10 Nov 2011

Theresa May bans Muslims Against Crusades group

Home Secretary Theresa May bans the Muslims Against Crusades group ahead its “hell for heroes” demonstration. Members tell Channel 4 News they will disband but will “never be silenced”.

Theresa May bans Muslims Against Crusades group.

The group, whose members burned poppies near the Royal Albert Hall last year during the minute’s silence, will be outlawed from midnight for “glorifying terrorism” under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

Theresa May said: “I am satisfied Muslims Against Crusades is simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names including Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK.

“The organisation was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name.”

The ban will now make membership of Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) a criminal offence.

MAC, who describe themselves as a “peaceful political and ideological group” committed to promoting Islam and establishing Shariah law in Britian, deny they glorify terrorism.

Read more: MAC calls for anti-royal protest

‘Playing with fire’

The group said it will now dissolve and that the “hell for heroes” demonstration has been cancelled, adding that it does not plan to take any legal action against the ban.

Abu Usamah, a spokesman for Muslims Against Crusades, told Channel 4 News that he believed the ban is an attempt to silence “legitimate dissenting voices.”

He accused the British government of “playing with fire” in encouraging dissent underground.

“We refute that we are an inflammatory group, we are a group opposed to the brutal wars waged in the name of a blissfully unaware British public, and the poppy is a fig leaf to cover up these crimes,

“I do agree the burning of a poppy will cause provocation, but in the context where Muslims are being massacred everyday in Afghanistan it is not the concern, we are here to make people wake up and realise what is actually going on, and if people are offended so be it but we will never be silenced,” Mr Usamah said.

He added that his group objected to money collected by the Royal British Legion from the poppy appeal being used for current and ex-serving personnel.