Hate preacher Anjem Choudary was condemned last night for suggesting David Amess may have been killed for being ‘pro-Israel’.
The extremist said Sir David could also have been killed for being a member of the Tory Party, which has been in power for over a decade, during which time Britain has conducted military operations in Muslim countries.
Speaking from his council home in Ilford, East London, the 54-year-old said: ‘I am not sure about this particular MP’s views. The rumours are that he is pro-Israel, and he is part of the Conservative Party and they have been in power a long time, especially during the campaigns in Muslim countries such as Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan.’
When asked how Mr Amess’s ‘pro-Israel’ stance would make him a target, Choudary replied: ‘Many people do [believe] that it is a terrorist state, and who would possibly be a friend of Israel after you see the carnage that they carried out against Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and continue to do with the appropriation of properties?’
But Choudary, a trained lawyer, was quick to point out that he does not condone the killing of anyone, let alone an MP, in Britain.
Sir David, 69, was not known for taking a hardline pro-Israeli stance, but he had been an honorary secretary of the Conservative Friends of Israel since 1998 and was often described as supportive of Britain’s Jewish community
He said: ‘No one in their right and rational mind would support such a state [Israel].
‘Obviously that does not give someone justification for someone to kill someone. I believe there is a covenant of security in this country, where the lives and wealth of people with whom we Muslims live are protected in return for our lives and wealth.’
Sir David, 69, was not known for taking a hardline pro-Israeli stance, but he had been an honorary secretary of the Conservative Friends of Israel since 1998 and was often described as supportive of Britain’s Jewish community.
Imams and Muslim leaders in Southend said he was extremely friendly to them, and once told officials at the town’s Southend Mosque he even wanted to hold surgeries in their premises after Covid-19 restrictions eased.
Sir David was also friendly towards Arab countries and was chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Qatar, and had recently returned from an official visit to the Gulf country.
Last night, Professor Anthony Glees, an expert on extremism, said: ‘Not only is it outrageous and repugnant, but the whole motive of the attack is a matter for the police – not Mr Choudary.
‘He adds insult to injury by giving this view.
Police pictured on Saturday outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, where the Conservative MP was killed
Choudary, the former leader of the banned Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun, was jailed for six-and-a-half years in 2016 for inviting support for Islamic State.
He served less than half that term, and was out in 2019. He lived under licence restrictions until May this year.
The cleric is now free to preach again, but security sources have said that if he stoked up extremism in this country, he could be put under a form of house arrest known as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, and tried again in court on terrorism and hate law charges.
Choudary is accused of radicalising dozens of Britain’s most notorious terrorists, including Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who killed Fusilier Lee Rigby at Woolwich Barracks in 2013.