Police in East London have vowed to tackle Islamist extremists suspected of threatening violence against Asian women for not wearing headscarves, with one victim claiming she received a death threat, The London Evening Standard reports this week.
A 31-year-old woman was told that the Whitechapel pharmacy she works in would be boycotted unless she covered her hair. The woman, who is not a practising Muslim, says her life was threatened when she went to the media with her story.
Islamist fanatics are also thought to be responsible for plastering stickers reading: “Gay-free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment” in Tower Hamlets, for defacing high street fashion chain H&M‘s posters of bikini-clad models, and for daubing Bollywood film posters with black paint.
Paul Rickett of the Met said: “A small minority of people do not wish to respect the lifestyle choices of others. I would like to reassure people that we are investigating. Anyone found committing such criminal acts will face criminal proceedings.”
Radical Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary said he was aware of individuals who would speak up if they saw a Muslim woman without a headscarf, but insisted they were only giving advice about their views of Islam. He said the death threat allegation was “ridiculous”. Three men have been charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage in connection with vandalism.
Ghaffar Hussain, of the Quilliam Foundation anti-extremism think tank, said the intimidation was the work of “Talibanesque thugs” and added: “This minority think they have the right to impose their fringe interpretation of Islam on others.”
Charles Kelly of Immigration Matters will be appearing on a special discussion programme covering the above story and immigration issues on IslamChannel TV next week.
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