LONDON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Muslims living in Britain are facing two choices; either to migrate or to join the jihad, a key Islamic figure has said.
Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammed, leader of the now officially disbanded Islamic militant group Al Muhajiroun told United Press International Saturday that as the covenant of security under which Muslims previously lived in Britain has been broken, Muslims must now consider themselves at war.
"And I declare we should ourselves join the global Islamic camp against the global crusade camp," he said.
What violated the covenant, according to Sheikh Omar, was the anti-terrorist legislation introduced in the United Kingdom after the 9/11 attacks. If the British government would review these policies and release those detained without trial in Belmarsh prison and elsewhere, Muslims could live at peace in Britain. Otherwise, they must prepare themselves to fight.
"The response from the Muslims will be horrendous if the British government continues in the way it treats Muslims," he said, adding that suicide bombings were a possibility.
He called on Muslims to form a new coalition united behind al-Qaida with Osama Bin Laden as their leader.
This jihadi group would replace Al-Muhajiroun, which is no longer needed, he said. By dissolving such parties the Muslim community will have to come together, and as the judge of the Sharia court in Britain, he is the one to unite them, he added.
Those who did not wish to either leave or fight would not be regarded as Muslims, said Sheikh Omar, condemning in particular the Muslim Council of Britain for urging the Muslim community to cooperate with the British government.
"They are hypocrites, we don't believe they are Muslims," he told UPI. "In a time of crisis, who ever allies with them (the kuffaar -- non-believers) is one of them, so I don't believe they are Muslims in the first place."
"I doubt if one of them would dare to walk the streets of Mecca by themselves," he added.
Muslims are facing wars on two fronts, in Britain and abroad, he explained. Though they will live at peace in Britain should the government meet their demands, the fight will continue elsewhere in the Islamic world.
"We have the right to support our brothers and sisters abroad financially," he said. "They're recruiting us to join the British Army to go and kill our brothers and sisters. Why? We believe that everybody that does this becomes apostate, but we don't stop them because they can do whatever they want.
"But you see, why are they free to join the British Army, and train and go abroad to fight, but it is not free for us to go abroad and defend our homelands? They say because you are going to fight our army there. Why are you using your army there? Why do you want to be in our land in the first place?
The "aggressors" and "occupiers" should not claim they wish to solve the problems of Muslims in Iraq, he said. "You can't, you are the oppressors."
The declaration of Western governments that leaders such as Osama Bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi can be killed in Muslim countries means there is no sanctity of Muslim property, he said.
"If they themselves cannot walk in the streets of Iraq or the streets of Baghdad or the streets of Riyadh freely, how can this British army walk there?"
"Either withdraw your own forces or don't expect Muslims not to support the Muslims abroad," said Sheikh Omar, adding that the West supports dictators abroad when they see fit.
If the government met those conditions, Muslims could continue to live peacefully in Britain, he said.
"After that there will be no need to fight anybody, we've been living in peace here for years, and we can continue to live in peace," he said. "We love Britain."
Sheikh Omar was speaking after at a conference in London ostensibly organized by Women's Dawah U.K., where around 600 attendees gathered to listen to his call for jihad.
Though he insisted the conference -- titled "The role of Muslims nowadays" was not organized by Al-Muhajiroun, a moderate Islamic source speaking on condition of anonymity that the radical Islamist group were indeed behind it.
The speakers, all leading members of the group, called for war against the kuffaar (non-Muslims) and lead chants as a projector screen showed images of dead American soldiers in Iraq.
As the infamous images of two planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center replayed again and again, the rapt watchers thrust their fists in the air and chanted "Allahu Akhbar! (God is great!)"
"Nine-eleven was one example of some people who chose to show us they are men, real Muslim men," said one speaker.
"The kuffaar has been trying to destroy Islam since the beginning of time, and will continue until the end of time," he said.
"Nine-eleven everyday happened to us but nobody really cares about what is happening," he continued. "Why is our blood so cheap?"
Osama Bin Laden "terrified them, he terrorized them, because they terrify us, because they terrorize us," he said.
The governments of the West must know that if they do not behave themselves we will "give them a 9/11 day after day after day!" he shouted, to furious chanting.
All the Muslim brothers and sisters, even the children, must now start their preparations, another speaker urged.
"Whether they be stones, whether they be sticks, whether they be knives, whether they be bombs, whatever they may be, prepare as much as you can," he said.
"It is our responsibility as Muslims to prepare, to fight," he said, calling on the crowd to "give up your lives for the sake of Allah."
"The crusade against Muslims by the British regime" is "indisputable", according to a Muslim lawyer and key figure in Al-Muhajiroun speaking at the conference.
The British and U.S. governments believe they are engaged in "a crusade for good against evil," allowing them to introduce "draconian" laws under which they can kidnap and detain Muslims indefinitely and indiscriminately spill their blood in places such as Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, he said.
Muslims must also beware of "the enemy within" -- moderate Muslims such as those on the Muslim Council of Britain, he said.
They side with "the Jewish conspirators, the Jewish occupiers and the Christian crusaders," he said, and "will sell out their Muslim brothers."
"Please raise your hands if you think the Muslim Council of Britain represents you," a speaker at the conference instructed the crowd.
All stayed silent.
"Put your hands up if Sheikh Osama Bin Laden represents you!" he called.
Every hand shot in the air, even those of three or four year old children and their mothers in the back rows. "Allahu Akhbar!" echoed through the hall.
The MCB, continued the speaker, even condemned the "beautiful" attacks in Madrid last year. The chants grew louder.
Muslims must reject the integrationist calls of such people, said Sheikh Omar.
Instead, an Islamic state must be established here in Britain, he said, an aim that is the duty of every Muslim.
"If people reject the call of mighty Allah," he continued, "... death will be inevitable."
To confirm this, images of people dropping dead and burning in flames appeared on the projector screen.
The face of U.S. President George Bush then appeared, surrounded by flames. The infamous post 9/11 clip in which he called on "every nation and every region" to choose their side is played on a loop. "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," he said, again and again.
"You are not with him, you are with them!" Sheikh Omar shouted, to the chanting of the crowd.
Finally, the women who organized the event appeared, urging Muslim mothers to take their children out of kuffaar schools.
"We must teach our children where their allegiance is. There is no way we can do this if they are being taught by the enemies of Allah," one said.
Muslim mothers must teach their children to have passion for jihad and to take martyrs as their role models, she said.
Relating how her young daughter had delighted her by declaring her love for Osama Bin Laden, she said Muslim sons must be nurtured to be like the al-Qaida leader.
Neither should the battle be restricted to men, she said; not only should women encourage their husbands and children but they should also take up the struggle themselves.
"Go forth and prepare; fighting has been ordered on both of you," she said.