Government bans extremist Islamic group

Muslims Against Crusades targeted Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer

Muslims Against Crusades targeted Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer

The government has proscribed an extremist Muslim group notorious for burning poppies on Armistice Day and attacking supporters of Jewish and Israeli causes.

Muslims Against Crusades will be banned from Britain from midnight. Being a member or supporter of the organisation will become a criminal offence.

Home Secretary Theresa May said supporters of the organisation had changed its name in order to operate despite forerunner groups having already been proscribed.

A fortnight ago members of Muslims Against Crusades targeted Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer over his opposition to Palestinian activist Sheikh Raed Salah and membership of Conservative Friends of Israel.

They stormed the MP’s constituency surgery, being held in a local mosque, and called him a “Jewish homosexual pig”.

Mrs May laid an Order this morning proscribing the group and said: “I am satisfied Muslims Against Crusades is simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names including Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al Muhajiroun and Islam4UK.

“That organisation [Islam4UK] was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name."

Mr Freer said: "The Home Secretary will not have taken this decision lightly. In an open democracy we often have to tolerate abhorrent views. I have no doubt that she will have had information presented to her that led her to this decision. She will have balanced the need for free speech against the threat to public order.

"I understand that this group is the latest name for other groups that have been banned. If they rename and reappear I have no doubt the Home Secretary will continue to monitor their activities."

Last updated: 2:27pm, November 10 2011