UK: Preacher who called for gays to be stoned to death held in terror arrests

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Anti-gay preacher Anjem Choudary has been arrested, along with eight other men, on suspicion of membership of a banned organisation.

Choudary, 47, was reportedly among those held by officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) on Thursday.

The 47-year-old is the former UK head of the Islamist group al-Muhajiroun or Islam4UK, banned in the UK in 2010.

The preacher is known for his anti-gay views.

He suggested at a press conference in 2009 that gay people should be stoned to death.

Choudary stated this would include the then Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who, under Sharia law, would first be educated about the “evils” of homosexuality then executed if he confessed to a same-sex relationship.

The former lawyer said: “If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don’t stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure.

“There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.”

In response, Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said the comments risked inciting “hatred” and encouraging “terrorism”.

This week, Choudary was reported to have said he had no sympathy for aid worker Alan Henning, who has been captured by the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

He reportedly said: “In the Koran it is not allowed for you to feel sorry for non-Muslims. I don’t feel sorry for him.”

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