Anjem Choudary, a notorious Muslim preacher who encouraged violent jihad, was recently convicted of supporting the Islamic State. Undeterred by a potential 10-year prison sentence, he smiled and promised to convert prisoners to Islam and drum up more support for Islam. However, his smile was quickly slapped off his face when he heard the rest of his punishment.
Infamous for using free speech in the UK to promote Sharia law, Choudary is one of the most influential Muslim leaders in the West to date. The Islamic hate preacher has advocated for the deaths of offenders of Islam, including recruiting hundreds of ISIS supporters and aiding the terrorist organization’s deadly campaign.
Since Choudary faces up to 10 years in prison for drumming up support for jihad terrorism and influencing one of British soldier Lee Rigby’s Muslim beheaders, he’s taking it as a blessed opportunity from Allah. The Muslim imam vowed to convert convicts to Islam and spread his Islamic message throughout the prison. Unfortunately for him, he’ll never get the chance.
The Express reports that 49-year-old Choudary will serve his prison sentence in a top security prison’s remand wing — meaning that the Muslim preacher will be secluded from all other prisoners to stop him from converting anyone to Islam.
Choudary has long vowed that if he is ever arrested, he will use his stay in jail to proselytize and evangelize as many inmates as he can, using the prison as a jihad training camp. Much to Choudary’s dismay, authorities recognized the terror preacher’s aptitude and history of recruiting jihadists. Considering that prison is the perfect environment for such indoctrination, they announced that Choudary will be cut off from fellow prisoners in Belmarsh Prison’s Special Secure Unit.
“Choudary will be moved to the unit now he has been convicted and will be held there while he is assessed over how he will conduct himself during the course of his sentence,” a source told The Star. “He will not be allowed to be simply placed on a normal location and allowed to continue his business of radicalizing people. That would be counter-productive because he’d simply be recruiting people to take his message of hate on to the streets once they had been released from their sentences.”
Choudary, who has spent hours each day on street corners, in mosques, and on public property with a megaphone to spread Islam’s violent message, will be left alone in a type of solitary confinement for his prison stay with only his daily prayer to comfort him.
“The rise of Islamist extremism poses an existential threat to our society,” Justice Secretary Liz Truss told The Sun on Sunday. “I am committed to confronting and countering the spread of this poisonous ideology behind bars. Preventing the most dangerous extremists from radicalizing other prisoners is essential to the safe running of our prisons and fundamental to public protection.”
Choudary’s new home in Belmarsh is compiled of just 18 cells and was specifically created to house men who cannot have contact with other prisoners. After using his bullhorn for years to condemn officers and non-Muslim citizens of the UK, Choudary will surely be a celebrity in the police community — just not in the way he had hoped.
Just like gang affiliations, religious devotion to Islam is just as dangerous, especially for those on the outside of the prison walls. When certain converts are released from prison, they are likely to carry out the jihad for which they were training hours each day to accomplish.
Although Choudary will not be sentenced until September, many are counting on him receiving a decade in prison for his dangerous actions. Choudary is truly more of a risk than the Muslims carrying out acts of terrorism as he is a figurative jihadist factory, creating mindless mujahideen with nothing more than Allah’s violent commands in their focus.
While many support his confinement in the prison’s secluded wing, it will cost taxpayers nearly $100,000 per year to support his sentence. On the other hand, it would only cost about 21 cents to put a bullet between his eyes and ensure that not one more of his admirers is encouraged by him personally to carry out jihad.