Members of the Salafi-Wahhabi Islamist terrorist group Al Muhajiran were convicted this week of attacking Shia Muslims in London in 2013. According to the news webiste getwestlondon.co.uk, “victims were beaten to the floor as they were punched, kicked and hit with the wooden placards” during an anti-Shia rally on Edgeware Road.
The UK Independent reported: “Participants in the protest held placards condemning the continued bloodshed in Syria and ‘the Shia enemies of Allah.’”
In a question-and-answer interview with the Jamestown Foundation, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, leader of Al Muhajiroun, criticized Shiites for having a good relationship with the British government, and denounced Shiites as “moderate Muslims” and non-Muslim “polytheists.”
A Huffington Post UK report on the anti-Shia rally referred to Al Muhajiroun’ co-leader, Anjem Choudary: “On the surface, it was a demonstration in support of the rebels in Syria. In reality, the objective was to intimidate members of the minority Shia Muslim community in the UK, Muslims whom followers of Choudary’s brand of extreme Salafist Sunni Islam do not consider true believers.”
In a video interview titled “Anjem Choudary justifies anti-Shia Edgware Rd demo,” Choudary gives a rambling defense of his group and demonizes Shiites: “We passed the message that the big issues of today must be addressed … There is a Shia trinity of evil … Shiism is a sect which its origins are outside the fold of Islam … It is a sect of disbelief.”
Choudary also says “we are not pacifists” interspersed with scenes of a blood-soaked person who apparently was a victim of the group’s attack, and accused England and the United States of terrorism. When asked about terrorist attacks on civilians, Choudary says there is “no difference between civilians and military people.”
Al Muhajiroun was banned under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000. It has attempted to resurface in the country under the names “Islam4UK,” “al-Ghurabaa” and “The Saved Sect.” The group has been banned and disbanded several times, only to reform under different names.
In its most recent reformation, the group adopted its original name Al Muhajiroun, which prompted scrutiny by the British government. The group moved to England after it was banned in Saudi Arabia in 1986.
In September 2002, the group gained infamy for holding a conference called “The Magnificent 19,” praising the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
After the murder, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a coalition of groups across the United Kingdom, condemned Al Muhajiroun and its leaders: “We condemn the antics of Anjem Choudary and his (un)merry-band of publicity seekers who last Friday took to the streets of London to spew their hate-filled message and attack people they thought to be from the Shia tradition.”
The press release was received with praise from Majlis Ulama-e-Shia of Europe, an organization of Shiite religious scholars, which said “the Muslim Council of Britain today affirms the unity of Muslims, particularly in the UK …
“Sunnis and Shias remain united in the UK and have a long-established history of intra-faith co-operation. We are acutely aware that the complex situation in the Middle East and Muslim world has the possibility of threatening that tradition. We are also aware that those from without the community will seek to exploit these divisions for their own nefarious ends.”