'DEMOCRACY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE' Leader of Group Targeted in Police Raid Says Their Aim Is to Spread the Message of Islam - Not to Preach Violence

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), January 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

'DEMOCRACY IS NOT ACCEPTABLE' Leader of Group Targeted in Police Raid Says Their Aim Is to Spread the Message of Islam - Not to Preach Violence


Byline: Clare Hutchinson

AN ISLAMIC teacher whose group was at the centre of an anti-terror raid on a Cardiff community hall told the Echo "we do not want to cause trouble".

Abu Hajar, 29, of Grangetown, Cardiff, is one of the leaders of the Islamic group Supporters of Tawheed, which on its website says its core belief is the "domination of the world by Islam". The group also rejects democracy and freedom, which it calls "false deities", and adds: "We believe that it is only a matter of time until Islam will dominate the whole world and this is something that we believe in and are striving to see."

But Mr Hajar said the group was simply interested in spreading the message of Islam and does not preach violence or extremism.

He said that minutes before the police raid he was teaching members about etiquette and manners preached by "orthodox" Islam.

Police raided his group's Thursday night meeting at Canton Community Hall after pressure from members of the Muslim community in Cardiff, who were concerned the group might be affiliated ...

with banned extremist group Muslims Against Crusades. hearsay, It is understood that members of the Muslim community feared the meeting was providing a place for radical Islamists to network.

Mr Hajar denied he had links to the outlawed organisation Muslims against Crusades, but admitted he had "no control" over what people at the meetings "get up to" outside the class.

He added: "I am not a member and none of the people who work with me are members of any other organisation."

On Saturday, Cardiff Magistrates' Court heard how one man arrested during the Thursday evening raid told an officer he would "cut your head off and machine gun the lot of you".

Mohammed Abdin, 21, of Clare Road, Grangetown, will be sentenced in Cardiff Crown Court next month after admitting throwing furniture and threatening officers when they stormed the meeting.

Saleem Kidwai, chairman of the Muslim Council of Wales, said the group had already been banned from mosques throughout South Wales over fears its members would sow "disharmony" in the community.

But speaking to the Echo, Mr Hajar denied this was the case, saying he chose to meet at Canton Community Hall "so everybody who wanted to could come".

He claimed the group was simply interested in spreading the message of Islam and does not preach violence or extremism and that minutes before the police raid he was teaching members about etiquette and manners preached by "orthodox" Islam.

He said: "We have been meeting there for 15 months and they are meetings that are open to everybody.

"There were some hot-headed people and they lost their temper, but we feel the police took action on hearsay, without any solid evidence.

"There were about 25 people at the meeting - including women and children - and I would say about 20 officers came into the room.

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