Anjem Choudary, the British hate-spewing Islamic preacher, has been found guilty of supporting Islamic State. He faces up to ten years of prison time.
Choudary will be familiar to some of our readers. He used to appear on Fox News talk shows to defend the actions of terrorists. Often with a smile. Or was it a smirk?
Choudary was convicted at the Old Bailey. Jurors heard testimony that he swore an oath of allegiance to ISIS and that he told his supporters to obey ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and travel to Syria to support “the caliphate.” ISIS has proudly beheaded British citizens, among its many other atrocities.
In a lecture he gave in 2013, Choudary said:
We don’t have any borders, my dear Muslims. It is about time we resumed conquering for the sake of Allah.
Next time when your child is at school and the teacher says ‘what do you want when you grow up, what is your ambition?’, they should say to dominate the whole world by Islam, including Britain, that is my ambition.
Choudary promoted this ambition mainly by radicalizing a string of terrorists, some of whom have stood trial in UK. Among them are Michael Adebolajo, convicted of the violent murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, and Siddhartha Dhar, suspected of replacing Jihadi John as ISIS executioner.
Choudary was thus convicted of “inviting support for a proscribed organization.”
At trial, Choudary admitted that he was media spokesman for a group called Islam4UK during a time when it called for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque and Nelson’s Column to be destroyed. However, he denied inviting support for ISIS.
Apparently, the jury could not reconcile that claim with the testimony it heard, including that discussed above.
Choudary claimed to be a “lecturer in sharia law” giving “the Islamic perspective.” According to at least one report, his defense lawyer likened him to the poet William Wordsworth who praised the aims of the French revolution but not its means. But Wordsworth never swore allegiance to Robespierre.
Britain’s less radical Muslim community applauded Choudary’s conviction. Miqdaad Versi, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:
Mr Anjem Choudary has long been condemned by Muslim organisations and Muslims across the country, who consider him and his support for Daesh [ISIS] to be despicable and contrary to the values of Islam and our nation.
Many Muslims have long been puzzled why this man was regularly approached by the media to give outrageous statements that inflamed Islamophobia. We hope the judgment serves as a lesson for anyone who follows this path of advocating hate and division.
To be fair, Choudary provided a window into what’s going on in a segment of the British Muslim
community. More importantly, he was good for the BBC’s ratings.
Choudary was also good for ISIS. Now, neither television nor ISIS (I hope) will have the benefit of his services.