Who is Anjem Choudary?
Choudary studied medicine at the University of Southampton but switched to law. He became a solicitor and later chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers. With Omar Bakri Muhammad, he helped form an Islamist organisation, al-Muhajiroun. The group organised several anti-Western demonstrations, including a banned protest march in London for which Choudary was summoned to appear in court. A controversial organisation, Al-Muhajiroun was disbanded, following the UK government's decision to ban it. Choudary was present at the launch of its intended successor, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, and he later helped form Al Ghurabaa, which was also banned. He then became the spokesman for Islam4UK.
Choudary is of Pakistani descent. He is a critic of the UK's involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he praised the terrorists involved in the 11 September 2001 and 7 July 2005 attacks. He believes in the implementation of Sharia law throughout the UK and marched in protest at the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy, following which he was prosecuted for organising an unlawful demonstration. He was also investigated, but not charged, for his comments in 2006 regarding Pope Benedict XVI. He receives little support from mainstream UK Muslims and has been largely criticised in the country's media. The French Interior Ministry has also permanently banned him from entering France.
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