Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Far From Muslim

One of the leaders in the "Punish The Pope" crowd is Anjem Choudary, an ardent Muslim who has become a lawyer, and preaches hate and violence to the youth of London.

But how devoted is he REALLY? He never speaks about his younger days, even though he claims to have been a devout Muslim all his life. "I was born a Muslim and I have done my best to be a good Muslim all my life," he said. However, This Is London looks deeper into his past, to places he doesn't want people to know about.

This week he stood outside Westminster Cathedral in central London to call for the execution of the Pope as punishment for 'insulting Islam'. He fulminated against Pope Benedict XVl, adding: "Whoever insults the message of Mohammed is going to be subject to capital punishment."

It's a long way from his days as a medical student at Southampton University, where, friends say, he drank, indulged in casual sex, smoked cannabis and even took LSD. He called himself 'Andy' and was famed for his ability to drink a pint of cider in a few seconds.

One former acquaintance said: "At parties, like the rest of us, he was rarely without a joint. The morning after one party, I can remember him getting all the roaches (butts) from the spliffs we had smoked the night before out of the ashtrays, cutting them up and making a new one out of the leftovers.

"He would say he was a Muslim and was proud of his Pakistani heritage, but he did-n't seem to attend any of the mosques in Southampton, and I only knew of him having white girlfriends. He certainly shared a bed with them."

...The only sign of religious fervour came in flashes of anger over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. A friend from that time said: "You didn't want to get him started on that. He would go on and on about the fatwa and he supported calls for the book to be banned. But he would have a glass of cider in his hand when he was carrying on about it."

However, this man has become one of the most prominant muslims in the London Area, and has become so extreme in his preaching that the government keeps a close watch on him. And yet when asked about making liquid explosives he stated, "No, I'm not military-trained. I can make an omelette." As TiL said, "a flippant remark from one whose extremism is so laced with threats of violence."

One reaction from the readers:

I'm amazed at how tolerant this country is towards such people. Why do tax payers have to support such people with such generous benefits? Why don't the police arrest him for inciting murder? Unbelievable!
- Peter, Collier's Wood, London

Welcome to a liberal country Peter. Where politicians believe that terrorisom, violence, crime, and everything bad are a figment of the imagination, and shouldn't be dealt with.