I posted here last week about the Muslims against Crusades, led by Anjem Choudary, declaring Waltham Forest where I grew up to be a Sharia law zone, enforcing Islamic law, where music and alcohol were forbidden.
Today my daughter and I attended Queens Road Walthamstow to tidy my parent’s grave and to do some shopping. As it was raining heavily we decided not to go to Walthamstow High Street Market; I had wanted a closer look at the da’wa stall at the top of the market outside the Selbourne Walk shopping mall but it was unlikely to be there in such inclement weather.
We didn’t see any “You are now entering a
Twilight Sharia Zone” posters in Queen’s Road itself. That street is strictly controlled by the Masjid e Umer Mosque. While their worshipers and inhabitants of Queen’s Road have been connected with terror plots I have never heard of any connection with Anjem Choudhary.
We didn’t see any in Hoe Street, at the Bakers Arms, or in Lea Bridge Road north of Bakers Arms up to the Whipps Cross round about. On the way up Leyton High Road towards the Noor al Islam mosque we saw one, at Leyton Green. That white building behind is now Ladbrokes the bookmakers (gambling – NO!!!) but in an earlier time it was one of the shops where I was a Saturday assistant while doing my A-levels.
The concentration of posters that we observed were further south along Lea Bridge Road clustered around the Jamia Masjid Ghousia Mosque. In my opinion the presence of the Active Change Foundation next to the mosque is significant in the distribution of the posters. In the days when MAC were called Al Muhajiroun, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed gave lectures by video link to them on that site.
We spotted maybe a dozen; not the hundreds and thousands threatened. I know that none were spotted mid-week in Walthamstow market, the shopping mall and the vicinity.
Many of the posters had been torn down only to be replaced with pristine ones, which may not remain so for very long. These are a selection.
These below are outside the public library. Lea Bridge Road Library is one of the few buildings unchanged (other than a new extension for IT suite and disabled access – very attractive in modern style but, by using solid quality traditional wood, in keeping with the Victorian core) from my childhood. All that is missing is the blue police box that sat outside. It is a heritage site, being one of the Carnegie Libraries financed by the Scottish American philanthropist and I spent many hours studying there. It's an institution designed to open minds, extend horizons and feed the imagination. A poster had been placed in a prominent position on the traditional red telephone box – another symbol of an England as it was.
Others were on lamp-posts, new telephone boxes and BT junction boxes. There were also a sample of the Voting is Apostacy posters from the election in May about which I have written before. This particular example is at the top of Colchester Road where Anjem Choudary used to live (and may still).
Some say that MAC should not be given any publicity. Others say that every poster should be torn down immediately by the first person to spot it. It was quite obvious that others will be removing the posters later. Meanwhile I am of the opinion that while Choudary and MAC are not as big and important as they might like to think, the things they say and do are completely within the teachings of Islam and Sharia and that the more people come to realise what living under such a regime would mean the better.
Gambling and alcohol in excess are a menace but in moderation may people enjoy them. A night at the dogs and a pint of beer is an innocent enough pleasure but, with the recent closure of Walthamstow Dog track and the demise of many pubs, fast becoming a rare one. Music is one of God’s great gifts and praising him in song is a sublime form of worship.
The posters also say no to pornography and prostitution, and drugs. No one could argue with that. Except: there is a motel about 100 yards away from these posters where vice is a thriving trade and I am told that Muslim men are among the most regular customers. Much of the heroin on British streets comes from Afghanistan and is traded by Pakistani Muslims, much of it to fund jihad, or as jihad in its own right.
To finish: Just along Leyton High Road from the poster is Islamic Impressions - Setting the benchmark in Islamic shopping. Two abayas for £50, or buy 2 hijabs get one free, hurry, hurry, while stocks last. In their window is this rather nice little sword. Just the job to prune the roses, slaughter the halal lamb or behead the infidel at a stroke.
Photographs E Weatherwax and S Sto Helit July 2011