Joking Muslim cleric mocks victims of London blasts

A speech by an extremist Muslim cleric praising the London bombers and mocking victims of suicide attacks has been broadcast on the internet to coincide with the anniversary of the July 7 attacks.

The audience laughs as Omar Brooks, a British Muslim convert who also uses the name Abu Izzadeen, makes fun of non-Muslims as “animals” and “cowards”.

Brooks — who has previously described the London bombers as “completely praiseworthy” — identifies with the views of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the ringleader of the London attacks.

He contrasts the supposed bravery of Khan’s suicide to the “kuffar” (non-Muslims) who are characterised as debauched binge-drinkers who vomit and urinate in the street.

The speech is peppered with jokes that bring laughter from his audience at the Small Heath youth and community centre in Birmingham, where it was filmed last Sunday.

At one point he announces dramatically that the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center “changed many ‘ lives”. After a pause, he brings the house down by adding: “Especially those inside.”

His comments were condemned by Rachel North, a survivor of the King’s Cross bomb. “It’s clearly calculated to upset people and is pretty disgusting. I would imagine these statements are something that the police would be interested in because they might encourage other people to get involved in terrorism.”

She disclosed that she had received abuse from supporters of the terrorists. “I’ve had abusive e-mails from people saying that I am part of a government conspiracy, that it’s a shame I didn’t die in the bombings. It’s pretty low, but I have chosen not to publish these e-mails because I don’t want to give them publicity.”

Brooks, 31, a former electrician who was born into a Christian family of Jamaican origin in east London, is already under police investigation.

Police submitted a file on his activities to the Crown Prosecution Service last month after an undercover investigation by The Sunday Times last July tape-recorded him imploring Muslims to “instil terror into the hearts of the kuffar”.

On that occasion he told an audience of teenagers and young families that he did not want to go to Allah while sleeping in his bed “like an old woman”. Instead, he said: “I want to be blown into pieces with my hands in one place and my feet in another.”

He has continued to speak out publicly despite the government’s attempt to crack down on the “preachers of hate”.

His latest speech was at an event entitled “How can we prevent another 7/7?” and organised by a little known umbrella group called the Islamic Research Forum. It includes members of Al-Ghurabaa and the Saviour Sect, both formed from the break-up of Al-Muhajiroun, the Islamic organisation that described the September 11 terrorists as the “Magnificent 19”.

Last August Tony Blair announced that he would ban “the successor organisation of Al-Muhajiroun”, but this is one of a number of anti-terror proposals that have proved difficult to implement.

Omar Bakri, former leader of Al-Muhajiroun, fled Britain last year amid fears of a crackdown on radical preachers. He is said to have been replaced as the leader of the Saviour Sect by Brooks.

The video of last Sunday’s speech was posted on the Al-Ghurabaa website ahead of Friday’s memorial service for the 52 people who were killed by the four suicide bombers.

Brooks is dismissive of calls for reconciliation. “I know as Friday approaches there will be many epitaphs and speeches and sermons, and maybe the archbishop of somewhere or other is going to come out and say, you know, we’ll call for peace around the world blah, blah, blah.

“But if we took the time to read Mohammad Sidique Khan’s will [the video confession broadcast after the attacks], we will see the answer for our problems.”

Khan, whose bomb killed six people on a Tube at Edgware Road, is held up as an example by Brooks because he didn’t fear death. “We’re talking about people who want to die the way you like to live,” he said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Times, UK
July 9, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday July 9, 2006.
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