Muslim Extremes

I’m never really sure if I want to photograph the events organised by Anjem Choudary, to give publicity to his small group of Muslims with deliberately provocative views. I’m not sure I believe the wide- spread story that he is backed by MI5 to attract the wilder elements of the Muslim fringe so they can more easily keep tabs on them, but there must be some reason why he has been allowed to continue his activities as he has while various organisations with which he has been involved have been banned.

Choudary is certainly a clever man, though some of his supporters rather less so have got into problems with the law. But the main problems in covering this protest were not from the protesters who are happy to be photographed but from the police. The protest was taking place on a fairly narrow pavement on a fairly busy road, and police seemed to have an obsession about keeping it clear. They were objecting to me standing in various places, although I was careful not to be causing any obstruction – by standing behind trees, police officers and other things that were already obstructing the path.

What annoys me isn’t that police tell me to move if I am causing an obstruction (though it would sometimes be nice if they were more polite about it) but that they refuse to engage in any sensible discussion about the matter. Police at times just do not have a sensible or reasonable mode, and this was one such time – though there seemed to be no reason for it.

Keeping the pavement clear was in the event rather pointless as very few people were choosing to walk down it, with almost all of those coming out choosing to cross the road immediately to get away from Choudary. He isn’t generally very popular with Muslims of any persuasion.

It is easy to scoff at these people, though the threats he has made about Sunni armies coming to establish a Khalifa seem significantly more real now that ISIS have been taking control of large areas of Iraq.

As usual there were also women at the protest, taking rather a back seat a few yards down the road, holding posters and joining in the chanting, but as  always it was hard not to feel they were being treated as second-class citizens.

Of course these women may not feel this,  though I suspect some of them do. When they have had an all-women protest (carefully supervised by a few men) they showed themselves capable of speaking at least as well as the men.

More pictures at London Mosque protest for Sunni extremist.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.