Islamist Anjem Choudary abuses police officer at anti-freedom rally
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Islamic State-promoting Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary verbally attacked a Green Street police officer for making a “political statement”.
During a Ramadan “road show” against freedom and democracy that invited people to Islam, Choudary abused the officer for wearing a Help for Heroes wrist band, asking if he was in the English Defence League or British National Party and accused the officer of victimising him.
“The officer pulled up in his car and started to film our speeches,” he said. “He was trying to intimidate us and was visibly upset by our presence.”
Newham’s borough commander Tony Nash said the officer was wearing a body camera as part of standard kit and was not intending to film any particular activity.
But Choudary, who says the only reason he hasn’t taken his wife and children to live under Islamic State is his lack of a passport, claims he is regularly “villainised”.
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“This country is at war with Muslims and supported the USA’s brutal campaign,” he said. “We noticed the officer was wearing a Help for Heroes band showing support for the armed forces. If you speak up against that you will be villainised.”
A spokesman from the Metropolitan Police said its dress code gives staff the choice to wear Help for Heroes badges and wrist band.
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Despite this, the officer removed his wrist band.
Choudary said he had a positive reception at the event on June 13, adding all Muslims want to live under sharia (Islamic law).
“We had great interaction,” he said. “It’s a very rich area in terms of Muslim communities.”
But Shahid Mursaleen of Forest Gate’s Minhaj-ul-Quran said Choudary is not welcome in Newham.
“We don’t want him here and he shouldn’t be coming here,” he said. “We completely disagree with him – he gives wrong messages about the faith.”
Mursaleen dismissed Choudary’s claim that his group is not Islamic on the grounds that it “denies central elements of Islam” like jihad and sharia.
“He’s a nobody,” he said. “He can say what he wants.”