Britain bans poppy-burning Islamist group on Armistice Day

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Britain on Friday banned an Islamist group ahead of Armistice Day ceremonies amid fears the organisation would burn poppies at a protest in a repeat of a demonstration last year.

Interior minister Theresa May said supporting or being a member of "Muslims Against Crusades" had been banned in Britain.

In response, the group said it was disbanding and also cancelling a "Hell for Heroes" demonstration planned to disrupt ceremdonies held every year on November 11 to mark Armistice Day.

At a protest in London on November 11 last year, the group provoked anger by burning poppies and chanting "British soldiers burn in hell."

Paper poppies are worn in Britain on Armistice Day, when hostilities ceased in World War I, to remember the dead from two world wars and later conflicts.

Millions of people across the country also observe a two-minute silence to mark the day.

May said that "Muslims Against Crusades" was an organisation that had already been proscribed under a number of names, including Al Ghurabaa and Islam4UK.

"The organisation was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name," she said.

In a statement on its website, the group said it was dissolving but added: "We would like to make it clear that the call for Islam will never be silenced by any ban or proscription."

© 2011 AFP

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