Liz Hazelton, Daily Mail (London), December 10, 2008
A Muslim lawyer has launched an extraordinary rant against Christmas, branding the celebration ‘evil’.
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary claimed the festival was the ‘pathway to hell’ and urged his followers to boycott it.
‘In the world today many Muslims, especially those residing in Western countries, are exposed to the evil celebration Christmas,’ he raged in a sermon broadcast on the internet.
‘Many take part in the festival celebrations by having Christmas turkey dinners.
‘Decorating the house, purchasing Christmas trees or having Christmas turkey meals are completely prohibited by Allah.
‘Many still practise this corrupt celebration as a remembrance of the birth of Jesus.
‘How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring?
‘The very concept of Christmas contradicts and conflicts with the foundation of Islam.
‘Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire.
‘Protect your Paradise from being taken away—protect yourself and your family from Christmas.’
His comments were condemned by Robin Tilbrook, chairman of the English Democrats, who branded them ‘nonsense’.
‘You really start to wonder why the people behind this want to be in Britain in the first place,’ he said.
‘Why live here if that’s how you feel?
‘It’s an extremely narrow-minded, jihadist, anti-Western viewpoint. It’s such a backwards take on things.
‘The ironic thing is Islam recognises Jesus as a leading prophet, and Christmas is based around him.
‘I’m happy for these people to spout nonsense like this because it just shows them up for what they really are.’
Fanatic Choudhary, 41, who is chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, is the right-hand man of exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed.
His family lives on £25,000-a-year benefit handout while he has gained notoriety as a firebrand speaker lauded by extremist groups.
In the past he has demanded the execution of the Pope, organised mass demonstrations against the publication of cartoons which allegedly insulted Mohammed and urged Muslims to have more babies to take over the UK.
Choudary’s comments about Christmas come as councils were told by ministers to focus more strongly on tackling violent extremists
In speeches in London, both Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said there needed to be a greater emphasis on ‘confronting’ the ‘sharper end’ of militant ideology, including directly targeting extremist leaders.
They said that it was no longer sufficient for councils to focus on promoting improved community cohesion while radicals were allowed to operate unhindered.
The ministers added that inaction risked allowing extremists to target the young and other vulnerable individuals and warned that some local authorities could lose funding if they failed to adopt a more robust approach to tackling radicalism.
Neither minister criticised any local authority directly,
But recent cases such as the revelation by the London Evening Standard that a speech by Omar Bakri Mohammed was broadcast during a meeting in a hall hired from Tower Hamlets council, have highlighted concerns.
In her speech, Ms Blears said that many councils had already engaged in positive work, such as training imams in English.