A London-based cleric and preacher has told his followers “Britain is the enemy of Islam”, and defended the murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices just hours after the horror unfolded.
Cleric Mizanur Rahman, of Palmers Green, north London gave a speech to an audience in London on Friday night, also streamed worldwide via the internet, in which he told his followers “Britain is the enemy of Islam”.
Defending the murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, he continues “Insulting Islam… they can’t expect a different result.
“Clearly what happened in France is a war. These cartoons is part of their own war, is part of the pyschological warfare. … You can’t have that attitude. You know what happens when you insult Muhammad.”
He also claimed France was carrying out “ethnic cleansing”. The speech was intercepted by journalists at the Sunday Express who used a false name to access the video. They passed the contents on to Metropolitan Police.
However, Raham didn’t stop there. Speaking during an Islamic radio station broadcast Rahman opined “The approach of France is not one of equality, freedom and liberty, it’s not really what they believe in. What they believe in is insulting Islam. Sadly that fear of the consequences of making fun of Islam, making fun of Islambhas, left the hearts of many of these journalists.”
Sam Westrop, director of counter-extremism group Stand for Peace, warned: “His kind of rhetoric is not an echo of Islamist terror and extremism – it is a driving force behind it.
“It is truly reprehensible for him to speak like this, especially so soon after Paris. He has a long history of backing Islamist terror groups. But we should not treat him as just another Islamist preacher.”
Rahman has a long history of inciting hatred and murder. Between 2007 and 2010 he was jailed for inciting racial hatred and solicitation to murder after calling for the murder of British troops sent to Iraq. His six year sentenced was later revised down to four years on appeal.
During those court proceedings at the Old Bailey, the court watched another tape in which Rahman could be seen inciting hatred. Speaking to a crowd of 300 people outside the Danish Embassy, Rahman was heard to say of British and American troops: “We want to see them coming home in body bags. We want to see their blood running in the streets of Baghdad.
“We want to see the Mujahideen shoot down their planes the way we shoot down birds, we want to see their tanks burn in the way we burn their flags.”
Rahman is again currently on bail having been arrested along with nine others on suspicion of belonging to a prohibited Islamist group last year.
Labour MP Steve McCabe, a former member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “I have spoken to lots of other Muslims horrified by what’s happened. A person like this has no place in our society. If he has breached bail he should be locked up.”
However, Rahman has drawn support from other British Muslims. Abdullah Zobear of Cricklewood, north London posted on Rahman’s Facebook page, saying “There should be same consequence or a severe punishment so people stop mocking any prophet in future with the name of freedom of speech.”
Zobear also posted a picture of an AK47 along with the slogan “Je suis Kouachi” in support of the Kouachi brothers who carried out the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.