Whitechapel is on the outskirts of London, but it is an area where Muslims enforce Sharia law without any interference from British officials. On Saturday, they took it a step further and told shop owners in the area they will face 40 lashes if they continue to sell alcohol.
The protesters, including Anjem Choudary, the former leader of the Al-Muhajiroun group which was banned under terrorism laws, delivered warning letters to Muslim-owned businesses.
“The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited,” he said. “We cannot live among the non-Muslims and see this evil take place.”
Mizanur Rahman, organiser of the protest, said it had urged business owners to stop selling alcohol in breach of Muslim laws.
Mr Rahman said: “We want Sharia law to be enforced in Britain,” before adding that many of the Muslim owners had been “embarrassed and ashamed” when confronted about their alcohol sales, but had argued that it was an economic necessity.
In 2011, The Daily Mail did an exposé on these “Muslim patrols” and how the English government has not done anything to stop. Women are targeted if they do not wear a headscarf.
An Asian woman who works in a pharmacy in east London was told to dress more modestly and wear a veil or the shop would be boycotted.
When she went to the media to talk about the abuse she suffered, a man later entered the pharmacy and told her: ‘If you keep doing these things, we are going to kill you’.
These patrols plastered the area with posters to remind citizens it is a Sharia zone. Choudary was linked to these posters and claimed they had 50,000 people who would even pass out stickers to people with the reminders. However, no one received any severe punishment. Mohammed Hasneth, 18, was fined £100 for distributing the stickers. The Tower Hamlets Council said they would look into the matter, but only removed the posters.
On January 17, 2013, a YouTube video was released, believed to be taped on January 12 and 13 and showed Muslims harassing citizens in the area. One man told a woman she could not wear her skirt because it is a Muslim area. Another woman told the men she could not believe them when they told her they enforce Sharia Law in the area.
The Muslims respond: We do not care if you believe it or not.
In other clips, gang members accost people for simply walking in front of a mosque and they also harass a man they perceive to be gay. They throw slurs at him and he is frightened for his life before he is able to leave unharmed.
On October 24, an American student was beaten and slashed by gangs in Whitechapel because he was drinking. The gang attacked Francesco Houyne, 22, and smashed a bottle of beer in his face. He suffered deep slash wounds and a chipped tooth. His face is permanently scarred and he did not know if he wanted to stay in London.