Not to worry, though: Akbar Dad Khan, of Luton’s Building Bridges organisation assures us that, “They are about 10 to 15 hotheads. The best thing to do is just to ignore them. They do not represent the views of the community.” More on this story.
“Calls for crackdown on parade Muslim extremists,” by Thomas Harding for the Telegraph, March 11:
Politicians and families of dead soldiers have united in urging the Government to crack down on the outlawed al Muhajiroun organisation after British soldiers were abused by Muslim protestors in Luton.
The outcry over soldiers in uniform being verbally attacked has continued after a Muslim preacher who was formerly the member of a now illegal group accused them of being “cowards” and “brutal murderers”.
Internet sites have been swamped with families horrified at the men of 2nd Bn The Royal Anglians being confronted with placards that branded them as killers, rapists and terrorists.
The small group of demonstrators in Luton are thought to have links with al-Muhajiroun an organisation that has been outlawed by the Government.
Patrick Mercer, MP, the former Tory Homeland Security spokesman, said the law must be “upheld” to ensure banned groups are targeted.
“If an organisation is proscribed then the government must stop it from operating publicly particularly in such an inflammatory and dangerous way,” he said.
His words came after the outspoken preacher Anjem Choudary, a former member of al-Muhajiroun, posted a message on an extremist Islamic website in which he called the marchpast a “vile parade” of “brutal murderers”.
The homecoming was to “demonstrate their skill at murdering and torturing thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children”, he wrote.
Mr Choudary now leads a group that wants Britain to become an Islamic state and ruled by Sharia law.
And Choudary and his jihadi pals are even allowed to demonstrate in London, calling on Brits to embrace sharia.
Several members of al-Muhajiroun have been jailed for criminal offences including the plot to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre and Ministry of Sound and for incitement to murder after the Danish Embassy protests over the Mohammed cartoons.
The 200 troops Royal Anglians, who have lost 12 men on recent operations, were faced with the hate chant and placards of “Anglian soldiers: Butchers of Basra”.
The relative of a Royal Anglian soldier killed on operations said: “I think it is disgusting that our soldiers have to put up with this abuse.
“There is freedom of speech and there are hate-filled anti-war jibes that are completely unnecessary and wrong.”
Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed in Iraq, said a number of soldiers’ families on the Facebook website were dismayed at the lack of action taken against the demonstrators and
“I know families who have been deeply hurt by their sons being called ‘murderers’ and ‘rapists’. I do agree with the right to protest but these soldiers have been fighting for the freedom of speech and they don’t need abuse like that.”
The Muslim cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who is banned from Britain but still preaches via the internet from Lebanon, said he was proud of the protest.
“My brothers from Luton were protesting against people they see as killers of Muslims in Iraq – including women and children.”
But Akbar Dad Khan, of Luton’s Building Bridges organisation said: ‘They are about 10 to 15 hotheads. The best thing to do is just to ignore them. They do not represent the views of the community.”