After finally being banned by our hesitant and often reactionary government, Anjem Choudary was invited on Newsnight last night to discuss the ban. What began has an attempt to discuss the idea of banning the various organisations he works under, soon descended into a slanging match between Anjem and fellow studio guest Maajid Nawaz. Throughout the ‘discussion’ Anjem refused to answer questions, told a number of blatant lies and just generally confused the viewers and himself with bizarre logic and incoherent statements.
- “Al Muhajiroun is not a HT offshoot” – ALM was set up by Omar Bakri who used to be the leader of HT in the UK and set up ALM after he had been expelled from HT
- “I was never with HT” – Anjem was an activist with HT for a number of years and met Bakri through HT lectures. I personally met him when he was with HT, as did many others including Maajid.
- I have never met Maajid Nawaz – Anjem represented Maajid in a legal case at Newham College in 1993 and they met again on the Big Questions last year.
- “I have not received any money from the government” – Anjem and his family of 4 have been living off state benefits for over 10 years.
- “We don’t believe in appealing against man made law” – Yet Abu Izzadeen (ALM member) lodged an appeal at the court of appeals in 2008.
- “Islam4UK got banned because it was exposing the Govt foreign policy” – Islam4UK is working to bring convert Britain into a Caliphate under Shariah law and they support the Taliban and Al Qeada in places like Afghanistan. They also approve of terror tactics and praise terrorist attacks. It is not a lobby group that exists to highlight bad policy – there are many such lobby groups that have not been banned.
- “Britain is an apartheid system” – Anjem clearly does not know the meaning of this word. He lives freely in the UK, has the same legal rights as everyone else, is free to express his anti-western views, speak out against British Foreign policy and claim generous state benefits. As Maajid pointed out, he has not spent any time in jail and is regularly invited on various TV shows to express his views. Clearly, his organisation has abused these privileges to incite violence, support terrorism and spread fear and hate. As such they deserve to be banned.
- “Are you on the dole?”
- “Will I (Maajid) be executed in Anjems version of the Khalifate?”
- “Is non-Muslim blood halal for you”
The debate was scrappy but it is impossible to have a clear and coherent discussion with someone like Anjem, who relies on shouting and talking over people as a tactic in debating. But by being evasive and deceptive, he has shown the viewers what most Muslims already knew – he is not a man guided by faith but rather a charlatan with neither principles or basic manners. He has no Islamic credentials, doesn’t understand Arabic and behaves like a playground bully.
I feel sorry for anyone who goes to his shariah court (in his bedroom) for a verdict on anything. How anyone can follow this guy or look up to him as a leader is completely beyond me.