Anti-alcohol Islamist group with Brick Lane links banned for ‘glorifying terrorism’
PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:40 27 June 2014
An Islamist group that marched in Brick Lane against the sale of alcohol has been banned by the government, making membership a criminal offence.
The Shariah Project was among three groups proscribed by the Home Office yesterday for being front groups for a banned “terrorist organisation” which keeps changing its name to avoid prosecution.
Its demonstration in Brick Lane in December, led by members in Whitechapel, saw hate preacher Anjem Choudhury tell Muslims to “fear Allah” and stop selling alcohol, which the group said is “destroying society”.
But Muslim off-licence owners and restauranteurs hit back at the group, saying they would continue to sell alcohol if they wished, and would not be told how to practice their religion by Mr Choudhury.
Security Minister James Brokenshire, announcing the ban, said: “Terrorist organisations should not be allowed to escape proscription simply by acting under a different name.
“That is why we have laid an order which will recognise Need4Khilafah, the Shariah Project and the Islamic Dawah Association as aliases of the group already proscribed as both Al Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect. The group is also known as Al Muhajiroun.
“This means being a member of or supporting the organisation is a criminal offence.”
Al Ghurabaa was first banned in 2006 for glorifying terrorism, including at a famous protest in London against cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in Denmark the year before.
A study in 2012 by the Henry Jackson Society found that 18 per cent of all terrorism convictions in the UK over a ten year period were of people with links to the group.
Members of the group verbally abused returning soldiers at a protest in Wootten Basset in 2009, an incident which helped spark the formation of the English Defence League.
Three men linked to the group were jailed in December for terrorising members of the public in the East End as part of what they called “Muslim Patrols”.