Al-Muhajiroun & Religious hatred
Islamophobia has grown rapidly since 9/11. In fact, many Sikhs have suffered the brunt of it due to their wearing turbans, some have even been murdered. The Islamic community must now face this issue with the maturity not to simply blame the entire media but to tackle fundamental issues that are hindering their integration in modern multicultural Britain.
The Al-Muhajiroun are alleged to be the biggest causal factor of Islamophobia and main source of racial hatred toward other cultures from within the Muslim community. Most mainstream muslim organisations refute this extremist group, others deny there is a problem stating the group is an Islamic preaching body. Either way it is clear that the group use the media to whip up or spin Islamophobia for missionary purposes. The regular 'Rally for Islam' may as well be renamed 'Rally for Racial Hatred' as the group ensure posters and publicity includes as much racial hatred jibes at other religions, cultures and communities.
The 'invitation' poster that Al-Muhajiroun were offering on their website follows but was not sent to any members of any Sikh organisations. It is followed by an account of what happened on Sunday 25th July 2004 and at previous rallies.
The invitation poster 2004 AN INVITATION TO SIKHS AND HINDUS TO EMBRACE THE TRUTH RALLY FOR ISLAM (IX) IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE - SUNDAY JULY 25TH - 1PM - 6PM - ALL WELCOME… Hundreds of Muslims from across the UK are set to converge in London's Trafalgar Square on the 25th of July for the Annual Rally for Islam. This year will be the 9th anniversary of the rally and promises to be the best yet. The British public will once again witness many non-Muslims: previously Jews, Christians, Hindus & Sikhs (idol worshippers), Atheists, Socialists etc giving up their false beliefs and ideologies in order to embrace the divine way of life which Islam offers to them openly and publicly. Debates and Discussions on the inimitability of the Qur'an and the finality of the Message (of Islam) from God through the Messenger Muhammad (saw) will be held, with an invitation for all present to either refute Islam or accept its superiority. The speakers will also set out to present Islam as the only real future for Britain and indeed the World in terms of maintaining Honesty, Home-land Security, Morality, Mental well being, Family protection, continued scientific and material progress, psychological health as well as providing a comprehensive code for humanity to live their life by.
The Square will also host a number of Marquees presenting various aspects of Islam such as its unique economic system able to solve the problems of inflation, the hoarding of wealth and the fair distribution of resources - Islam's unique social system which eradicates the exploitation of the sexes and eliminates promiscuity, pornography and sexual deviancy and Islam's ruling system based upon the concept of sovereignty for God alone, where man is not a dictator (like Bush or Blair) but rather God's trustee on Earth managing mankind's affairs according to God's infallible law...etc... Here is a message to all the Sikhs and Hindus; put your pride to one side and accept the Truth. Yes, Islam, the religion that you detest the most is really the only religion that will help you when you leave this life.
To the Hindu's; forget the caste system and all the fuss about reincarnation and accept the fact that everybody is equal in the eyes of God and all will be accounted on the Day of Judgement. As for the Sikhs, acknowledge, that as a man-made system your belief is really just a hotpot of different religions and opinions "jumbled together".
The fierce disagreements between Muslims and Hindu's have been going since the advent of Islam.
Historically, the effect of Islam in the Indian sub-continent region was instant. Its emphasis on One God corrected many of the social issues and "mystical" beliefs associated with Hinduism at the time. The caste system was seen in its true nature; a racist structure geared to preserve the rich over the poor. Islam offered those at the bottom of the organization a way of being equal and simultaneously having a belief system that fitted naturally with the human self.
The Hindu tradition of worshipping idols was (and still is) seen as a major act of ignorance, as creation can never worship creation, particularly when there is a Creator who has designed and established everything from apples to zebras. Also, the heavy emphasis on superstition places the individual under much stress in his daily life. Islam in comparison has no place for false notions as everything is under the control of Almighty God therefore dismissing any talk of good or bad luck.
As mentioned, Islam corrected the numerous inadequacies Hinduism imposed on society; thus impressing on intellectuals such as Guru Nanak (the founder of Sikhism) that the religion of Muhammad (saw) was in fact the truth. However, Nanak could not accept Islam in its entirety so chose just the key features that favoured him and the people.
However, because Sikhism is man-made it has many weaknesses, all Sikhs must ponder the following: Firstly, the religion lacks depth and is easily brainwashed by more dominant systems. Hinduism still has a great influence on the Sikhs as the caste system highlight - the idea that everyone is equal in the eyes of God is rarely practised by the Sikhs, as inter-caste marriage is still a taboo subject. Secondly, Nanak made no claims to divinity or to kinship with God and did not want to be worshipped as a kind of prophet (K.Singh, 1953). But, today many Sikhs do this by hanging a picture of Nanak and directing their prayers towards it. Thirdly, unlike Islam where the doctrine has stood firm for over 1400 years, Sikhism has evolved; taking in new directions with every new Guru. Key elements of the religion have been dramatically altered such as the treatment of the dead; in Nanak's time they were buried whereas today they are cremated. Surely, these facts that are just a scratch on the surface emphasise the lack of Divinity found in this belief.
Islam offers the individual and society peace, happiness and security as everybody acknowledges his and her Creator, Allah (swt). All the problems that man faces are not sorted out via various mystical ritual acts but through having Trust in Allah (swt). Islam is the religion for the whole of Mankind, whether somebody comes from Africa, Asia or Europe. Furthermore, the love of money, which is so rife in both Hinduism and Sikhism, forcing some people to be treated or considered insignificant because they do not have the latest BMW or Mercedes, is considered unimportant in Islam. The good deeds of an individual in this life and worthwhile actions that are not motivated by economic reasons will help the Believer to attain blissful happiness in Paradise.
The Seal of Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (saw) said that at the lowest level of Paradise each person will have up to 10,000 servants! Another saying of the Holy Prophet (saw) was in relation to the love of this life to the Hereafter. He said (saw) the material life of this world is like a drop of water whereas all the delights in the next life are equivalent to the Ocean.
So, the message to any Sikh and Hindu is do your research and ask yourself "are you Sikh or Hindu because you really want to be or is it because your parents are". Remember, on the Day of Judgment, no religion will be accepted from Allah except Islam. Come to Trafalgar Square on the 25th July 2004 and give up your false beliefs and accept the perfect and embrace Deen of Al-Islam. "And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [EMQ 3:85]
The group claims to be - The Voice, The Eyes & The Ears of Muslims
An account of what happened on Sunday 25th July 2004
On the 25th July 2004 between 600 and 700 Al-Muhajiroun members were expected at the midday rally in Trafalgar Square, with the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone threatening to take legal action if the rally went ahead.
Sikhs and members of other communities turned up to make peaceful protests carrying banners stating "Sikhs Against Al-Muhajiroun", and "God loves all Religions". They were more than ready to see what 'truths' the organisers wanted them to 'embrace'. Sikhs distributed literature to the Metropolitan police, tourists and members of other communities about Interfaith tolerance and multiculturalism to shed the light of knowledge on the negative shadow of ignorance and racial hatred placed on the day by members of the supposedly extremist Al-Muhajiroun.
The Metropolitan police and members of other communities that attended deserve great praise for the tolerance they all showed towards each other. Sikhs then patiently sat and awaited the arrival of members of the supposedly extremist Al-Muhajiroun whilst reciting the Chaupai Sahib prayers. Following the prayers, the 500 strong Sikhs stood to participate in Ardaas which was completed with five ecstatic cries of "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal".
Then news came in that the supposedly extremist organisers had confirmed they had decided to move the rally to an undisclosed venue in Essex because of "safety fears". The peaceful protest had been a success as the Al-Muhajiroun had cancelled its rally and thus no blaspheming about the Sikh religion (or any other) took place in Trafalgar Square.
Anjem Choudary, the UK head of Al-Muhajiroun, said: "We could not guarantee the safety and security of the attendees… there were a number of people coming from all over the country… it would be very difficult for us to control."
He continued; "there has been lot of negative publicity and propaganda ", which can only be taken as a description of the ignorant, prejudiced views expressed on their very own Al Muhajiroun poster for the rally.
He said the group took seriously the threat posed by terror group al Qaida. Mr Choudary said: "It could be anywhere in Europe but the most likely target is Britain."
A trained as a lawyer, Anjem Choudary who apparently draws £25,000 a year in benefits from the British taxpayers was in the news again this year (2010). His threats to carry out protests at Wootton Bassett, UK recently had ended with his group, Islam4UK a branch of al-Muhajiroun being proscribed as a hate group. The British Home Secretary Alan Johnson banned Choudary's group, making it a criminal offence to be a member.
This is what happened in the 2002 rally: Extreme reactions by Josie Appleton, spiked politics 'Allah is the owner of Britain, the owner of the universe', shouted Abu Hamza, radical imam of Finsbury Park mosque, at the Rally for Islam in Trafalgar Square on 25 August.
Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, leader of the group Al-Muhajiroun that headed the rally, said that he had a 'religious obligation to invite non-Muslims to Islam', and directed his call to Queen Elizabeth II herself: 'Come over to Islam!'
It might seem difficult to see the difference between the Islamic demonstrators and the United Church of something or other that occupied Trafalgar Square after them. Only the Muslim demo was filmed by a number of cameramen, and there was a journalist every few yards - so there must have been something to it.
This something was not easy to see. One Muslim convert after another filed up on to the stage to tell how they had found out the truth. One man said that he used to be a Hindu and worshipped animals, whereas now he is enlightened and only worships Allah. A young English woman gave a long and high-pitched speech on how 'Allah has given us a system of life', and how you will 'burn for eternity if you don't come over to Islam'. Her voice got louder and more shrill, and began to bounce back off the National Gallery.
The afternoon was made still more surreal by the presence of counter demonstrations from the Iraqi and Iranian Communist Parties, who somewhat belatedly shouted 'Taliban, out, out!'; the far-right British National Party (BNP) and National Front (NF), who slouched about in a clump surrounded by a ring of police, mustering the occasional football chant; and a few Christians clutching copies of the Holy Bible.
At times, this made for some amusing interactions. Bakri saying that he would pray for the BNP, for example (I wonder if he did); or the Christians responding to whatever was said on the stage with cries about Jesus (Bakri: 'Bush says, "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists"'; Christian: 'I'm with Jesus!').
The demo had been hyped for weeks, labelled by the London Evening Standard as the march for bin Laden. Certainly there was a braggadocio about these Islamists - their 'invitations' to the Queen and prime minister Tony Blair, for example, or their calls for an Islamic state of Great Britain.
But there was also a real attempt to look respectable. After waving his hook at the crowd, Abu Hamza said: 'Thank you all, Muslims and non-Muslims for taking part and taking care in this demonstration.' He emphasised how, unlike other groups, Islam was not racist: 'From the whitest white to the blackest black', Islam would 'accept anybody', even 'as leaders of the whole Muslim people'.
Bakri complained that 'people in the West' misunderstood the nature of the demo: they 'think you are coming here to condemn everything'. The media, he said, was highly intolerant of Islam: 'In a civilised society, people must show respect for each other.'
For people who present themselves as tough Muslim warriors, those around Al-Muhajiroun seem to have a terrible vanity about how they are portrayed in the media. Speaker after speaker criticised the 'biased Western media' that 'portrays Islam as terror'; or attacked the 'propaganda machine of press and politicians'. I doubt the Prophet Muhammad ever worried so much about what people said about him.
Perhaps Al-Muhajiroun is so sensitive to the media because it is so dependent upon it. This is not an organisation with swathes of members - in many ways, it lives and breathes by its publicity wing. Even Al-Muhajiroun itself only claimed a '3-4000 strong crowd' at the Rally for Islam (and that was including the BNP, communists, police and the media) - realistically, only a few hundred genuine supporters turned up.
THE MESSAGE TO AL-MUHAJIROUN IS CLEAR:
THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU IN TOLERANT MULTICULTURAL BRITAIN SO EITHER PUT UP OR SHUT UP