October 18, 2013
A Muslim convert who was part of an east London gang of self-styled vigilantes calling themselves the “Muslim Patrol” pleaded guilty in court on Friday to assaulting two people in the street. Jordan Horner, 19, admitted two charges of assault and using threatening words and behaviour in January this year.
The group threatened to kill non-believers and “shank” them, meaning stab them. They also uploaded videos to YouTube criticising non-Muslims for being inappropriately dressed. Horner and his group allegedly said: “Why are you poisoning your body? It is against Islam. This is Muslim Patrol. Kill the non-believers.” One then told another to “go get the shank” in reference to a knife, but as the group of men started walking away Horner threw punches at two of them, hitting one in the jaw.
The actions of the “Muslim Patrol” were condemned by the East London mosque, which described them as “utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord”.
During that incident, he pushed one photographer outside the Walthamstow house of the radical preacher Anjem Choudary two days after Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich on 22 May. He also threatened to cut off the head of another photographer, before causing £3,000 of damage to her car.
He will be sentenced at the end of the trial.
A council has defended its decision to stock extremist books at Woolwich library – yards from where Lee Rigby died (The soldier who was killed in an attack in Woolwich on 22nd May 2013) – including one by a banned cleric claiming “every Muslim should be a terrorist”. Radical preacher Dr Zakir Naik was banned from entering Britain after his presence was deemed not conducive to the public good, yet three of his works are available in the public library. Greenwich Council has defended their right to stock the texts, written in Urdu, which contain controversial statements on women, Jews and terrorism in a library 200 metres from the spot where Lee Rigby was killed in May.
“We are not aware of any lists of books banned by the Home Secretary,” a spokesperson said. “Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf has been publicly available on the shelves of Britain’s public libraries for decades and remains available for any citizen in the UK to purchase.” The book is said to be available at libraries up and down the country.
In one of the texts Dr Naik states he is “proud to be a fundamentalist”, adding: “Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is somebody who spreads terror and fear.” The statement was specifically examined by the Court of Appeal when it upheld Theresa May’s decision to ban the Islamic scholar from the UK.
Former Islamic extremist Dr Usama Hasan, of counter-extremist think tank Quilliam, said it was “strange” that such “niche” works should be available, warning that there was a small risk potential jihadist could use the text as “justification”. “It is difficult to see how the council justify it and defend their decision,” Dr Hasan said.
Sometimes good intentions are just not enough: a new campaign by the German interior ministry, says Robert Misik, only contributes to the widespread paranoia about “the Muslims” – and thus encourages the very radicalism it wants to fight
The German interior ministry is currently on the hunt for missing persons. In fact, quite a lot has gone missing from the country’s security services: files about a gang of neo-Nazi killers which got lost and shredded, for example. But that’s not what the ministry is looking for: the “missing” it’s looking for are called Ahmed, Hassan, Fatima and Tim. Their friends can’t seem to talk to them any more – they’ve become strange.
All four of them – the three immigrants and the young German – have in common that, in fact, they don’t exist. They’ve emerged from the fantasy of some PR-types who’ve thought up a nice public relations campaign for the ministry’s “Radicalisation Advice Centre”. What they also have in common – at least according to the brief texts on the “missing” posters – is that they have all drifted into Islamist fundamentalism; they’ve been caught in the fangs of some radical preacher and their character has suffered a deep change, so that their former friends don’t recognise them any more.
It’s not just Muslim organisations and immigrants’ associations which are up in arms about the new campaign; many people working in the integration field are also shaking their heads in disbelief: the campaign, they say, encourages prejudice and paranoia. They want it stopped.
The radical cleric Anjem Choudary, known supporter of Osama Bin Laden and former leader of the outlawed Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, announced he would lead a funeral prayer for Bin Laden outside the US Embassy in London on Friday. He called on fellow extremist to join the public prayer and demonstrations against the killing of Bin Laden. Further, he warned of potential domestic terror attacks following Bin Laden’s death. Similarly, the exiled radical preacher Omar Bakri has called for funeral prayers in front of US Embassies around the world. Bakri has condemned the killing of Bin Laden and warned the West of heavy retaliation by Al Qaeda. Britain, like other Western countries, has advised the public to remain alert to the threat of Al Qaeda.
On Friday, then, hundreds of Bin Laden supporters gathered outside the US Embassy in London and protested against the killing of Bin Laden. Concurrently, in Cardiff, a group of approximately 25 Muslims has held a funeral prayer for Bin Laden. Welsh Islamic leaders have, however, condemned the group for holding the funeral prayer. The Muslim Council for Wales and Riverside, for instance, described the group as “publicity-seekers”
11 February 2011
A radical preacher banned from entering the country may now lose the platform to broadcast messages of hate to British television screens. Zakir Naik – who has claimed that “every Muslim should be a terrorist” – was banned from coming to Britain last June by Theresa May in one of her first major acts as Home Secretary. But eight months on, the 45-year-old cleric is still a key figure in a company that holds an Ofcom-approved licence for Peace TV.
Now, the broadcasting watchdog has confirmed it is investigating the satellite channel, broadcast in English and Urdu, after receiving a complaint from a viewer over its extremist messages. Programmes on Peace TV have included praise for “mujahideen” fighting British troops in Iraq, labelled Jews as an “enemy of Islam” and made claims about the 9/11 terror attacks being an “inside job”.
The RCMP’s senior counterterrorism officer has singled out radical preacher Anwar Al-Awlaki as a common thread among young Canadian extremists. Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said Awlaki, a Yemeni-American terrorist leader, had been popping up during investigations of “the individuals that are of concern to us.”
The RCMP has been investigating radicalized Canadians who have travelled to such countries as Somalia and Pakistan for terrorist training. The move followed similar measures enacted by the United States and the United Nations Security Council, which placed Awlaki on its list of individuals associated with al-Qaeda. From members of the Toronto 18 to the Somali-Canadians in Al-Shabab, many of those involved in terrorist groups share a fascination with Awlaki, who has been in hiding somewhere in Yemen since 2007.
A newly-founded Islamic Central Council of Switzerland says it aims to be the main grassroots Muslim organization in the country. The group currently has about 500 members and hopes to win a total of 10,000 participants by the end of 2011, according to spokesman Qaasim Illi. The group represents the orthodox Sunni Muslims and has launched a public information campaign to help re-shape the image of Muslims in Switzerland. It seeks to win broad recognition among the Muslim community and help institutionalize the Islamic religion in Switzerland, officials said.
In the wake of the anti-minaret vote the group organized a rally in Bern which was attended by an estimated 700 people but did not have the support of any of Switzerland’s main Muslim groups. The event was supposed to host German radical preacher Pierre Vogel, but he was denied entry to Switzerland. The justice ministry did not invite the Islamic Central Council to roundtable talks with Muslim organizations in December. The Swiss Council of Religions, a platform for the main Christian churches as well as the Muslim and the Jewish communities said that it would continue to cooperate with the two established Muslim organizations.
The Swiss authorities have barred a controversial Islamic preacher from Germany from attending a planned demonstration against the minaret ban in Bern on Saturday. Pierre Vogel was not allowed to enter Switzerland because his presence is considered a danger for public law and order, according to the Federal Migration Office. He was scheduled to give a speech at the rally. The convert and former professional boxer is known for his strongly conservative and Salafist views.
Vogel wanted to encourage Muslims in Switzerland to come out of their social isolation and help reduce mistrust, he told Swiss newspapers. In an interview with the Swiss SonntagsBlick after his entry ban, Vogel said that he was against the construction of minarets as they are no necessary part of Islam but rather a decoration. The money should instead be used for social work on deliquent Muslim youths.
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”.
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, last night expressed her “extreme disappointment” at the decision yesterday by three high court judges to order the release of the radical preacher Abu Qatada, who has been described as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. Qatada, who was still in Long Lartin maximum security prison in Worcestershire last night, is expected to be released next week, when bail conditions are expected to be agreed. It has already been agreed that at the minimum he will be placed under virtual house arrest and face a 22-hour curfew. Last month Qatada, a Jordanian, won his appeal against the government’s attempt to deport him on the grounds that he was likely to face a trial based on evidence obtained under torture by the Jordanian intelligence services. Alan Travis report.