(CNSNews.com) – A Lebanese-based radical cleric notorious for his fiery sermons and support for jihad soon will deliver a fatwa regarding “
A Web site promoting Thursday’s so-called “Shariah4America” rally says the fatwa – an Islamic religious injunction – will be delivered by Omar Bakri Mohammed.
“With the unwarranted interference of
The site describes Bakri as “one of the leading scholars of the Islamic world.” In fact, the Syrian-born fundamentalist cleric is better known in
He called openly for jihad against
After 9/11, the organization led by Bakri, al-Muhajiroun (“The Emigrants”), began holding events on the anniversary of the attacks, extolling the “19 brave and courageous Muslims” who carried out the deadly hijackings.
The British government than banned him from returning, and also announced it would proscribe al-Muhajiroun. Others in the group, notably the man described as Bakri’s deputy, Anjem Choudary, continued to operate under other names, including the Savior Sect and Islam4UK, with the Lebanon-based Bakri acting as “spiritual leader.”
The British government in January last year formally banned Islam4UK under that name and that of its earlier incarnation, al-Muhajiroun.
The Shariah4America Web site calls Bakri the worldwide leader of al-Muhajiroun.
‘Revive the caliphate’
Anjem Choudary, who remains closely associated with Bakri, is reportedly organizing Thursday’s pro-shari’a event in
Thursday marks the 87th anniversary of the formal abolition of the Islamic caliphate by Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The caliphate had existed in various forms since the days of Mohammed. Proponents of reviving the caliphate range from the Muslim Brotherhood to al-Qaeda, and both Choudary and Bakri fall into that camp.
While it is not clear if the planned event in D.C. will go ahead, several groups are planning counter-demonstrations on Thursday. They include the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), whose president Zuhdi Jasser denounced the event as “an affront to very idea of
Jasser in a statement challenged American Muslims to take a stand against the shari’a-promoting ideology.
“The silence of American Muslims against the Islamic state and political Islam allows radical groups like this to speak for all Muslims,” he said.
Also opposing the planned rally is the Liberty Alliance Coalition, which plans a press conference near the White House at noon on Thursday to “call for an end to false accusations of ‘bigotry’ and ‘Islamophobia’ designed to silence those voicing concern about the threat of shari’a law to the Constitution.”
Abu Izzadeen is a Muslim preacher who served a three-and-a-half year prison sentence in
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) recently wrote to the State Department and Homeland Security Department, urging them to deny visas to both Choudary and Abu Izzadeen.
“Anyone convicted of a terrorism charge should not be allowed to step foot on American soil,” she wrote.
Choudary has long been portrayed in British media as a publicity-seeking rabble rouser, who uses shock tactics to make headlines. The Shariah4America Web site features doctored photographs of the Statue of Liberty draped in a Muslim veil and the White House sporting a dome, minarets and Islamic flag.
His association with Bakri goes back more than a decade, and the two reportedly co-founded al-Muhajiroun.
Choudary at one stage also chaired a London-based organization called the Muslim Cultural Society (Bakri was a trustee) until the British government’s Charities Commission revoked its charitable status. The supposedly charitable group acknowledged raising funds and recruiting fighters for jihad in places like