Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary is kicked off Instagram
Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary is kicked off Instagram days after he was banned from Twitter and Facebook
- Anjem Choudary was jailed for inviting support for Islamic State group in 2016
- He left Belmarsh prison on licence in 2018 and public speaking ban was lifted
- The 54-year-old hate preacher set up a series of pages on social media platforms
- But Twitter and Facebook ‘permanently suspended’ his pages within days
- Now Instagram account in Choudary’s name has been banned under ‘Dangerous Individuals’ policy
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has had his Instagram account suspended – just days after he was also booted off Twitter and Facebook.
The 54-year-old joined the social networking site as anjemchoudary1967 and began posting on Monday.
But within hours, Instagram’s parent company Facebook moved to take the account down for violating its policies.
It comes days after Choudary’s accounts on Facebook and Twitter were ‘permanently suspended for violating the rules’ of its violent organisations policy.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has had his Instagram account suspended – just days after he was also booted off Twitter and Facebook
While active, his Instagram account showed a picture of him in glasses and another snap read: ‘I bear witness that there is no Ilah (God/diety) except Allah (God Almighty)’
The firebrand preacher began setting up online profiles two weeks ago after legal conditions that prevented him from speaking publicly expired on July 18.
He had been the subject of legal restrictions since he was released from prison in October 2018 following a five-and-a-half-year stretch for inviting support for Islamic State.
But after they became void, Choudary joined a number of social networks.
He also began sending essays promoting Shariah Law to a network of Whatsapp contacts, where he promoted his Instagram account.
‘Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) I am now on instagram, feel free to follow me for updates on anjemchoudary1967,’ he texted the group.
While active, his Instagram account showed a picture of him in glasses and another snap read: ‘I bear witness that there is no Ilah (God/diety) except Allah (God Almighty).
Choudary had been the subject of legal restrictions since he was released from prison in October 2018 following a five-and-a-half-year stretch for inviting support for Islamic State
‘And I bear witness that Muhammad is his Slave and Messenger.’
In a ‘press release’ dated July 31, and titled ‘The Call For Shariah Is Just being A Muslim’, he said: ‘It is essential today to question all of our beliefs and to ensure that they have a firm basis because decisions we make based upon our beliefs not only shape our own lives but also impact upon others.
‘As a Muslim my firm belief in Allah and in the finality of the Messenger Muhammad comes with it the acceptance of all the tenets of Islam encompassed in the Shari’ah.
‘Sadly, due to the fact that not only are Muslims a minority in this country but also the fact that the majority of Muslims have had a secular education and have been indoctrinated with concepts which are an anathema to Islam and Muslims like, democracy freedom and liberalism, it is true that the majority of Muslims not only do not know what the Shari’ah or Islam is in terms of ruling and the economy etc*but they have also wholeheartedly adopted secularism and democracy instead.
This has led many to unfortunately leave the fold of Islam and among them are also a vocal few who not only have abandoned Islam but have become propagandists for secularism and democracy!’
Twitter said the 54-year-old hate preacher’s page was ‘permanently suspended for violating the rules’ of its violent organisations policy
He went on to say that Muslims who reject Shariah law are effectively saying they do not want to obey Allah.
‘For those who believe they can isolate Britain or France or America and contend that Muslims should only call for the Shari’ah in “Muslim countries” this is also erroneous after all the whole planet Earth belongs to God and his law should, indeed must, be implemented everywhere,’ he added.
‘The vitriol that I have faced over the years for calling for Islam/the Shari’ah in Britain and indeed everywhere in the world therefore is not surprising.
‘So this is merely a reminder to myself and fellow Muslims and a lesson to non Muslims and those who believe in secular democracy, that the call for the Shari’ah should not come as a surprise to anyone especially practising enlightened knowledgeable Muslims.
‘And it certainly is not radical, extreme or any or any other negative label you might wish to use. Is it just being Muslim on Gods Earth.’
In another post, he called for awareness over the ‘plight’ of Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, who has ‘languished’ in Lebanon’s notorious Roumiah Prison since April 2014.
He was sentenced to six years there with hard labour after being convicted of founding a Lebanese affiliate of the Al-Qaeda linked Syrian terrorist group the Al-Nusra Front as well as building a training camp for terrorist fighters.
Choudary claimed to be speaking on behalf of Bakri Muhammad’s family.
A spokeswoman for Instagram said: ‘This account was removed from our platform for violating our Dangerous Individuals & Organisations policies.
‘Under these rules, we ban organisations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or engage in organised hate or violence.’
Anjem Choudary: Preacher of hate
For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has mostly been sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State.
Despite severe restrictions on his movements — he’s electronically tagged and effectively gagged — he’s since been spotted out and about as late as 11pm.
And just weeks ago the north London resident had his ban on public speaking lifted.
The ban on his accounts by big social media companies will be a set-back to him reaching his following, but he has other ways to spread his message such as sending essays promoting Shariah Law to a network of Whatsapp contacts.
For hate preacher Anjem Choudary, freedom has mostly been sweet since he was released from Belmarsh prison in 2018 after serving half of a lengthy prison sentence for inciting support for Islamic State
Yet many might think it deeply offensive that this disgraced Islamist, who co-founded the British jihadist network al-Muhajiroun and has been an avowed supporter of terrorism here and abroad, is once again walking the streets of the capital.
Security experts have told the Mail that Choudary’s very presence in public is providing succour to followers of his despicable ideology.
Choudary is now back living with his wife Rubana Akhtar, 43, and their five children. Akhtar has been investigated for promoting extremism, but enquiries were dropped in September 2019. Their household, of course, ticks along thanks to generous benefit payments.
There is concern that Choudary’s new visibility is reigniting interest in his banned jihadist network al-Muhajiroun (which means the Emigrants).
In recent years this deadly group has been disrupted by arrests and anti-terrorism laws, but there are fears it is now reconstituting itself, splintering into smaller cells meeting in secret.
Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles, who has spent years monitoring Islamist and Far-Right groups, warns that even while depleted, al-Muhajiroun remains ‘Britain’s most proliﬁc and dangerous extremist group’.
All of this however is a world away from Choudary’s previous incarnation as a fun-loving student at Southampton University. Then he was known as ‘Andy’ and was a smoking and beer-swigging womaniser.
He became radicalised after meeting the Syrian cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed at a mosque in Woolwich, South-East London. He was Bakri’s lieutenant, helping to found al-Muhajiroun in 1996.
The group gained worldwide prominence in 2002 when it advertised ‘The Magnificent 19’, a conference convened to celebrate the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and honour those who carried them out.
Choudary would eventually succeed Bakri as leader when the latter quit Britain for Lebanon in the wake of the London bombings of July 7, 2005, which killed 56 people. (The leader of the 7/7 attacks, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was linked to al-Muhajiroun.) Bakri now languishes in prison in Lebanon following his arrest in 2010.
Banned in 2006, al-Muhajiroun has over the years simply mutated, adopting new names to keep one step ahead of the authorities.
According to American academic Michael Kenney, author of The Islamic State In Britain, it has adopted 181 separate identities in the UK and abroad.
Having avoided arrest for years despite his overt sympathy for extremism and his terrorist links, Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2016 for swearing an oath of allegiance to Islamic State. It was the culmination of a police inquiry that involved 20 years of material, 333 electronic devices and 12 terabytes of data.
Professor Kenney, who believes hardcore supporters of Choudary can be counted in dozens, says: ‘He doesn’t want to go back to prison. These people are very careful when they are on licence. But it will be interesting to see what will happen in the summer of 2021 [when the licence expires].’
More than 25,000 people in the UK are thought to be radicalised, of whom 3,000 to 4,000 are being watched. Returnee jihadists add hugely to this burden.
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