Hate preacher: One day
we will stone adulterers
Local Muslims: It’s Britain
...don’t tell us how to live
London borough 'put under Sharia law'
IT'S the leafy London suburb that's gearing up to be one of the host local authorities for next year's Olympics.
But yesterday bemused residents of Waltham Forest were reacting to news the borough had been declared an Islamic emirate by a fringe group of fundamentalists.
The group Muslims Against Crusades has demanded strict Sharia law in the east London community - banning gambling, smoking and alcohol.
Dozens of posters had been put up - quickly removed by the council - insisting: "You are entering a Shariah controlled zone - Islamic rules enforced."
The group's Islamic Emirates Project aims to establish independent Muslim states within Britain and has also earmarked Bradford and Dewsbury in West Yorks, and Luton, Beds.
The Islamic group's website said: "Muslims Against Crusades would like to announce that Waltham Forest is to be the first borough to be targeted for an intense Shariah-led campaign."
Yesterday supporter of the group Abu Izzadeen, 36, insisted he wants to see the stoning of adulterers and women forced to cover up their bodies on the streets of Waltham Forest, which has one of the country's highest Muslim populations.
The radical - an electrician called Trevor Brooks before converting to Islam - said last night: "It would be changed to the Islamic Emirate of Waltham Forest. Why not? We need Sharia law here.
"We have a big problem with prostitution here, a huge problem with drugs, we have an infestation of gambling shops on the High Road and the free mixing of males and females.
"Women would have to cover up. It should be forbidden that they are not. Thieves should have their hands cut off."
As for stoning of adulterers in Waltham Forest the preacher added: "One day we hope it will happen."
The preacher, who was convicted in 2008 for terrorism fund-raising and giving speeches urging Muslims to fight US troops in Iraq, said he will speak at a rally by the group after a march through the borough on Saturday.
In Leyton, locals refused to react to the provocation.
Muslims Redzz Shakeel and Sal Warner said the group's comments were ill-timed after the Norway massacre by a far-Right fanatic.
Insurance worker Sal, 29, insisted: "This is just trying to separate different communities but it's not going to work.
"We don't want stonings in this country. That's crazy. This is Britain and everyone should live by Britain's laws."
Musician Redzz, 24, added: "It's a tiny minority of Muslims who want laws like this. People are entitled to their own views but shouldn't try to tell other people how to live."
Shopping in High Road, Leyton, unemployed Abdul Rehman, 56, a Muslim originally from Pakistan, added: "They should go to a Muslim country if they want to live under those laws. It has no place in Britain."
Community leaders urged residents to ignore the "publicity stunt". Mohammed Ilyas, general secretary at Waltham Forest mosque, said: "We totally condemn these kinds of views and if someone came in here preaching that kind of message we would throw them out."
Unemployed Leyton Orient fan Rob Morgan, 50, said: "We have people from all over the world here and by and large we all get on well. This group is not going to change that."
Mum-of-two Valerie Houghton, 23, insisted: "They can declare Sharia law but I'm going to wear what I want and have a glass of wine when I want one.
"I believe in live and let live but won't be told what to do."
Yesterday Waltham Forest Council said it had removed the posters and was combing through CCTV footage to help police prosecute any offenders.
Council leader Chris Robbins said: "People shouldn't get the wrong idea about our borough because a handful of small-minded idiots decided to deface our streets with ridiculous posters."
Ghaffar Hussain of Quilliam, a counter-extremism and pro-democracy think-tank, said: "Muslims Against Crusades are a lunatic fringe of troublemakers not even taken seriously by genuine extremists, let alone ordinary Muslims who abhor their rhetoric and tactics and find them an embarrassment."
Fete volunteer Hasib Hussain told a local paper: "T-shirts were only given to people who were dressed inappropriately, like those wearing mini-skirts or low-cut tops."
Muslims Against Crusades was set up last year and its members were behind a poppy-burning protest on Armistice Day.