ANJEM Choudary, who last week commended two jailed Muslim thugs for their violent vigilantism in London, managed to rally only 30 supporters when he led a march last Friday in Brick Lane to demand a ban on alcohol sales.
According to this report, the rag-tag bunch of lunatics marched along the east London street renowned for its bars, clubs and curry houses, and Choudary used a megaphone to accuse restaurants and shops of breaking strict Islamic law.
The event, organised by the little known Shariah Project based in Waltham Forest, drew a small counter-demonstration by English nationalists.
Ahead of the march, Abu Rumaysah, spokesman for Shariah Project, claimed that groups of Muslims would come from as far away as the Midlands to take part in the demonstration.
He forecast a turnout of “hundreds” instead of fewer than the 50 first expected. Police would be surprised at the scale of the turnout, he predicted.
Rumaysah, 30, said:
We’ve had an overwhelming response from people supporting us from all over the country. Lots of them say they are coming and we will have groups from Luton, Birmingham, Derby and Leicester. There’s also a big Muslim community in Tower Hamlets, so there should be a good turnout.
A brief stand-off took place between the two small groups groups at Brick Lane’s junction with Whitechapel Road, with the sides kept apart by police officers – who outnumbered both groups combined.
Choudary said Brick Lane was:
A den of iniquity.
And he complained:
The vast majority of Muslims are very secular. The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited.
The non-Muslims should be grateful. Alcohol is the cause of many crimes. We cannot live among the non-Muslims and see this evil take place.
But Choudary was shouted down by a passing Muslim who insisted that the self-appointed spokesman of Islam did not represent his faith.
Ahead of the march there had been fears that it would divide the Tower Hamlets community. But such fears appered unfounded as many local people distanced themselves from the protest.
Shop owners had been served with a notice purported sent by the Tower Hamlets Department of Business Regulation. It was headed: Your Licence to Sell Alcohol has been revoked. Do not Ignore this Letter.
Click on extract below to read the entire notice.
The Metropolitan Police said no arrests were made. A Scotland Yard spokesman said:
The event passed off without incident.