May 22 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Gover, reporter
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Religious fanatics who plastered up ‘threatening’ stickers forbidding drinking and smoking in public, have been dismissed by community leaders.
Bright yellow labels declaring as ‘Shariah Controlled Zones’ parts of Waltham Forest and Newham have been removed quickly by the authorities.
They cropped up earlier this week, prompting worry among residents.
Instructions on the stickers strictly forbade drinking, smoking, parties, loud music and also gambling.
But the demands were not drawn up by an over-enthusiastic residents’ association craving peace and quiet in a leafy surburb.
A fringe Islamic splinter group called Muslims against Crusades (MAC), drew up the list.
Spokesman Anjem Choudary, a regular critic of Western society on T.V shows, told London24.com that neighbourhoods in London will soon be patrolled by Shariah morality squads.
“We have support in the north, south, east and west of London, and hundreds in areas like Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest,” he said.
“A small group of people who believe have the power to change society.”
But community leaders have dismissed the group as a fringe bunch of fanatics isolated from the vast majority of Muslims.
MAC does not have enough supporters to even enforce the sticker code, admitted Choudary.
But he defended the campaign.
They are partly a response to the mass-shooting in Norway by gunman Anders Behring Breivik, he claimed.
Breivik espoused strong Islamophobic opinions in a rambling 1,500 page manifesto drawn up before he murdered 76 young people.
“After the Oslo attacks, the Muslims are going to be more in focus by the extreme right. So we need to step up security,” said Choudary.
“We are not like the Jews and Christians; we will not turn the other cheek. We are going to defend ourselves and it is an obligation for Muslims to fight Jihad.
Choudary even claimed people might like living under Shariah law in Waltham Forest and Newham, showing how out-of-touch he really is.
“We can remove from the streets prostitutes, drugs and thuggish behaviour. London will be a wholesome place to live for everyone.”
Punishments for acts deemed against the rules by the group are extreme.
Adulterers are stoned to death, while the hands of thieves are cut off.
Leader of Waltham Forest Council Chris Robbins, refuted Choudary’s claims and slammed the “ridiculous posters”
“The people who put up these posters know nothing about our community, which is one where people of all backgrounds live together productively,” said councillor Robbins.
“People shouldn’t get the wrong idea about our borough because a handful of small minded idiots who don’t live here decided to deface our streets with ridiculous posters.
“As soon as we heard about these posters, we worked over the weekend to take them all down.
“Since then, we’ve been going through our CCTV images and working with the police to try to identify the culprits. Our policy is to use the full extent of our powers to prosecute any offenders.”
Residents who spy the lurid posters in their neighbourhood should call police on 101, the new non-emergency number.