK group earlier this year, making it a criminal offence to be a member.
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.
Islam4UK spokesman Anjem Choudary and Maajid Nawaz, from the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation, join Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman to debate the implications of a government ban on the radical Islamist group Islam4UK.
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.
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.