UK govt bans `Muslims Against Crusades`

Muslims Against Crusades is the latest incarnation of an organisation originally set up by extremist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 22:20 PM IST

London: The British government on Thursday banned a radical Muslim group planning an anti-Armistice Day protest and "glorifying terrorism".

Home Secretary Theresa May said she is satisfied that `Muslims Against Crusades` is simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names.

"The organisation was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name," she said.

The organisation is closely linked to a host of other previously-banned groups.

The government order, which comes into force at midnight, makes membership or support of the group a criminal offence. The organisation had planned to repeat a demonstration held last year, when members burned poppies near London`s Albert Hall.

Muslims Against Crusades is the latest incarnation of an organisation originally set up by extremist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who fled the UK six years ago.

Its previous incarnations are all proscribed groups.

Most recently, it has been involved in potential stand-offs with the English Defence League and it also protested outside the US Embassy on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Anjem Choudary, the leading public figure in the organisation, accused the government of attempting to cover up the truth.

In a statement on its website, the organisation had promised a "lack of silence" by British Muslims on Armistice Day.

"We will be leading the campaign to highlight the atrocities which have been committed and continue to be committed against the Muslims, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in the brutal torture concentration camps of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib by the US, UK and their allies," it said.

PTI