Anjem Choudary leads group of protesters demanding businesses stop selling alcohol

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Anjem Choudhary with police and protesters in Brick Lane on Friday (Picture. Hope not Hate) Anjem Choudhary with police and protesters in Brick Lane on Friday (Picture. Hope not Hate)

A hate preacher organised a march along a busy parade of shops, telling owners they faced "40 lashes" if they continued to sell "evil" alcohol.

Extremist Walthamstow-based preacher Anjem Choudary led dozens of Muslim protesters along Brick Lane in Whitechapel on Friday afternoon.

Mr Choudary, the former leader of banned group Al-Muhajiroun, reportedly told the crowd: “The shops are run by Muslims and they know they are selling alcohol and they know the sale and consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited.”

Up to 60 men and women held up placards and waved signs which read "Islam is the perfect system for all mankind" and "10,000 alcohol-related deaths every year – Islam is the solution".

Another banner read "Save lives, don’t drink or sell alcohol! Stand for Shariah!"

Duncan Cahill, a spokesman and researcher for campaign group Hope Not Hate, said: "His actions are bad for business and he is a sad, bitter and lonely individual whose actions should be reported to the local authorities.

“He presence was very unhelpful and was largely ignored by all the restaurateurs and members of the public on Friday."

Mr Choudary is also reported to have told crowds: "We cannot live among the non-Muslims and let this evil take place", and branded Brick Lane a "den of iniquity".

The protest was slightly delayed by five members of Britain First, a far-right group who held a counter-protest against the march which formed on the outskirts of Brick Lane.

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