Muslims versus Anjum Choudhary

Recently the “Muslim extremist” organisation currently trading as Islam4UK — really al-Muhajiroun — announced that they were planning a march through Wootton Bassett, the town just outside Swindon through which the motorcades bring the bodies of fallen soldiers after they land at RAF Lyneham. Needless to say, this has produced outrage in pretty much every quarter, including the Government, military circles, the local community and even the Muslim community. The government threatned to ban the march, while Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), formerly of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, warned that the march should not be banned because groups had a right to march, even if people found their views unpleasant.

Orde’s history is in policing the notorious sectarian marches of the Orange brigades, and a few dozen Muhajiroun marching through a small Wiltshire town will cause not a fraction of the tension that was associated with the Orange marches through Catholic neighbourhoods in particular. However, the ramifications for the Muslim community in the UK will be serious, as has already been demonstrated since their appearance at the Royal Anglian Regiment procession through Luton last March. I put “Muslim extremist” in quotes above because many Muslims are not entirely convinced that their leadership are precisely that; Choudhary in particular is suspected of being an agent provocateur or at least an asset, and the amount of airtime they get, given their tiny membership, is grossly out of proportion. Here is an extract from a post I found on DeenPort the other day:

While you (Choudhary) and your friends are being protected by the kuffaar police, it is other Muslims that will feel the backlash over this, and probably more masajid firebombed.

The EDS (sic) formed because of the Luton protest by Al Muhajiroun, now that they have run out of steam and been criticized in the media, AM are going to give them more impetus and public support with this provocation.

I hope choidhary gets his head kicked in, but he won’t, because he is a state asset,that will happen to some uncle on his way to pray at his masjid or some sister doing the shopping.

I agree with Hugh Orde here; I don’t believe a march should be banned just because people find the views expressed distasteful. However, I do think that people should show their displeasure by holding a counter-demonstration, and that Muslims should join unless the counter-demo is not obviously dominated by people out to bash the Muhajiroun as Muslims rather than oppose them as the extremist lunatics they are, or profess to be. Do we want to be seen alongside football hooligans? Far from it. (One way to avoid this possibility is for a small group — possibly of unobtrusive white Muslims — to go ahead and call back to the rest of the party to tell them if the demonstration is safe to join.)

However, there is also the possibility of a repeat of the incident last October, in which two separate groups planned counter-demonstrations to al-Muhajiroun, one from a group of religious Muslims in which Inayat Bunglawala was involved, and another from “British Muslims for Secular Democracy”, and when the Muhajiroun cancelled, the religious group decided to cancel theirs as well, while the BMSD went ahead anyway and, having already criticised Bunglawala’s group for organising their own counter-demo, later criticised them for calling it off. Let’s be clear about this, regardless of whether you can call the UK a “secular democracy” given the position of the Church of England, the Muslim objection to al-Muhajiroun is about the threat they pose to us, the danger they place us in given the roaming gangs of football hooligans which have emerged since their demo last March, and their overblown and disproportionate media profile. It’s not about “secular democracy”; it’s about whether Muslims can live in peace in this country while these goons are going round shouting their heads off and making headlines at our expense.

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