- Hate preacher Anjem Choudary invited to speak by debating society
- Said it would be a 'great privilege' to have Choudary as the star guest
- Got invite day before Theresa May announced crackdown on extremists
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union despite being on police bail on suspicion of being a member of a banned terror group
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union despite being on police bail on suspicion of being a member of a banned terror group.
The notorious rabble rouser received his invitation from the debating society a day before Home Secretary Theresa May announced a crackdown on Islamic extremists.
The letter said it would be a 'great privilege' to have Choudary appear as the star guest.
Choudary, who once said that Woolwich terror victim Fusilier Lee Rigby would 'burn in hellfire', was even offered a choice of days on which to attend the debate entitled: This house believes that radicalism is born at home.
Britain's most notorious hate preacher proudly showed off his invitation after launching a hate-filled rant against Western society outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday.
He said: 'I am still on police bail after being arrested by Scotland Yard in September last year.
'But the police can't stop me from speaking. They can't stop me from going to the Oxford Union where I've been invited to speak.'
He was one of nine men held in a series of co-ordinated dawn raids by counter terrorism police in September last year.
All the men were held on suspicion of being a member of, or backing a banned terrorist group and supporting terrorism.
The alleged offences, which come under two counter- terrorism acts, carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.
Choudary, 47, was arrested at an unknown location after fleeing his home in the middle of the night in the wake of threats from far-Right groups.
Just hours before he was held, he posted a burst of nine inflammatory messages on Twitter, branding US bombing raids in Syria as a 'rallying call for Muslims' and labelling the actions of Western governments in Muslim countries as 'terrorism'.
Since then he has remained on bail and must next attend a police station at the end of April when police can either charge him, release him or extend his bail.
Choudary, who founded the radical Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun 20 years ago which was later banned, is seen as a recruiting sergeant for Britain's radical Muslims.
He has played a cynical cat-and-mouse game with British authorities and has been careful to keep his incendiary speeches on the right side of Britain's hate law.
Worryingly, he has warned that jailing him will give him access to a new, captive congregation to radicalise inside prison.
Speaking after a Home Office banning order, the preacher said: 'If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison. I'll radicalise everyone in prison.'
Despite this, the Oxford Union are willing to invite him to take part in a debate alongside impressionable young undergraduates.
The invitation also flies in the face of the numerous studies highlighting the problem of radicalisation at some of Britain's universities.
Yesterday Choudary launched a tirade of venom at the British establishment after Mrs May said the Home Office is drawing up a blacklist of extremist individuals and organisations with whom the government and public sector should not engage.
He said the David Cameron and Mrs May have committed more atrocities than members of Islamic State.
Choudary also said he would be happy to travel to Syria to live with the terror group if the police gave him his passport back.
'I believe people should be allowed to travel where they want to and go to ISIS controlled territory to live under Sharia law,' he said.
'I would love to travel to Syria and take my wife and children with me, not to commit terrorism but to live under Sharia law. I had my passport taken away from me in September. If you give me a passport, I will go.
'In Britain women who don't have their basic needs fulfilled are having to prostitute themselves.
Elderly people are having to choose between food and heating their houses. In ISIS territories they are given food and water and have gas.'
He said that was only a matter of time before Sharia law is enshrined in the British constitution.
'There is nothing anyone can do to prevent it,' Choudary said. 'A few years ago the government said if you don't want to live by our laws then you can go. If you stop people leaving and take away their passports they have no choice but to bring Sharia law here.
It is better to let them go.
'Communism is dead, capitalism is dying, Islam is the future. Islam is the fastest growing religion. I have no doubt that one day the whole of the world will be governed by Sharia and the flag of Islam will fly over Big Ben, when justice prevails.'
The Union is famous for its normally high-minded debates, in which Britain's academic elite and their often very distinguished guests discuss the key issues of our time.
One of the Union's most notorious debates came in 1933 - when Adolf Hitler was beginning his rise to power - and was anything but light-hearted.
Undergraduates passed the controversial motion, 'This house would not in any circumstances fight for King and country'.
It was criticised at the time by Winston Churchill as 'abject, squalid and shameless'. Last night it declined to comment on Choudary's invitation.