Islam4UK, the radical Islamist group that intended to march through Wootton Bassett, will be outlawed in the United Kingdom under counter-terrorism legislation; being a member of it, or of Al Muhajiroun of which Islam4UK is a splinter group, will be a criminal offence punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Wootton Bassett, a small town in the South of England, is where British soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan are honored after being repatriated. The silent ceremony of the coffins parading through the streets of Wootton Basset has become familiar throughout the United Kingdom, as a symbol of patriotism. There, people pay their last tribute to relatives, friends and fellow citizens slaughtered while defending freedom and fighting global terrorism.
Radical Islamists of Islam4UK are extremely conscious of the importance of symbols. Islam4UK, which advocates the enforcement of shari’a (Islamic law) in the United Kingdom, had planned a protest march in the town of Wootton Basset, and revealed its intention to carry empty coffins through the streets of the town, while affirming that “occupying and merciless” British soldiers are responsible of “horrifically” murdering innocent people, committing “genocide” and carrying out a “crusade”. Anjem Choudary, the spokesman of Islam4UK, described British soldiers as “brutal murderers” and “cowards,” and said he considers “vile” the parades which take place in Wootton Basset.
Anjem Choudary, a British citizen of Pakistani origins who benefited from the British education system, became a solicitor and eventually the former chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers. As reported by “The Sun,” the British welfare system has also been very generous with the extremist cleric. While the value of Choudary’s house has been estimated in 320,000 Â£ ($510.000), he still receives Â£15,600 ($25,000) a year in housing benefits, Â£5,200 ($8,300) in income support, Â£ 3,120 ($5,000) in benefits for his children and Â£1,820 ($3,000) in council tax allowance. Asked about this, Choudary answered that his benefits belong to Allah.
Such a bounty from the British taxpayers allows Choudary to be engaged full-time in his jihad against the UK and the West.
Indeed Choudary, who famously described the 9/11 terrorists as “magnificent martyrs,” was closely associated with Omar Bakri Muhammad, who is thought to be involved with Al Qaeda and to the (still legal) Islamist British party Hizb ut-Tahrir.
In 2006, Choudary organized a demonstration outside London’s Cathedral of Westminster, the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales. There he mocked the Holy Trinity, incited Muslims to execute Pope Benedict XVI and warned that Muslims will conquer Rome. He also organized a demonstration in London after the Danish cartoon controversy, in which people dressed as suicide bombers held banners that said: “Behead Those Who Insult Islam.” In a 2005 interview with the BBC program, Hardtalk, ( after the 7/7 terrorist attack in London, in which 56 people died), Choudary condemned the killing of innocent people, but argued that non-Muslims cannot be considered innocent, as they are guilty of not embracing Islam; therefore, killing them all is legitimate.
Islam4UK has been accused of being linked to suicide killers in Israel and the UK. It openly urges Muslims to rebel against the state and promote an Islamic revolution that would lead to the establishment of an Islamic caliphate which would rule the world. Its website declares that: “In light of the Islamic resurgence taking place around the world, particularly in the United Kingdom, one can definitively come to the conclusion that the dawn of a new era is close and that the prophecies of the Final Messenger Muhammad in relation to the domination of Islam worldwide are indeed true; consequently, we at Islam4UK felt it necessary to divulge to the British public what precise changes will occur when Britain transforms into this glorious dominion, not only as psychological preparation but also as a means of enticement to encourage and hasten its implementation.”
The program of Islam4UK is clear. Its platform was to transform the United Kingdom in an Islamist “glorious dominion”: mocking and destroying the symbols of British identity would have been a crucial step towards this goal.
Wootton Basset represented an ideal target -- an authentic and genuine emblem of patriotic pride. Thus, the “psychological preparation” to the new era in which Islam would dominate the world included the eradication of the symbol of this small, but symbolically powerful, English town.
At the very beginning of Western civilization, the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles maintained that the respect for the dead was a natural right, an essential feature of human culture. The insult of Islam4UK to the service personnel who gave their lives in Afghanistan would have been immoral and blasphemous, directly aimed at insulting the fallen soldiers and their families. Further, the march organized by the Islamic extremist group would have been an outrage against Her Majesty Armed Forces, the country and the crown - an act which derided the patriotic, moral and religious feelings of the United Kingdom.
However, the initiative of Islam4UK provoked a healthy reaction from the British public. A society that has always been described as apathetic and indulgent towards the mounting tide of radical and violent Islam reacted with bitter resentment and moral clarity. Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the planned protest march as “abhorrent and offensive.” Then UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced the decision of the government to ban the radical Islamist group. Given the rising anger of the British people against the plans of Islam4UK, the government was forced to take this decision.
After the ban, Anjem Choudary, the leader of Islam4UK, declared the decision of the British government “a failure for the concepts of democracy and freedom.” On the January 12, the day of the ban, Choudary was a guest on the BBC program Newsnight, renewing his message of hatred. Oddly, he complained about the lack of democracy and free speech in the country, while talking on state television in front of millions of people.
He was playing the role of a poor victim of Western aggression, according to the old strategy of radical Islam, and striking a chord in the hearts of many on the Left.
But in the UK, millions of people are starting to understand what is at stake.