London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Omar Bakri, the controversial Islamic preacher who fled Britain for Lebanon after the 7/7 attacks in London has responded to claims that he has recruited 20 individuals to spread the message of fundamentalism in Britain by saying that such allegations aim to justify the arrests of young Muslims in Britain and to stir up propaganda against them. During a telephone conversation with Asharq Al Awsat, Bakri stressed that he has no organizational links to his [former] students in the United Kingdom despite his fears for their future during the so-called war on terror.
Bakri said, “I founded the Al-Muhajiroun movement in 2004, a year before the attacks in London, for legitimate reasons and voluntarily. I have not been involved in any activity in Britain whatsoever since 2005. I am too pre-occupied with my work in the library learning about and researching Daawa in Lebanon to know what is going on in Britain.”
Bakri explained that his students, who graduated from the Shariaa college in London, have their own private lives and that he has no connections to them whether they were members of Al Muhajiroun or not. “I am not in touch with them and I do not know anything about them.”
Bakri stated that if any of the students engage in Daawa campaigns then this is their rightful duty to please God and not their Sheikhs. Bakri believes that it is not unlikely that British security authorities attempt to exploit what he described as “media lies” to pressure Lebanese security authorities to pressure him. He said, “I am not surprised at their accusations towards me and their fabrications as they have done the same thing to many of my students in Britain.”
As for his lectures and his line of thought, Bakri stated that it is widespread in many libraries and bookshops in Britain and amongst the younger generations of Muslims in the country.
Bakri indicated that parts of his lectures relate to heated issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and Palestine and the legitimate position towards the New York, Madrid and London bombings.
Bakri stated that the British authorities also accused Abu Izzadeen, Bakri’s successor as the head of Al Ghurabaa, at the beginning of this month based on the comments he made on the first anniversary of the London bombings.