At long last, Anjem Choudary, 49, the radical Muslim cleric, has been convicted and found guilty, and is now awaiting sentence on 6 September. Born and bred in this country he has previously practised as a solicitor but also as a spokesman for Islam4UK, now a proscribed organisation.
A hard-line political Muslim, he is a believer in replacing British laws and institutions with Sharia law and clerical governments. He receives little support from the mass of Muslim immigrants in the country who find him as much a social embarrassment as the culturally non-Muslim English find him a dysfunctional individual whom they’d rather not have among them.
For over 20 years he has been clever enough to keep just an inch or two inside the law of sedition and racial hatred and, as we believe in individual freedom of thought in this country, as a development of our Magna Carta tradition, he was untouchable.
However, on YouTube some months ago he went too far in praising the Independent State of Iraq and Levant (Isil) and its savage ways. He also praised the actions of those terrorists responsible for 9/11 in America and 7/7 in this country. The court accepted this, and the jury confirmed this as being equivalent to encourage any of his adherents to do likewise. Quite why he allowed his self-control to slip we didn’t know but it was probably inevitable. A pity it didn’t happen years ago.