Tags: UK | Muslim | cleric | war | march

UK Row Over Muslim Cleric Anti-War March

Tuesday, 05 Jan 2010 01:03 AM


LONDON -- A controversial British Muslim cleric is threatening to stage a march through the town that receives the bodies of British war dead as a protest against the war in Afghanistan, drawing fury and outrage.

Anjem Choudary has accused soldiers of "murderous crimes," and said the United States and United Kingdom are seeking to "establish their own military, economic, strategic and ideological interests in the region."

British and American troops are suffering "depression" as they realize "there is no real moral or ethic (sic) reason for them to murder innocent men, women and children to fulfill their politicians (sic) agenda," the preacher says.

His organization proposes to parade empty coffins through the streets of the English town of Wootton Bassett, where the bodies of British war dead are traditionally brought when they return to the country.

Relatives and friends line the streets of the town along with local residents as hearses carry the flag-draped British remains, in scenes of public mourning widely reported by British media.

Choudary has not announced a date for his planned march and local police said Saturday he had not contacted them about it, as people planning marches are required to do before staging a demonstration.

But the threat itself prompted more than 215,000 people to join a Facebook group opposing the march as of Monday, a day after he posted a letter online justifying it.

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