Monday, August 08, 2011

My introduction to Al-Muhajiroun - Islamism in Ealing/

Wiki says, 'Al-Muhajiroun (Arabic: المهاجرون‎; The Emigrants) is a banned Islamist organisation that was based in Britain and which has been linked to international terrorism, homophobia and anti-semitism. The group was proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 on 14 January 2010 together with four other organisations including Islam4UK.

The Group operated in the United Kingdom from 14 January 1986 until the British Government announced an intended ban in August 2005.[5] The group was then relaunched in June 2009. Two other offshoot organisations, The Saviour Sect and Al-Ghurabaa had previously been banned for the 'glorification' of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2006.[6] It was also alleged to have run a Lahore safe house for visiting British Muslims.

Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary are known to have led Al-Muhajiroun. The group became notorious for its conference "The Magnificent 19", praising the September 11, 2001 attacks. The former Home Secretary Charles Clarke banned Bakri from the United Kingdom on 12 August 2005 because it was alleged that his presence was "not conducive to the public good."

On 16 May 1999 I was invited to a meeting of Al-Muhajiroun at Ealing's Town Hall. I have no idea why I received an invitation to the meeting. I had never heard of the group but I went along on that Sunday evening which as I look back now surprises me. Why was I not, as per usual at church?

Never before or after have I personally been present where Islamic revolution was proclaimed as the way to end the world's ill and usher in a resurrected universal caliphate. Omar Bakri Muhammah scolded those present for their support of Pakistan in the forthcoming Cricket World Cup. Nationalism was not Islamic.And his ideas were not cricket! At the refreshment break I asked someone how this revolution was to happen. Nothing democratic at all. Start with military coups.

I looked around the meeting. I was not the only white person present but I sensed I was the only such non-Muslim. I wondered it the security forces were listening. These guys were dangerous. How dangerous was their teaching was not evidenced until two years later, 9/11.

Since then I have talked to many Muslims. None has owned allegiance to such ideas. But in 1999 Islamist revolution was alive and well in my borough.

Another speaker that evening was Raheed Mahmood. On the night of 03/30/2004 Waheed Mahmood, (who has a brother Raheed), along with all other members of the Fertilizer 04 Plot was arrested on charges to attempt to carry out a terror attack. Waheed Mahmood's trial was opened in London on 03/21/2006 alongside 6 more defendants. He was one of the few who took steps to prevent his discovery and had unscrewed his computer hard drive.

Waheed Mahmood was the senior member in the Fertilizer 04 Plot and according to his judge "exerted authority over others".
Waheed Mahmood was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on 04/30/2007. He was linked with Al-Muhajiroun so it is likely I listened to his brother. The plotters stored 600kg of fertiliser in nearby Hanwell to make bombs. Raheed is a common name but I wonder if I heard a bomber's brother speak.

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