That this is a story, that this is an incident, that there is an investigation over this, shows what clueless idiots the British authorities really are. The banner on the back of the van says, “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.”
That is the shahadah, the Islamic profession of faith. Every Muslim believes in it, or he or she is not a Muslim. It is not the property of al-Qaeda or of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Those groups use it, of course, because of a fact that the British authorities determinedly ignore, deny, and downplay: they use it because they are Muslims fighting for Islam and because of Islam, energized and motivated by Islamic teachings and principles.
If the British start investigating on suspicion of terrorism every Muslim who holds up a banner saying that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet, they’ll have to investigate every Muslim in the country. Anjem Choudary is no doubt a jihadist and probably has terror ties, and it is entirely justifiable to investigate him — but the grounds on which they have chosen to do so are going to entangle them in their own contradictions and willful denial of the reality of Islamic jihad — in ways that are likely to give them problems with Britain’s slick and self-serving “moderate” Muslim spokesmen like Maajid Nawaz and Mohammed Ansar. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people.
“Hate preacher investigated over driving ‘al-Qaeda van’ in London,” from Al Arabiya, March 9 (thanks to Mackie):
An extremist preacher who recently drove a van emblazoned with al-Qaeda logos on a busy London high street could face prosecution under the UK’s anti-terror laws, according to The Sunday Times.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary and his followers staged what is being called the “al-Qaeda van” stunt last Saturday, on a busy road in northeast London.
The YouTube footage of the stunt was uploaded by a group called Need4Khilafah, the newspaper said.
The “road show” featured a white van with posters on its bonnet and back doors of the logo used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), a radical Islamic militant group fighting in war-torn Syria.
Choudary appears halfway through the footage, while chants of praise for Dawlet al-Islam, or ISIS, can be heard in the video.
“The former lawyer is careful not to be filmed with the ISIS logo, which is also seen on a badge being pinned to a child’s coat,” The Times said, referring to Choudary.
Abdul Muhid, one of Choudary’s followers, used a loud-speaker from inside the van to shout: “Islam is the solution for Great Britain, Islam is the solution for the world.”
One of the videos of the stunt garnered more than 7,000 view on YouTube.
“The use of this logo and the call for an Islamic state in London seems very reminiscent of ISIS in Syria,” Raffaello Pantucci, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Times.
“On paper, this group, Need4Khilafah, looks like al-Muhajiroun and its many offshoots. It’s the same group of people involved in the same type of activities.”
Meanwhile, Choudary was quoted by The Times as saying the usage of the logo is something “very common” to Muslims.
“It’s not something that belongs to ISIS or any organization like al-Qaeda,” he said. “It’s something that belongs to [all] Muslims.”