Muslim gangs have been filmed loitering on streets in London and demanding that passersby conform to Islamic Sharia law.
The self-proclaimed vigilantes, who call themselves Muslim London Patrol, are seen in several videos abusing people for drinking alcohol, for showing too much flesh and for being homosexual.
In one three-and-a-half minute video posted on YouTube on January 17, a number of hooded men are seen repeatedly shouting "this is a Muslim area" towards non-Muslim passers-by.
In the footage, which was shot at night on the weekend of January 12/13 on a mobile phone, in what is believed to be Whitechapel in east London, one gang member is seen telling a young woman who is wearing a short skirt, "you cannot dress like that in a Muslim area, this is a Muslim area."
A few moments later, the vigilantes confront a man carrying a can of beer, telling him "no alcohol is allowed." They then force him to empty out the contents of the can on the sidewalk. One gang member shouts: "Get him to pour it out, pour it out, Muslim area. Alcohol bad. This is a Muslim area. This area is a Muslim area. No drink in this area." He continues: "What this is, is a Muslim Patrol. We are Muslims and we patrol the area. Forbidden … evil. Alcohol is evil. No alcohol. Yes? Have a good day."
A few moments later, the vigilantes accost a woman who, referring to the imposition of Sharia law in the neighborhood exclaims, "I cannot believe it!" The Muslims respond: "We do not care if you believe it or not."
At another point, one gang member admonishes another gang member not to allow non-Muslims to pass along the sidewalk in front of a mosque. He shouts: "You need to control this area and forbid these people from dressing like this and exposing themselves outside the mosque." A few moments later, a gang member accosts two non-Muslims who are passing by. "Remove yourself away from the mosque. Go away now. This is a Muslim area. Muslim patrol. Muslim patrol. Move away from the mosque."
Another Muslim then shouts: "This is democracy, this is freedom, this is secularism, move away from the mosque. We clearly need Islam. Go away and don't come back. Don't come back. Keep your mouth closed."
Next the men then accost a woman passerby. "We do not respect dolls who disobey God, we don't respect them." The woman, stunned, responds, "I am so appalled." The men reply: "We don't care if you are appalled at all." She says: "This is Great Britain." The men reply: "This is not-so-Great Britain, this is a Muslim area. We are vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks."
In another video, Muslims are seen harassing a man they perceive to be a homosexual. They aggressively pursue the man and shout at him, "Hello mate, don't you know this is a Muslim area. Why are you dressed like that for." The man responds: "Why are you bothering me." The Muslims respond: "You are walking in a Muslim area dressed like a fag, mate. You need to get out of here." Clearly terrified, the man responds, "I am getting out of here." The Muslims respond, "Get out of here quicker then. You're dirty mate. Admit you're dirty. You're gay, mate. Get out of here, you bloody fag."
The vigilante video follows another clip in which Muslim vigilantes protest against advertisements for push-up bras by High Street retailer H&M. In the three minute video they say: "The Muslims have taken it upon themselves to command the good and forbid the evil and cover up these naked people." They then show a number of advertisements for the product which have been sprayed over and also film themselves pouring petrol over one advertisement and setting it on fire.
In a fourth video, uploaded onto YouTube on January 23, one day after two gang members were arrested by London police, members of Muslim London Patrol are defiant. As the video opens, men are heard shouting, "Allah is the greatest! Islam is here, whether you like it or not. We are here! We are here!" What we need is Islam! What we need is Sharia!"
The video continues: "We are the Muslim Patrol. We are in north London, we are in south London, in east London and west London. We command good and forbid evil. Islam is here in London. [Prime Minister] David Cameron, Mr. Police Officer, whether you like it or not, we will command good and forbid evil. You will never get us. You can go to hell! This is not a Christian country. To hell with Christianity. Isa [Jesus] was a messenger of Allah. Muslim Patrol will never die. Allah is great! Allah is great! We are coming!"
In a January 23 interview with the online newspaper International Business Times, Anjem Choudary, a radical preacher who has long called for Sharia law to be implemented in Britain and other European countries, defended the gang, saying Muslims are simply trying to rid London of prostitution and drunkenness.
According to Choudary, "The practice of Muslims going out and forbidding evil is not new. There is a prevalence of prostitution and drunkenness in London and the police are not dealing with it. The problem is so widespread that I'm not surprised more Muslims are not taking it into their hands. The area [Whitechapel] is a Muslim area so for them to say these things are not allowed is correct. They should be commended for their actions."
He added: "This is a wake-up call for society to ask 'where are we headed?' There is a clash between Islam and liberal democracy in hotspots areas of London."
Choudary has previously led a campaign, known as the Islamic Emirates Project, to turn twelve British cities -- including what he calls "Londonistan" -- into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves, ruled by Islamic Sharia law, and operated entirely outside British jurisprudence.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.