News

Muslim cleric on 98FM blames western presence for Tunisian attacks

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Choudary has in the past called for Sharia to be implemented in the UK
Choudary has in the past called for Sharia to be implemented in the UK

A contentious Muslim cleric has told Adrian Kennedy he thinks the Tunisian terrorist attacks stemmed from the presence of western forces in what he calls 'Muslim land'.

Anjem Choudary neither condoned nor condemned the callous murder and wounding of dozen of tourists, many of whom were British and Irish, during his interview on 98FM yesterday.

The high-profile cleric told the presenter there should be a 'hands off Muslim land' approach at the current time and warned tourists not to visit places like Tunisia. 

He sidestepped the offer from Kennedy to condone the attacks and said the real issue is the root of instability in North Africa. 

"The real question to ask is why is there such instability in North Africa. It is not so much a question of blame. We need to look more deeply into this," he said.

"The presence of regimes in these countries, the bombing and drone attacks of the British and Americans in places like Syria and Iraq. There are innocent people being killed in these areas and there is I think a real thirst for revenge.

"These people are not drawing distinction between innocents and others; it is a very volatile situation."

He added that extremist groups like ISIS lament the fact that tourist resorts in places like Tunisia are becoming 'westernised', and that being drunk or naked on a beach is rejected by Muslims. 

"ISIS are not happy with these tourist resorts being westernised. It has definitely been a factor before with the likes of the Bali bombings, although not every Muslim will attack people.

"Being naked on a beach, drinking alcohol, drugs - these things are all rejected by all Muslims.

"What is taking place in these countries - the western influence - is anathema to what Islam stands for. Until that’s dealt with nothing will change."

Choudary believes until western influence in what he calls 'Muslim land' is non-existent there won't be any room for a 'better relationship' between the middle-east, Africa and the west. 

He was pressed by Adrian and a caller about the reliance on tourism in many of these areas and replied that it was because the people could not "stand on their two feet due to western influence". 

Tunisia is expected to lose upwards of $515 million in revenue this year, a quarter of its annual estimated earnings from tourism, following the attack. 

Choudary has in the past said he thinks the UK would be better off adopting the laws and precepts of Sharia, and has failed to condemn horrific acts of violence such as the murder of Lee Rigby in London. 

You can listen to the full interview here.