Shariah4Pakistan: Send in the clowns

Published: November 26, 2012

You know I am harmless, don’t you? You know I am just a clown. You know I am laughable, don’t you? ... Why don’t people believe you when you tell them that I am just a harmless clown. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Next Friday, a group of controversial religious leaders from Britain are going to visit Islamabad’s Lal Masjid under the banner of something called Shariah4Pakistan to speak about what plagues this country.

The ‘conference’, which the Lal Masjid cleric says is not authorised and has not been discussed with him by the organisers, is ostensibly going to be held anyway because according to Anjem Choudary, “permission to speak in a mosque is not needed”.

Mr Choudary is a law graduate and a self-proclaimed Islamic scholar with no formal religious education, who, according to the British press, lives on state benefits thanks to a loophole in the law.

To thank the British government for putting a roof over the heads of his six-member family, he routinely makes controversial statements such as demanding the burka be made compulsory for all British women, Muslim or not, and has proclaimed himself the head of Britain’s ‘Shariah Court’, which doesn’t even exist (the UK allows arbitration cases to be decided under religious law, but abuses of the system by some arbitrators, many of whom are linked with this pseudo chief  justice, could lead to reforms in that law).

More worryingly though, Mr Choudary has referred to the 9/11 hijackers as “magnificent martyrs”, he has refused to condemn numerous terrorist acts and has said non-Muslims cannot be considered innocents in the context of being victims of terrorism because,

“they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God.”

Apparently Mr Choudary did not bother to comprehend passages in the Quran encouraging tolerance and respect for other faiths and cultures. With reference to pictures from his college years, maybe he was busy doing one of the other things he now condemns.

Next up, Syrian-born Omar Bakri was convicted of terrorism in Lebanon before the sentence was revoked, thanks to assistance from a Lebanese minister. Mr Bakri, like Mr Choudary, has founded a number of right-wing groups such as Al-Muhajiroun, which, like his other groups, was banned for its outrageously hate-fuelled agenda.

Also like Mr Choudary, he leeched the British social security system for years. He has previously threatened the life of former president Pervez Musharraf, showered praise on suicide attackers, and finally, packed his bags and ran off Lebanon when he learnt his toxic speeches might lead to prosecution for treason.

Then he wanted to run back to Britain when the Lebanese picked him up, but the Brits were not as welcoming the second time. Apparently, self-proclaimed lionhearted-leaders leaving the country to avoid men with gavels is not just a Pakistani phenomenon.

The other speakers include Abu Rumaysah, a man who would probably be convicted under Section 295-A for some of his great ‘services’ to Islam, such as putting up posters around Christmas which read

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an STD, on the 2nd day debt, on the 3rd rape…” and went on with things like exploitation, crime, pedophilia, domestic violence, homelessness and vandalism, before suggesting that  none of these things happen in Islamic societies.

Outrage: The poster that has appeared in the Tower Hamlets area hitting out at the festive period

I do hope he brings a poster along. It would be nice to see this delusional young man go to jail and fall victim to some of the things he suggests don’t happen here.

This trio, along with other speakers, all chose to live in a ‘pagan’ land, abuse its trust and defy its laws. Like all chicken hawks, they only act like extremists when they know there will be no consequences.

We will have to wait and see what happens, and maybe find out if this is not just an MI6 plot to get these guys to ‘self-deport’ from Britain.

Otherwise, one can only hope that the common man learns how seriously these guys take themselves.

In a documentary and a book titled ‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’, soon after the 9/11 attack, Welsh journalist Jon Ronson quoted a conversation with Bakri. After the latter was interrogated by the Brits for praising the attacks, he called Ronson and said,

“You know I am harmless, don’t you? You know I am just a clown. You know I am laughable, don’t you? … Why don’t people believe you when you tell them that I am just a harmless clown.”

Now let’s wait till Friday and see what the clowns have to say.

Should Shariah4Pakistan be allowed to host a conference in Islamabad?

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Read more by Vaqas here or follow him on Twitter @vasghar

Vaqas Asghar

Vaqas Asghar

The author is a senior sub-editor on the Islamabad Desk and also reports on diplomatic events. He tweets as @vasghar (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ahmed

    why all controversial and wanted people end up either in Wazirisitan or London? Recommend

  • PostMan

    …and all clowns land in Pakistan? Lets check the clownish behavior of our authorities when finally they hop in. *juggling clubs crossed *Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed

    These are the idiots who have given a bd name to Islam. These clowns along with Laden has harmed Islam like no one in the history of religion.

    I can not understand why UK has allowed people like these to live in their country & feed of it’s tax payer’s money? Is it some sort of plan or just actual loopholes in the system?

    These clown should be tired & punished, maybe even shot. Recommend

  • NoOne

    Why not Shariah4SaudiArabia instead kingdom? Why it is only for Pakistan?Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Are these those Agents of YAHOOD O NASARARecommend

  • sars

    Please make sure these clowns are in possession of a return ticket we have enough crazies of our own…..Recommend

  • Huma

    give me one good reason why (a) they’ve been issued pakistani visas, and (b) should not be stopped by authorities before boarding the plane to pakistan, and if all else fails (c) they shouldnt be deported from the airport they land at. Recommend

  • ishqerasool

    pakistan is an islamic republic and henceforth we want the divine law . so called liberal aka liberal fascists can do whatever they want as media is under their control . brothers do not worry as soon as ik gets elected we will change pakistan intro “true” islamic republic. Recommend

  • kanwal

    A lot of interior Panjab people live in UK now, thanks to the benefits system. They cant settle down in lahore or karachi, let alone london. There are ghettos upon ghettos of these families raising their kids through utterly incomptent mothers who cant even speak basic english and fathers who know about enough to run grocery and or chicken shops. And the class that does nt pay benefits is lower than these even.
    Britons are reaping the results of invading south asia. Lol. Recommend

  • PakTruthseeker

    So i take it no one knows about Omar Bakris OWN DAUGHTER @ ET, thats a whole new story to write about, but do some research on it, to see how hypocritical these mullahs really are.

    Also, check out what Anjem used to get up to in his university days when he was known as “Andy”Recommend

  • iLiberal

    Interestingly enough these same “gentlemen” will not be allowed to go on tours in a country like Saudi Arabia. And what I find disappointing is that these people are allowed in our country, as if we did not have enough Saudi sponsored nutters in our own country. This Anjem Chaudhary is will do anything to get press coverage in the UK and while criticizing the British government has no problem living off the “zakat” of the “kaafirs”. Astonishingly while these men have no problem in enjoying the freedom of speech that Western civilization offers, they will never tolerate anyone giving them the reality check about Islam. Anjem is a prime example of what is wrong with Islam today. He is the cancer which has defaced Islam and has turned it into an ugly religion. And while the Muslim apologists will be quick to disown him, he and his comrades are now the face of Islam as they are only ones making headlines. Till Muslims have these guys as leaders, Islam will never prosper as a religion or community and will remain as a joke in a modern world.

    I fail to understand why the Muslims of today cannot seem to think for themselves and have turned themselves into blind sheep. While we have let people like destroy the very fabric of our society, I hope the Brits will have the common sense to wake up and put them on a tight leash before they turn Britain into the Islamic Emirate of Britainistan. Recommend

  • iLiberal

    @NoOne: Don’t you know. This is the second largest export of Saudi Arabia after fossil fuel, Wahabi / Salafi Islam. Recommend

  • Jewcifer

    Zawahiri was from Britian too. It is affectionately called Yankee Jihad. Face of Islam, policies of US.Recommend

  • GhostRider

    London is “dar ul harb” but yet you live upon government funding…Christians are enemies of Islam but yet they let you preach your hatred. jews conspire against you but yet they provide millions of jobs. Why so much hypocricy? mulahs eh
    Anything related to salafis is beyond reason and logic…May God keep these Anti-social people away from Pakistan.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Ahmed who writes “why all controversial and wanted people end up either in Wazirisitan or London?”

    Ahmed, you need to read at least one news paper a day.

    Osama was in Abottabad.

    Hafiz Saeed (a wanted man) is in Lahore.

    Dawood Ibrahim (wanted man by India) is allegedly living in Karachi.

    Khaled Shaikh was caught in Rawalpindi.Recommend

  • kanwal

    Sorry, i wanted to say “the class that does pay taxes” in my previous post. Recommend

  • Mj

    Why have these instigators of hate been issued a visa? Recommend

  • iLiberal

    @ishqerasool: True Islamic Republic? Like Sudan? Afghanistan? Being liberal and and a fascist does not go hand in hand. Do you even know the meaning of being a liberal? Being liberal means giving the other person the freedom to live life according to his beliefs as long as he does not trample upon other people’s rights. We have seen a sliver of what a true Islam republic will offer. While, and do correct me if I am wrong, being a Muslim means dreaming and trying to achieve the dominance of Islam and killing everyone who does not believe in Islam. Do give me a few example of exemplary Muslim states as I am all ears and eagerly awaiting your reply. Recommend

  • Khanzada

    Why is the Pak Govt. allowing this gathering to take place at the Lal Masjid, a notorious venue of past tragedy and death? Why is the UK allowing these dangerous militants to “Live off the state”? Why is the Pak Govt. allowing them to visit Pakistan? They should be arrested on arrival and returned back to the UK, where they should be given the opportunity to continue “living off the state” behind bars of a prison cell! They are giving Muslims a bad name. Unfortunately, there are enough ignorant and illiterate people in Pakistan who will consume the trash they will preach!Recommend

  • Nadir

    @Jewcifier: Zawhiri is Egyptian. Yankee is American slang, what does it have to do with London??Recommend

  • Nadir

    Pakistan is busy expelling aid workers and issuing visas to these guys.Recommend

  • NerdCrunch

    Great job by author but WHY dont he go forward and write an article on gays/lesbians, drinking alcohol, nudity and pornography in light of Islam too? Oh, wait he wont because…….. Recommend

  • Wajid

    Let them come to Pakistan and then give them a farewell they will remember for the rest of their lives!!!!

    Also teach a lesson to others who want to use Pakistani soil for their dirty work.

    British Government, wake up, how come they are living of your money, but can afford to travel to Pakistan.

    Being a Pakistani and living in Pakistan, I cannot afford a ticket to UK.Recommend

  • Sab33N

    @mr. righty rightist:
    Umm .. i guess you didnt understand the point very well. he never once claimed that they are not found in Pakistan .. Waziristan is part of Pakistan ..
    But being an Indian you could not resist could you :)Recommend

  • Procrastinator

    Mr. Vaqas Asghar

    A very well written article from which the main take away for me would be the learning of tolerance of west which allow any human being to existing and prosper in their land despite their hateful thoughts and action. Only condition they put forward is to abide the law which give you the freedom to believe what you want to believe, be it a religious belief or anything else.

    But I think you are writing this for wrong audience. Let me just prove that by presenting another aspect of the things of Sharia4Pakistan that you portrayed as negetive.

    1. Mr Choudary has referred to the 9/11 hijackers as “magnificent martyrs”
    You dont need to do a survey in pakistan to prove that this infact is vox populi in pakistan. for a pakistani they were either “magnificent martyrs” or zionist jew agents.

    2. they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God.
    Again, Kafir is considered shadow of evil as per many pakistanis and evil is stoned in mecca. How can a person with shadow of evil be innocent.

    3. Evils of Christmas
    Have you heard about the popular phrase “Churiyan/Bhangiyan di Eid” used in Punjab? need I say more.

    Your article would be well accepted in west, for pak these people are coming here because they speak that pakistanis want to hear.
    no matter what you say, people will agree with them even if they dont go to lal masjod to support themRecommend

  • Vaqas Asghar

    @NoOne: Because Saudi govt/clerics would kill them if they tried to defame the House of Saud, our clergy has no love lost for Jinnah saab or the state
    Some of the speakers are Pak-origin. If they are dual nationals they won’t need visas
    I left out details of Bakri’s daughter intentionally, she is not the one scheduled to speak here/ she is independent from her father. As for ‘Andy’, i chose to give him a pass since it was when he was in college/uni.
    Please refer to what PakTruthseeker said. I believe you will find this piece indirectly addresses those issues too.Recommend

  • j rehman

    but like a wart on your nose…it is a reality …until we operate it away.Recommend

  • Usman Ranjha

    Very well written Waqas. May you live long. Musharaf did the right thing I believe they need another operation.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Sab33N who writes ” i guess you didnt understand the point very well. he never once claimed that they are not found in Pakistan .. Waziristan is part of Pakistan ..
    But being an Indian you could not resist could you :)”

    I guess you never understood my point. Terrorists are spread across the length and breadth of Pakistan. When you say Waziristan you are misleading by diluting the issue.Recommend

  • Hollycow

    Why does the Lal Masjid still stand? Musharraf’s job should be completed by razing this property to the ground. Let the land go back to nature; turn it into a green space and build a small monument honoring the soldiers who died in the operation to cleanup this viper’s nest. Recommend

  • SurelySure!!

    why not to pt their names on ECL ,,,mean Entry Control List :)Recommend

  • Hairaan

    No problem sister. Emotions usually do lead to such typos. He he he….Recommend

  • Tim Gunnery


    Here we go another follower of Abraamhic religious myths wanting to force their ill conceived beliefs onto others who don’t subscribe to these fantasies. Leave those of realistic intelligence to live their lives in peace, as it is those that wiil bring about changes to our world that will benifit all life on the planet. Get youself an education and learn the truth… Recommend

  • Parvez

    Astonishing that our government can ban cell phones but not something like this.
    Our enemies and we have a few ( ourselves included ), have found a novel way to harm us by using Islam. This is no fault of Islam but the fact the we are stupid.
    If this goes through it will only suggest that the authorities are complicit in this.Recommend

  • Kaalchakra

    Tim Gunnery

    That is a very bigoted post. You may not believe in it but billions fully believe in those ‘myths’. It is your duty to respect them. You can’t insult people’s religious beliefs.

    The tone of this article is highly regrettable as well. Some Pakistanis may be happy and content with the current political system, but many others may not be. Even if your own personal Islam doesn’t find Shariah acceptable, millions around the world do consider it integral to Islam. Do they not have a right that their views be heard, that too in an Islamic republic?

    Please respect ordinary people’s democratic aspirations and their religious beliefs. Some people are asking for a referendum on the question of implementing Shariah in Pakistan, and that may well be the best and the fairest way to settle this debate between the supporters and opponents of implementing the comprehensive system of shariah in Pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    @kanwal: “Britons are reaping the results of invading south asia. ”

    South Asia? Please provide examples of Indians, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis or Nepalis that are on dole while simultaneously preaching hatred towards UK citizens. This problem is more local than your statement implies.Recommend

  • Kumail
  • Rex Minor

    Perhaps todays Pakistan has turned into a Laboratory, where almost every one talks about Islam without understanding it.

    Rex Minor

    PS Waziristan and the sky above the Pashtun land is not the part of Pakistan. Just Google the durand border. Was Salam.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymoreRecommend

  • Wajahat

    If someone digs deeper, he will know exactly how they are protected by Brits law. It’s just common sense. Brit even have a place where they breed agents well versed in Sharia and send them to Muslim Countries to misguide people about Islam. They impart wrong knowledge. Worse, they are present in many mosques preaching about Islam and leading the prayers in congregation. Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun

    Why is it that many of the Muslim opponents of the “West’s decadent ways” actually live in the West with their brood, making full use of the “freedom of speech & religion” afforded to all (not just citizens) to spout their hatred of the West and yet leech off the benefits of the Western state they so despise? Why not move to the model Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia / Mali / Afghanistan / Pakistan where they can see partially implemented versions of their Islamic dreams!
    Why not walk the talk! And then you wonder why Islamophobia is on the rise in the West! Recommend

  • Imran Khan

    Yes my brother. People like you are ignorant and jealous and easy to manipulate by me. Luckily i am a cricketer so that’s a bonus.Recommend

  • ali

    These are the people who are the part of propaganda team, ( whether muslims or non-muslims) who create misconception about islam……if your statements about them is correct then these the those muslims who disturb peace aginst the preaching of islam.Recommend

  • ali

    strongly agree with you….but the concepts of these peoples looks against the preaching of islam…Recommend

  • Mohammed Abbasi

    I hope the real terrorists don’t target them for defaming Islam and Muslims – Anjems boss Omar Bakri is considered Mossad – just google it!Recommend

  • TTV

    Woah, I had no idea they were developing a prequel to Four Lions.Recommend

  • Midhat

    We can agree or disagree, accept or debate, but we can’t ban the freedom of speech. Atleast, according to liberal Principals , unless and untill it turns into a hate speech and thus a criminal offense, stoping them would fall under the rightwing ideolgy. A clear example of Leftist facism vs Liberalism. Please, self claimed Consfused Pakistani Liberals know the difference

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”-Voltaire, Hall Recommend

  • salmanzq

    @TTV: haha best comment I’ve ever read on a blog!
    I’m glad we’re taking note of these events. But why point a finger at them when such hate speeches are common every Friday anyway in our masjids? Recommend

  • abhi

    Bahdurshah has written the below lines, I think they are being true.

    Jab talak ghazion mein boo rahegi imaan ki, takht-e-london tak chalegi teg hindustan ki.Recommend

  • Anoop

    A question which seems to go unanswered is if Pakistan is an Islamic Republic why not implement Sharia?

    Is the Islamic law so bad that it is not suited for Pakistan? Isn’t this hypocrisy by the liberals? They claim Islam is a peaceful Religion and agree that it is perfect, yet fail to acknowledge Sharia and its positives?Recommend

  • Human

    @Usman Ranjha:
    I agree we need Musharraf back Recommend

  • Cynical


    Welcome back, Sir.Recommend

  • islooboy

    my college from where i am doing my bsc is near to it i go daily from here they have uet to pay there electricity bill there electricity has been cut off there was a lot of media precence Recommend

  • islooboy

    right to express ones non violent political affiliation is legal like is support musharaf they also have a rightRecommend

  • salmanzq

    @Midhat: Have you missed the points about these preachers asking for the murder of non muslims? That is hate speech at its worst and needs to be banned.Recommend

  • zafar

    Lucky Irani Circus wants these clowns to perform in their Well of Death.Recommend

  • Nauman

    Well these people symbolize Pakistani society in general. Pakistanis are like that. Recommend

  • Human

    Putting up Posters like that now isn’t this Blasphemy .
    Now if the other side had to do the same OMG we all already saw the results
    Islam teaches us all respect for other religions & other humans not spread hatredRecommend

  • She

    Why these people have so much hatred for other religions, when Allah has clearly mentioned in Quran, ”For you your religion, for me mine”.

    I wish them to just take a moment and think what they are doing. Promoting hatred and inviting others to join this hate-all-other-religions nonsense should be stopped.Recommend

  • Nitish

    So Zia-ul Haq is coming back to pakistan………Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    et is 8 hours slower than pak tea house and reuters blog.sharia cannot solve this handicap but can tell the non arabic speaking muslims of pakistan that sharia are the laws which the representatives of the people legislate, not the 7th century laws but the 21st century laws.

    use your brain to interpret gods commandments what the prophet of god said to the desciples. may peace be upon him.

    rex minor Recommend

  • Hamid


    How sad.Recommend

  • Kaalchakra

    Human and She

    There is no hate toward the kufr. Whatever your own views may be, kindly do not trivialize people’s faith. It has become so easy to do so these days. Everyone thinks he or she knows the best, when such matters must be left to Allah alone.Recommend

  • Serious

    Great after all what Mohammad Ali Jinnah did for Pakistan , gave us a home now they are against him ?
    Crazy Men don’t let them enter Pakistan .
    No Religion teaches Hatred Recommend

  • Cynical


    ‘Great after all what Mohammad Ali Jinnah did for Pakistan, gave us a home….’

    And where have been staying before he gave you a home? In a hotel? or on the pavement?

  • Well Wisher

    Mohammad Ali Jinnah created Pakistan our Homeland ,All who choose to live here came here
    If you do not have respect for that then why are you living here in PakistanRecommend

  • The Rebel

    Ajnem Chuadhry…pls.Recommend

  • Sunil Bajpai

    A religious state is not a good idea. Religion should always be kept away from politics. Till this realization dawns, peace will elude the Islamic nations. Refer: Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Loneliberal PK: If you want your wish to be granted……………….. come live in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Prerna

    @Loneliberal PK:

    Things must always get worse before they can get better.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Well Wisher

    You may think that he gave you ‘your homeland’ and I respect that. These high sounding words like ‘homeland’, ‘father/mother land’ etc. are used by political rabble rousers to ignite the fire of nationalism among innocent, simple minded but gullible souls. And it is, and has always been, done to serve the interest of the few. We had our homes on this land for centuries. Even the people who choose to come here to live had their lands and the homes at the places they came from.
    If anything it made millions homeless. The joy, if there is any joy at all in finding a new homeland is nothing compared to the pain one endures from the loss of their homes at their ancestors land. Beyond the slogans and myths that is the reality. And why should, holding a contrarian view will be considered as a sign of disrespect?Recommend

  • NO

    Hang Abu Rumaysah so that he does not bring This poster here . we have been living in a little peace of what is left of it , this will just FLARE up & Destroy all that we haveRecommend

  • justchecking

    @Kaalchakra: “There is no hate toward the kufr. Whatever your own views may be, kindly do not trivialize people’s faith. It has become so easy to do so these days. Everyone thinks he or she knows the best, when such matters must be left to Allah alone.”

    You may not have hate towards the kufr and leave such matter to Allah. However Anjem Choudhary does not share your thought process. He openly preaches hatred towards the kafir while living on dole in those very lands he claims are oppressive.

    By the way hadn’t seen you in a while. Welcome back. Recommend

  • Mohammed Abbasi

    I am sure a whole list of people who are regarded as Kufr by these questionable people masquerading as Muslims would have been waiting for their arrival!Recommend

  • Rambino

    Pakistan has more than enough nutters without granting another one a visa. Just tell him to get lost. Recommend

  • No Muslim slave

    @ishqerasool: Who is the “we?” You don’t speak for all Pakistanis.

    Keep your ugly, cruel, hateful and violent CULT to yourself, please.

    You give Islam a very bad name. It’s because of people like you that Islam is HATED all over the world.

  • Rex Minor

    ET is 17 hrs late, the general assembly will take less time to declare the state of Palestine in 1967 borders, jerusalem as its capital, and Mursi will take less time to clarify for the benefit of Egyptians and the muslims all over the world, what Sharia means!

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • http://Turkey Joyenda

    I think Anjem Choudhry is paid by MI6 to play the role of a provocateur. An unemployed man receiving public assistance cannot rise to these heights without some assistance. Its all a sham to defame Islam and the powers that be have chosen the perfect candidate with a background from the land of the pure. It is a simple but genius plan concocted by the overlords of the universe. Recommend

  • Nobody

    Implementing sharia law in any country means rampant misuse and abuse of that law. we’re already seeing that WITHOUT actually implementing it; people are smart enough to figure it’ll only get worse. You seem to be very curious about Pakistan and Islam. Pay a visit. Have your questions answered. Recommend

  • Anoop


    Any law can be misused, not just Sharia. Since, Pakistan is an Islamic country Sharia should be enforced.

    Are you making excuses for not implementing Islamic laws?Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    One gets the imression that Nobody muslims in Pakistan know what sharia law is?
    Sharia simply means laws that muslims representatives legislate in their country to administer their land based on equality and justice.Recommend

  • Shark Bait