In an extraordinary interview, a British Muslim leader admitted on CNN that he is soliciting American Muslims via the Internet to carry out violence against the U.S. – a confession that prompted the anchor to call on authorities to arrest him as a “heinous terrorist.”
Anjem Choudary, a radical Muslim activist in London, also contended that Western Muslims – including Muslims in America – secretly want to impose Shariah, the Islamic legal code that administers cruel and unusual punishments such as stonings and amputations.
The 43-year-old Choudary is a vocal critic of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and has praised the 7/7 terrorists who bombed the London subway. He also has praised the 9/11 terrorists as “magnificent martyrs.”
Appearing on CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” show in his trademark black skull cap and long beard, Choudary exhorted American Muslims to join al-Qaida in its jihad against the West.
“Jihad to liberate Muslim land is an obligation for the Muslims to support verbally, financially and physically to liberate and to defend our lives,” he said. “And of course, this is something, you know, the Muslims around the world I don’t think would differ with.
“They may say one thing to you in front of CNN,” he told former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and co-host Kathleen Parker. “But I can assure you behind your backs – in every masjid (mosque) and every community center – they are standing with their Muslim brothers and sisters saying, ‘We hope the Americans and British are pushed out of our countries, and we can implement the Shariah.’”
Choudary, a lawyer, has agitated for Shariah in Britain and has said the flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House.
Parker, a journalist, asked: “Does that mean the work of the Muslims is imposing Shariah law on everyone who’s not a Muslim, including Americans?”
Indeed it is, Choudary replied, adding that Shariah is “superior” to man-made Western law.
“Look, the Shariah law is the divine law sent by God to the final messenger Muhammad, Rasul Allah Salallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam,” he said. “It is justice for mankind. It will take mankind out of the shackles of man-made law into the perfection and beauty of divine law.”
He added: “So of course I want that everywhere. I want to share that with you. Surely it’s a very noble thing to invite someone to a superior way of life.”
Choudary asserted that Americans have been living in the “darkness” of man-made law.
He also said the “cycle of violence” afflicting the West in the form of terrorist attacks will stop only when “you withdraw your troops (from Afghanistan and Iraq), stop supporting the parasite of Israel; and then perhaps we can have a dialogue and discussion.”
Choudary says he supports the fatwahs against the U.S. issued by al-Qaida leaders.
“These warnings are there in the statements of Sheik Osama bin Laden, Sheik Ayman al-Zawahiri, Adam Gadahn,” he said. “Why is the American establishment not taking heed? I think that is the real question.”
Spitzer pointedly asked Choudary: “Are you communicating with individuals in the United States and encouraging them to participate in attacks of this sort?”
Choudary responded: “Of course I am. You know, I am participating in communication with people all around the world. As you know, the Internet makes the world a very small place. You know, we have a lot of support.”
With that, Spitzer, a former New York criminal prosecutor, called for his arrest.
“Mr. Choudary, based upon your answer, I believe – and I’m sure many prosecutors will listen to your answer – you have violated U.S. law. You deserve to be arrested, prosecuted, jailed for the rest of your life. That is what you, sir, deserve,” he said. “You are a violent and heinous terrorist. You can speak to people from behind prison bars, as far as we’re concerned, sir.”
Spitzer then tried to cut Choudary off, but the Muslim leader got in the last word:
“You can use as much pejorative as you wish, but my invitation is a peaceful one for people to embrace Islam and to warn them obviously of the consequences of occupying Muslim land. I think that’s a very decent thing,” he said. “If we said to you, ‘Look, there’s not going to be any consequence by people attacking Muslims,’ then, you know, I think that would not be a very honorable thing to say.”
The Pentagon now says the U.S. military will maintain a permanent presence in Iraq and will be fighting in Afghanistan through 2014.