Christmas: “the pathway to hellfire”

The lawyer, who recently praised the Mumbai terror attacks, urged all Muslims to reject traditional Christmas celebrations, claiming that they are forbidden by Allah.

The 41-year-old shocked Christians and even those of his own faith by branding yuletide festivities as “the pathway to hellfire”.

Choudary, who is chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, ruled out all celebrations, including having a Christmas tree, decorating the house or eating turkey.

In the sermon posted on an Islamic website, he said: “In the world today many Muslims, especially those residing in western countries, are exposed to the evil celebration Christmas.

“Many take part in the festival celebrations by having Christmas turkey dinners.

“Decorating the house, purchasing Christmas trees or having Christmas turkey meals are completely prohibited by Allah.

“Many still practise this corrupt celebration as a remembrance of the birth of Jesus.

“How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring?

“The very concept of Christmas contradicts and conflicts with the foundation of Islam.

“Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire. Protect your Paradise from being taken away – protect yourself and your family from Christmas.”

Choudary is Principal Lecturer at the London School of Shari’ah and a follower of the Islamist militant leader Omar Bakri Mohammed.

Earlier this year, he led a meeting at the heart of the area where the liquid bombers lived, which warned of a British September 11.

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Muslim cleric ‘devoid of remorse’ gets 4½ years for terrorism offences

Abu Izzadeen talks to the media after interrupting the speech of home secretary John Reid in August 2006.

Abu Izzadeen. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA

Abu Izzadeen, the radical Muslim cleric who heckled former Home Secretary John Reid at a public meeting, and called for volunteers to fight against British and American troops in Iraq, was yesterday jailed for 4½ years for inciting and funding terrorism.

Izzadeen, a former BT electrician who converted to Islam aged 17, was one of six defendants convicted over terror offences this week after a three-month trial.

As the men awaited their sentences, one of the co-accused, Shah Jalal Hussain, reappeared, 10 days after he absconded while the jury was deliberating at Kingston upon Thames crown court.

Hussain, who had failed to arrive at court on Tuesday, handed himself in yesterday morning. He was sentenced to two years for his part in the fundraising charge, and three months, to be served consecutively, for breaking his bail conditions.

Another of the co-accused, Simon Keeler, a British-born Muslim convert, received a four-and-a-half-year sentence. The father of five had worked as a builder before his arrest. Both Keeler and Izzadeen were also given 2½-year sentences for funding terrorism, to be served concurrently.

Judge Nicolas Price told the defendants that, while freedom of speech was a central tenet of democracy, they had “abused” those rights. Referring to Izzadeen, he said: “I am left in no doubt that your speeches were used by you as self-aggrandisement and not as an expression of sincerely held religious views … you are arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse.” Continue reading