HARDCORE RELIGIONISTS are targeting Hackney. One of the world’s most venal pentecostalist sects has been hiring a pitch in Ridley Road Market in Dalston from which to hook followers and a bizarre Muslim group has spilled out of a van into the nearby high street shouting for sharia law.
The Universal Church of The Kingdom of God (UCKG), founded by Bishop Edir Macedo, a billionaire with property interests in the UK, has been trying to attract market-goers to its nasty version of Christianity, which includes a claim that homosexuality is disgusting but can be tolerated so long as practitioners sign up for treatment supposed to make them heterosexual.
Outside the Kingsland Shopping Centre, a large, white, slogan-emblazoned van has been depositing members of Need4Khilafah, which is named for a belief that the world should submit to a universal system of governance, a caliphate, to operate sharia, Islamic law.
The claim by one of them that no country operates sharia would certainly surprise the subjects of the mega-rich Sultan of Brunei, who took his brother to court over billions of pounds taken from the sultanate coffers.
The citizens of the sultanate must submit to sharia: the sultan’s brother, however, was not given a sharia punishment.
Women are promised freedom under the Need4Khilafah version of sharia, although it takes only a short discussion with the quasi missionaries to discover that means freedom from work outside the house, from which they will be unable to venture unless “suitably dressed”. It is possible that the high-street touts have been badly briefed, mis-relaying the message of the group, which has been linked to preacher Anjem Choudary, who is too well-educated to spout such nonsense.
Some observers believe that Need4Khilafah is the latest version of earlier outfits banned by the Home Office. The group’s website is registered to one Abu Rumaysah, who describes himself as a “student” of Choudary”.
The UCKG has been winning some respectability by letting its London churches be used as collection centres for the British Heart Foundation. You can expect to see Bishop Macedo’s outreachers around Ridley Road.
David Altheer 110314
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