Radical UK cleric ready to give up citizenship, join ISIS
A radical British cleric said that he was ready to give up his British citizenship and live under the rule of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – if guaranteed safe passage by the UK government, UK-newspaper The Times reported Friday.
Anjem Choudary, who denied being in touch with any ISIS militant and said he would consider renouncing his British nationality only “as a last resort.”
“I want to know from the Home Office and the crown prosecution service if it is illegal for me to travel to live in the Islamic State if I have no intention of carrying out acts of terrorism,” the London-born cleric said.
“I believe the world belongs to God and that one day, hopefully, the UK will be part of an Islamic State. Why shouldn’t I be free to travel to the khilafah [caliphate] and see what life is like under the Shariah [Islamic law]?” he added.
Choudary, whose passport was confiscated by authorities in September when he was arrested on accusations of belonging to a designated terrorist organization, said he would have already travelled to the areas controlled by the extremists if police had returned his passport.
“The passport… is a basic human right and I don’t see why I should have to give it up or have my movement restricted,” he said.
The 47-year-old was released on bail with strict conditions and denies wrongdoing.
The controversial preacher also said that he is for the implementation of Shariah law and that he supports the cutting off of hands and public executions for criminals or anyone who would be offensive to the Prophet Mohammad.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the UK government’s home affairs select committee, said on Thursday: “If he wants to go, he should be allowed to go. I think that would be a much better scenario than having him stay.”
“Why should the Home Office or anyone else give him safe passage? He must take the consequences if he is propagating the views of ISIS, then he is putting himself at risk of prosecution. I think people would like to see the back of him,” Vaz added.