Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has called the latest front cover of Charlie Hebdo an “act of war” against Muslims. The magazine features Mohammed crying and holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign, with the headline roughly translating to “Everything is forgiven”.
But Choudary was unimpressed with the offering from the remaining staff at Charlie Hebdo claiming it was “ridiculing” Mohammed. He said the magazine was attacking the Muslim leader’s personality, and that publishing it was “extremely serious”.
This is the second intervention by Choudary since Islamic terrorists launched the devastating machine gun attack on Charlie Hebdo that left 17 dead and many more injured. Soon after the murders, he issued an open letter in which he said: “Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.”
He claimed the latest front cover was “blatant provocation” and claimed insulting Islam and Muslims is “part of the war that is taking place”. He went on to demand that Western societies be “sensible and sensitive to the emotions and the feelings of the Muslims”, and accused governments of refusing to “nip it in the bud”.
His comments came as Charlie Hebdo announced they had sold out of their first million copies of the post-attack edition. This had been widely expected and the publishers had made provision to print a total of three million copies, using the printing press at Le Monde. The further two million copies are now being printed.
Choudary has been accused of hypocrisy in the past because he had a fondness for drinking cider when he was at Southampton University, something strictly forbidden in Islam. At the time he styled himself “Andy” and only developed an interest in radical Islam when he failed in his ambition to become a lawyer at a top City of London firm.
The 47-year-old, who lectures in Sharia law, was arrested in September as part of an investigation into Islamist terrorism but later bailed. His regular media contributions have made his a hated figure in both the UK and America.
He first became well known when he organised protests against the return of the Anglian Regiment to Luton from Iraq in March 2009. The Muslim group chanted “Anglian Soldiers: Butchers of Basra” and “Anglian Soldiers: cowards, killers, extremists” as the soldiers marched through the town. The English Defence League was founded by Tommy Robinson in Luton as a counterbalance to Choudary’s campaigns.