Islamic firebrand calls on Muslims to leave Europe

26th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 25 (AFP) - Firebrand Islamist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, banned from Britain since August, called on Muslims to leave Europe, in an interview with France 3 television to be broadcast Monday.

PARIS, Sept 25 (AFP) - Firebrand Islamist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, banned from Britain since August, called on Muslims to leave Europe, in an interview with France 3 television to be broadcast Monday.

Bakri, a Lebanese national of Syrian origin who was living in Britain since 1986, was interviewed in Beirut where he is now based after the British government stripped him of his residency in its campaign to rein in radical Islamist leaders.

"There must be two distinct camps and so all Muslims must leave Europe," said Bakri, declaring that he was convinced "the Islamic flag will fly one day over Downing Street".

Bakri is head of the extremist movement Al Muhajirun -- meaning the emigrants in Arabic.

Last January he said a "pact" between the British government and Muslims was "violated" because London started hunting for radicals after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and later sent British forces to join the US-led intervention in Iraq.

Bakri famously praised the September 11 hijackers as "magnificent". Then, he triggered more outrage after the July 7 bombings on London Underground trains and a city bus when he said he would never tip off police if he knew a Muslim was about to carry out an attack.

In the French TV interview, Bakri went further saying the backgrounds of the four suicide bombers responsible for the July 7 attacks prove that the message of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden "has reached the moderate communities".

He also called on the converts to Islam to come join him in Beirut "to learn Arabic before returning to Europe".

Last month he gave an interview upon his return to Beirut with Lebanon's Future TV where he condemned the "massacre" of innocent people and denied any links to the al-Qaeda terror network.

"We cannot support the massacre of innocents. We are against killing innocent people whether in New York, Spain or London, but we are also against the massacre of innocents in Iraq, in Palestine and elsewhere," Bakri said.

Bakri also said he intended to stay in Lebanon and bring his family over and called on all Islamist militants in exile to return to their countries.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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