Where are the broadcasts, then?

Every so often we hear a new outrageous statement allegedly by Omar Bakri Mohammed, the leader of the defunct al-Muhajiroun group. This time he is accused of telling British Muslims they should join al-Qa’ida, and also that in theory, the pact between Muslims and the British state has been broken, and that violent action was justified. The Times is also reporting that he held a secret conference at the Friends’ Meeting House in central London, in which a speaker shouted, “Whether they be stones, whether they be sticks, whether they be knives, whether they be bombs, whatever they may be, prepare as much as you can”. One thing is certain - Bakri and his al-Muhajiroun group have a history of outlandish and inflammatory public statements. I attended one of their rallies a few years ago, a very poorly-attended affair in Trafalgar Square, where they had a few small marquees at the other side of the square with the slogans “The Fruits of Western Civilisation” (or some such words), “Rape”, “Racism” and “Paedophilia”. The last three words were displayed in big letters above one marquee each. As you can imagine, this looks stupid and makes the community look stupid. Not to mention their “Magnificent 19” conference, which praised the 19 people who hijacked the planes in America in 2001. They disputed the meaning of “magnificent”, saying that it could be positive or negative. One of their members had an article published in Q-News, attacking so-called “moderate munafiqeen”, i.e. not true Muslims. Others at Q-News disagreed, calling them morons and suggesting that their posters be put not on bins, but in them.

The Times seems to have taken a lead on this, as it did with the “Shaikh” Faisal affair two years ago. Faisal is a different kettle of fish from Omar Bakri, and the things he came out with could get people killed. The amazing thing is that the authorities have let Omar Bakri get away with all of this for so long - he has caused enormous trouble since the mid-1990s since Hizb ut-Tahrir, in which he was a local leader before breaking away (in 1997, I think), caused ructions on British university campuses. I am sure some Muslims will think the reason is that he is a government agent provocateur (although he could be unwittingly serving a government or other establishment agenda without actually being an agent). Then again, simply “causing trouble” isn’t illegal, unless serious disorder results from it.

The really strange thing about the most recent series of revelations about Omar Bakri is that we can’t actually follow up the story. There is no website, I can’t find any website dedicated to Omar Bakri even by searching on Google. Surely someone has recorded his lecture so that we can check the press reports against the actual speech? I find the Times’ assertion that the Friends’ house was booked for “a health conference entitled Women’s Dawah UK” quite unbelievable; what did they tell the Quakers that “dawah” meant? This statement alone should have rung alarm bells. I don’t believe these reports are entirely true, and the Times quotes Omar Bakri as saying in reply to these stories, “These words were not just taken out of context, they were totally fabricated. It is complete fabrications and lies”.

So, please tell us where we can hear his words, if you are telling the truth.

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