Who is behind the “British Oppression” demo?
Posted by theislamist on May 25, 2007
Some of you will have seen the publicity for a demonstration against “British Oppression”. It is due to be held on 15th June 2007 and stickers advertising it have appeared in Birmingham. A petition against the protest already has over 600 signatories and many inflammatory comments.
When I first saw stickers for the demonstration in my local area I did a search on Google for “British Oppression” and found that a cached version of the website for the demonstration mentioned that it was the website of Omar Bakri Mohammad. So it is clear to me from this and the content of the advert for the demo, that it is being organised by his followers – they are known by the names Al-Muhajiroun, Al-Ghurabaa, the Saved Sect and the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah.
They were behind the demonstration outside the Danish embassy where their activists held placards stating “Massacre those who insult Islam” and “7/7 on its way”. The demonstration was seized upon by the Government to push through new legislation on the vague offence of the ‘glorification’ of terrorism.
In September 2006, one of their activists Abu Izzadeen, was able to get remarkably close to the Home Secretary John Reid. Again, his outburst on that occasion was presented by Reid and other ministers as evidence of widespread ‘radicalisation’ in the Muslim community. Reid utilised the encounter in his speech to the Labour party conference and in the New Statesman, Darcus Howe wrote that the “clash was staged by Reid and his cohorts at the Home Office. They organised the meeting, Abu Izzadeen was invited in advance – his performance guaranteed – and the press was alerted to film and report the confrontation.”
After the 7/7 attacks, Izzadeen had appeared on Newsnight and described the suicide bombers as “completely praiseworthy”. At that time, his comments were again seized upon by Government to bring forward a series of new anti-terrorism measures.
In the publicity for next month’s demo, the organisers have tried to conceal who is really behind it. Although, a few have speculated that the Islamist group HT may be behind it, it doesn’t seem to be their style and in any case their spokesman has distanced them from it saying that they “believe that the posting of such material damages community relations and does nothing to create harmony between the city’s residents.”
I have no doubt that there are legitimate concerns about foreign policy, media coverage of Islam and the Muslim community, terror laws, rendition and so on and so forth. These concerns are shared by many Muslims and non-Muslims from across the political spectrum.
However, I believe that this demo is being organised by agent provocateurs who will fuel the Government’s propaganda that the Muslim community is full of ‘radicalised’ hotheads. It will damage community relations and will be used to justify further erosion of the civil liberties of ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims. Judging by the inflammatory postings on the petition website, it is clear that the mere advertising of this demonstration is causing a wave of Islamophobia.
The question that must be asked is how the organisers have managed to secure permission for the demonstration at Downing Street, inside the exclusion zone? I hate to be sceptical, but I wonder whether the Government does not mind such events from taking place, as they can be capitalised on later, as has been seen in the past.
I certainly won’t be attending the demo and would advise my brothers and sisters to completely boycott it.