London, UK, December 10 – In an unprecedented show of unity, thousands of Muslims from across the UK marched from Parliament Square to Hyde Park to demonstrate against the oppressive anti-terror laws being introduced by the UK government. The demonstration, entitled "March for Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Before they make it a crime", was organised by the non-violent Islamic political group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
At Hyde Park, speaker after speaker condemned the proposed draconian measures including the criminalising of support for Muslims suffering under oppressive occupation in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya, the punitive proposal of closing mosques suspected of harbouring 'extremists', the extradition of Babar Ahmad to the USA, the proposed proscription of non-violent Islamic organisations and the silencing of legitimate political dissent.
Speakers from a diverse range of Muslim groups included Yvonne Ridley [Islam Channel], Massoud Shadjareh [Islamic Human Rights Commission], Ihtisham Hibatullah [Muslim Association of Britain], Taji Mustafa [Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain], Ashfaq Ahmad [Father of Babar Ahmad], Dr Muhammad Naseem [Birmingham Central Mosque], Maulana Faiz al Aqtab Siddiqui [International Muslims Organisation], Imam Sulaiman Gani [Tooting Mosque], Jahangir Mohammed [Centre for Muslim Affairs], Tariq Mehmood [Tehrik Kashmir], Mohammed Omar [Ramadhan Foundation] and Abu Yusuf [Stop Political Terror]. The demonstration was also endorsed by Cage Prisoners, New Civilisation Foundation, Prisoners of the West, Crescent International, Fuad Nahdi and Shaikh Haitham Haddad.
Dr Imran Waheed, an organiser of the demonstration and media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "Thousands of men, women and children have braved the cold winter weather to show that these anti-terror laws do not have the support of the Muslim community despite the claims of the government. The proposed legislation will unfortunately do little to stop violence and bombings, but will instead criminalise support for people suffering under oppressive occupation and tyrannical rulers."
"Our community will never remain silent about oppression – whether at the hands of a tyrant dictator who boils his opponents alive or an occupying foreign army. We will continue to stand up for justice and call on all people of conscience to prevent the silencing of thought, the muzzling of criticism and the repression of dissent under the pretence of fighting terrorism."