Membership of either al-Muhajiroun or Islam4UK would become punishable by 10-year prison term under proposed law
The Islamist group Islam4UK, which planned a march through Wootton Bassett, and its “parent” organisation, al-Muhajiroun, are to be banned under new legislation outlawing the “glorification” of terrorism.
The home secretary, Alan Johnson, is expected to sign off a parliamentary order later this week proposing the ban, based on months of monitoring the output of websites and comments by senior figures.
The decision to proscribe the two organisations, which will have to be endorsed by parliament, will make it a criminal offence punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years to be a member of either organisation, or to attend or address their meetings. Al-Muhajiroun was founded by Omar Bakri Muhammad and Anjem Choudary, and has been operating in Britain since the mid-1980s.
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The group became notorious for praising the September 11 attacks in 2001. Bakri was banned from Britain by the former home secretary Charles Clarke in August 2005, on the grounds that his presence in the country was “not conducive to the public good”.
At the same time, the Home Office announced its intention to ban the group but it disappeared from view before relaunching itself in June last year.
Two offshoots — the Saviour sect and al-Ghurabaa — are already proscribed under the 2000 Terrorism Act.