A Muslim group in the United Kingdom has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.
The Islamic Emirates Project, launched by the Muslims Against the Crusades group, names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.
The project, which uses the motto "The end of man-made law, and the start of Sharia law," was launched exactly six years after Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured 800 others in London. A July 7, 2011 announcement posted on the Muslims Against the Crusades website, states:
"In the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has transformed beyond recognition. What was once a predominantly Christian country has now been overwhelmed by a rising Muslim population, which seeks to preserve its Islamic identity, and protect itself from the satanic values of the tyrannical British government.
"There are now over 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom – which is a staggering 5% of the population – but in truth, it is more than just numbers, indeed the entire infrastructure of Britain is changing; Mosques, Islamic Schools, Shari'ah Courts and Muslim owned businesses, have now become an integral part of the British landscape.
"In light of this glaring fact, Muslims Against Crusades have decided to launch "The Islamic Emirates Project," that will see high profile campaigns launch in Muslim enclaves all over Britain, with the objective to gradually transform Muslim communities into Islamic Emirates operating under Shari'ah law.
"With several Islamic emirates already well established across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, we see this as a radical, but very realistic step in the heart of Western Europe, that will inshaa'allah (God willing), pave the way for the worldwide domination of Islam."
One of the group's strategy documents, "Islamic Prevent 2011: Preventing Secular Fundamentalism and the Occupation of Muslim Land," provides insights into the religious and/or philosophical mindset behind the Islamic Emirates Project. For example, Chapter 1 states: "The Only Identity for Muslims is Islam … In no shape or form can a Muslim support any form of nationalism such as promoting Britishness."
Chapter 4 states: "A Muslim can only abide by Sharia and is not allowed to obey any man-made law." Chapter 5 states: "Muslims must reject secularism and democracy," terms which are "completely alien to Islam and against the basic tenets of Islam." Chapter 10 states: "Every Muslim must call for Sharia to be implemented wherever they are." Chapter 12 states: "It is not allowed for Muslims to integrate with a non-Islamic society." Chapter 13 states: "Muslims should set up Islamic Emirates in the United Kingdom." Chapter 14 states: "Any Muslim who opposed the policies in this pamphlet should be confronted." Chapter 16 states: "Any Muslim who has been affected by the Western way of life need to be rehabilitated."
The Muslims Against the Crusades group is the new identity of Islam4UK, an Islamist group that was proscribed by the British government in January 2010. In an effort to circumvent the government ban, Islam4UK is pursuing a strategy of creating new identities for itself, adopting new names and platforms when others have been compromised.
A leading figure behind Muslims Against the Crusades is Anjem Choudary, a notorious Sharia court judge based in London who believes in the primacy of Islam over all other faiths, and who has long campaigned for Islamic law to be implemented in all of Britain.
Choudary is a former spokesman for Islam4UK, which was "established by sincere Muslims as a platform to propagate the supreme Islamic ideology within the United Kingdom as a divine alternative to man-made law," and to "convince the British public about the superiority of Islam [...] thereby changing public opinion in favour of Islam in order to transfer the authority and power [...] to the Muslims in order to implement the Sharia in Britain."
The guardians of British multiculturalism say Choudary is harmless and, in any event, does not represent the majority of British Muslims. But he has a considerable following and his views on the role of Sharia in Britain are far more popular than many will admit.
For instance, at least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in Britain, almost 20 times as many as previously believed, according to a study by Civitas, a London-based think tank. The report shows that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, and that many are operating in mosques. It warns of a "creeping" acceptance of Sharia principles in British law.
Britain is also creating a parallel Islamic financial system to fill the growing demand for Sharia-compliant banking products in the wake of Muslim mass immigration to the country. According to the "Global Islamic Finance Report 2011," Britain has emerged as "ground zero" for Islamic banking in Europe; and London is now the main center for Islamic finance outside the Muslim world.
Sharia law is transforming daily life in Britain in other ways, as well. In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets),for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets' Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced." And street advertizing deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.
The mayor of Tower Hamlets is the Bangladeshi-born Lutfur Rahman, an ally of Choudary. Rahman is linked to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), an Islamist group dedicated to changing the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam." Not surprisingly, the public libraries in Tower Hamlets have been stocked with books and DVDs containing the extremist rantings of banned Islamist preachers.
Meanwhile, Britain is struggling to combat a cycle of Islamic honor-related kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and murder that is spiralling out of control. According to the London-based Association of Chief Police Officers, up to 17,000 women in Britain are victims of honor-based violence – forced marriages, honor killings, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings, female genital mutilation and other forms of abuse – every year. This figure is 35 times higher than official figures suggest, and British detectives say it is "merely the tip of the iceberg" of this phenomenon.
The Islamic Emirates of Britain Project would seem to be well underway.