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The Olympics Turned Evil Last Night

Anjem Choudary's new fundamentalist protest group left the hate pretty late.

Despite the fact that a number of people have been kicked out of their homes so that the BBC can move in, opposition to the Olympics has been relatively tame. There were some angry cabbies, oppressed cyclists and pissed off Londoners, but nothing that really put the fear of God into the tens of thousands of troops, police and security guards patrolling the Olympic boroughs. There were people who saw the anniversary of last year's riots as a potential flashpoint, but nothing materialised, meaning the world's largest McDonald's wasn't looted and no athletes were set on fire.


But have no fear – there was at least one group to take the fight to the Olympics, one group to unite the nation against the corporate fascism of LOCOG. That group was Evil Olympics, led by the EDL's favourite bugbear, Anjem Choudary. Anjem is the notorious leader of banned fundamental Islamic groups Al Mujaharoun, Islam 4UK and, most recently, Muslims Against Crusades. Regardless of what name the group are running with, they can often be found partaking in controversial, media-baiting PR stunts. You know, classy stuff like burning poppies on 11/11, celebrating the 9/11 terror attacks and holding funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden at the US Embassy.

But what brought them down to the Olympic Park (well, Stratford underground station) for the closing ceremony? Turns out he was there to protest against the countries taking part in the Olympics who have a habit of "butchering Muslims", with Burma, Syria, the US, Russia and the UK taking much of the flak.

I couldn't find the Evil Olympics guys when I first arrived, but I did come across at least three different Christian groups/preachers, a guy denouncing the British as Nazis for our involvement in Congo's mineral bloodshed, and a not-so-fundamental Muslim group doing their bit to save us all. When Evil Olympics did finally turn up – 45 minutes fashionably late – the scene resembled something from The Life Of Brian.

With the crowd came the same old chants that you get at any other Anjem-affiliated protest; "[Insert religion, nation or organisation] go to hell!" They threw in a few "British soldiers go to hell" at nearby on-duty soldiers, but none of them batted an eyelid. Not a single fuck was given.


After a good 20 minutes of solid chanting – which the indifferent public had ignored on their way in or out of the stadium – the speeches began and we could finally find out why I'd let my Sunday League team down to come stare at their pointless chanting.

"The UN, US and Britain are too busy with their Olympics. They can spend nine billion on something so silly, but what about human lives? What about Muslim lives? Tens of thousands of Muslims are dying every day – in Syria, in Burma, Chechnya, Kashmir and China – and we, as Muslims, feel their pain. We are going to call for the solution that no one else will: jihad! We are calling for jihad, not to kill or to terrorise, but to show people that this jihad is the only way to defend human life."

So said Sayful Islam, the guy famous for [slapping EDL leader Tommy Robinson](http://slapping EDL leader Tommy Robinson) while he was filming a documentary. I'm pretty sure you don't kill a bunch of people to preserve human life, but hey, I'm not really into jihads, so what do I know? Still, he has a point. That £9billion could be better spent stopping people like Sayful feeling the need to throw jihads all over the place.

Sayful and other speakers were just the warm-up act for Anjem, who, in all honesty, looked pretty bored. I suppose he could have just been depressed that he didn't have a Closing Ceremony ticket to watch George Michael stun the world with his not-at-all-shitty new single.


"We're here today because the Americans, Chinese and the British top the medals table at the Olympics, but they also top the medal table for atrocities around the world. For murdering Muslims, for occupying Muslim lands and for slaughtering innocent women and children. When you go home from the Olympics, take the message that Muslims are rising everywhere around the world. A sleeping giant will awake one day and will remove all of the atrocious regimes; Syrian, Chinese, American and British. One day we will see the flag of Islam flying over The White House."

As he often does, Anjem took a fairly good cause and ruined any chance of the public empathising with him, due to the whole "Islam will dominate the world" spiel.

There was little interaction with the public, which is a kind of ironic considering this was definitely the group's largest audience to date. A couple of the Christian preachers, Miguel Hayworth and Tony Beasly, weren't exactly into the Islamists turning up and stealing their turf. "If you check the Biblical records, how many countries did Jesus take by force?" Tony asked. "None, but evangelism by Islam has always been by the sword. They're saying 'George Bush go to hell,' but even if the man was wicked, I wouldn't wish that on any human being. We believe hell is an eternal lake of fire where you never perish."

Miguel pitched in, "Over hundreds of years, there have been billions of deaths attributed to Islam – much more than the few Palestinians who have died recently. When they say jihad they're talking about lesser jihad, which means 'to take by force'. They mean to bomb the UK and Europe. If they got Sharia law here in the UK, I don't think we'd have the freedom to do what we do. We wouldn't be able to worship and I would have to pay jissiah, the 70 percent income tax. I would have no choice. The only way to avoid paying it would be to submit to Islam. I'm not going to stay past 9PM tonight. I read on the internet that there could be a bomb attack here."

I asked if he was implying that Anjem's group could be behind this possible attack. He frowned and said, "Maybe."

There was a bit more chanting after Anjem had his say, then the police called time on the demo, probably so the oncoming crowds could be spared. Compared to previous demos by this group, this one was pretty tame – no flag burnings and less of the more controversial chants. Are Anjem et al selling out to reach the mainstream? Or was he really planning to bomb the Closing Ceremony, as the Christian preacher suspected? At the time of writing, the Closing Ceremony remains un-bombed, so I guess I'll take this chance to welcome you to the mainstream, Anjem. I hear Occupy London are looking for activists.

Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston