Anjem Choudary, a jihad preacher whose followers have mounted several jihad terror attacks in Britain, can speak in public again. The Evening Standard reported Sunday that Choudary has been “subject to licence conditions” ever since he was released from prison in 2018, but they’ve now been lifted. Choudary was in prison in the first place for working to convince Muslims to support the Islamic State jihad terrorist group, which he himself asked to be released in order to join. He also called for the murder of Pamela Geller on national television, solely for the crime of defending the freedom of speech, to which Britain is ostensibly committed. Now he is free once again to resume his jihad in Britain. What could possibly go wrong?
Choudary, according to the Evening Standard, had not just been banned from public speaking: “his internet and mobile phone use was restricted and he was banned from being in contact with people who may be suspected of extremist-related offences without prior approval.” He also “had to wear an electronic tag and abide by a night-time curfew, only attend pre-approved mosques and stay within a set area, as well as adhere to other standard requirements, like having regular meetings with probation officers.” On top of all that, “he was banned from travelling and had assets frozen.”
British authorities, however, are now suggesting that all that was overkill, and that Choudary was really just a cuddly teddy bear. The UK’s former counter-terror top dog, Mark Rowley, sneered at the idea that Choudary was “some sort of evil genius” and called him a “pathetic groomer,” saying: “I think we have to be careful not to overstate his significance.”
Rowley seemed determinedly indifferent to Choudary’s record, which at very least is disquieting: “While there has been no suggestion Choudary organised any attacks, others previously linked to ALM include Michael Adebolajo, one of the murderers of Fusilier Lee Rigby, and Khuram Butt, the ringleader of the London Bridge terror attack. During his teenage years the Fishmongers’ Hall attacker Usman Khan also took an interest in Choudary’s views. Muslim convert Lewis Ludlow, who plotted a terror attack on Oxford Street, attended a demonstration led by Choudary and the ALM group.”
In light of all that and more, it’s hard to assume that Rowley and his ilk even care about the safety of the British people. But they clearly care very much about making sure that British citizens hear as little as possible from opponents of Anjem Choudary and other jihadis. The Home Office some time ago banned numerous people from entering the country, all for the crime of opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression. Among the first were Pamela Geller and I; we were banned in 2013, apparently for life, for the crime of telling the truth about Islam and jihad. Just days after Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.”
And Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri’s preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so hardline that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office welcomed him into Britain. The UK also granted asylum to Yasser Al-Sirri, a convicted jihad terrorist who advocated violent jihad and the killing of Jews. The UK Home Office also admitted Shaykh Hamza Sodagar into the country, despite the fact that he has said: “If there’s homosexual men, the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop their head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth – a combination of the above.”
During the tenure of Theresa May as British prime minister (2016-19), the UK government admitted two jihad preachers who had praised the murderer of a foe of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. One of them was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Meanwhile, the UK banned three bishops from areas of Iraq and Syria where Christians are persecuted from entering the country. The asylum application of a Christian family facing a death fatwa in Pakistan was three times rejected. But an ISIS bride was let back in and given a taxpayer-funded house, despite the fact that she has an ISIS flag on her Twitter account. No terror charges for her, of course.
Meanwhile, Manchester jihad mass murderer Salman Abedi trained with a jihad group in Libya, and traveled in and out of UK with no problem.
All that, and there is much more of the same, makes it clear that the British government has no problem with jihad terror, only with opposition to jihad terror. Choudary’s nationally televised threat to Pamela Geller, and the fact that he suffered no consequences for it, makes that all the clearer. Likewise crystal clear is that what Britain has sown and is sowing, so it shall reap: nothing could be more certain than that there will be more jihad terror in Britain. Some of it may be Choudary’s doing. Some may have been prevented if Pamela Geller had been allowed to sound the alarm about what was going on, and had awakened people to act to elect leaders who would actually protect them. But the time for that is long past. British officials have chosen their path.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins―Revised and Expanded Edition. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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