UK radical cleric plans Delhi march for Sharia, police block his website

FP

Instructed by Delhi High Court to probe a complaint against two radical Islamic preachers and their website announcing a march in New Delhi on March 3 to press for the enforcement of Sharia, police today said they would not allow any such march.

The website www.sharia4hind.com has been blocked and police have alerted hotels against hosting any individual connected to the proposed march or the "highly inflammatory" website.

The group's head is London-based preacher Anjem Choudary, known for his fiery speeches and self-styled Sharia court. Along with Islamic radical Omar Bakri Muhammad he left the UK for Lebanon in 2005 Choudary founded the al-Muhajiroun. He was the man behind Islam4UK and referred to Osama bin Laden as his "ameer" who had attained "martyrdom".

Choudary told The Indian Express over phone from London that the march organisers have already been contacted by Delhi Police.

"I do not believe in Indian law, so there is no question of seeking any permission from the authorities there. We have organised a video conferencing on March 2 with Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad who is based in Lebanon. My visa application is under process with the Indian High Commission here and I expect to get it... We hope to arrive a day ahead of our press conference. But in case we are not given the visa, we will broadcast our address to the demonstration,'' he said.

"Arabs have failed in terms of Deen (religion) and the call for Sharia is strong from non-Arab countries like Indonesia and India... many of us have been involved with al-Muhajiroun, al-Ghurabaa and Islam4UK,'' he said.

Though Choudary was born in UK, his father is of Indian origin while his mother is of Pakistani origin. Abu Baraa, convener of sharia4hind, is a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin.

Asked who his representatives were in India, Choudary said: "After the ban and other issues, we don't want to talk about our people there. We have substantial support.''

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