An Islamic hate preacher was tonight being investigated by police after a video showed him praising the terrorists who kidnapped more than 300 Nigerian schoolgirls.
Mizanur Rahman, 31, of Palmers Green, north London, claimed in his recorded rant posted online that killing non-Muslims was ‘not necessarily a bad thing’ – and praised terror group Boko Haram.
He said in the video: ‘People want to make it out as though history began on the day these girls were taken from – sorry I should say these women – were taken from this high school in Nigeria.
‘They didn’t do to these girls what the Nigerian government had been doing to the Muslims all these years. ‘They didn’t rape anybody. They didn’t torture. They didn’t murder any of these girls.’
He then described the terrorist group as being ‘full of good messages’, including its support for Al Qaeda. The sound of children’s voices could also be heard in the background during the recording.
Rahman, a follower of firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary, was convicted in 2007 of soliciting to murder and given a six-year jail sentence. He was released from prison in 2010.
But today, Mr Choudary – who set up the banned Al Muhajiroun organisation with exiled Omar Bakri Muhammad – said Rahman was a ‘good friend’ who had given a measured response to the crisis.
Mr Choudary, who was taught along with Rahman by Omar Bakri said: ‘I believe if you look at what he was saying it was very measured.
‘You just have to look at the atrocities that, especially in 2011 and 2012, that were carried out against the women and child of Al Mujahideen by the Nigerian government.
‘That story has not been told, and this is retaliation for that. The Americans are only interested in Nigeria because of its oil reserves, otherwise they would not be bothered.
‘Mizanur Rahman is a very good friend of mine, we are both students of Omar Bakri Mohamed. I have known him for 20 years, and I see him every day.’
Mr Choudary stopped short of condoning the kidnapping of the schoolgirls, saying that he did not know enough about the issue because he had to rely on all his information from CNN and Sky News.
‘I believe if you look at what he was saying it was very measured… Mizanur Rahman is a very good friend of mine’
He added: ‘Ultimately, Mizanur Rahman has not said anything illegal about Boko Haram and the girls. As I understand it they are being looked after very well.
‘They are not being raped, tortured and killed like Muslims have been at the hands of the Nigerian government. In war, I agree women and children should not be targeted. But this is an extraordinary situation.’
During Rahman’s trial ahead of his 2007 conviction, it was said that Rahman stirred up racial hatred after a protest at the Danish embassy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The Old Bailey heard he had cried out during the protest: ‘Oh Allah, we want to see another 9/11 in Iraq, another 9/11 in Denmark, another 9/11 in Spain, in France, all over Europe.’
Rahman told the London Evening Standard today: ‘On the one hand people are portraying them [Boko Haram] as crazed lunatics who don’t know anything about Islam or society in general.
‘But on the other hand if you actually read their messages they are not trying to destroy society, they are just complaining about the oppression against them and trying to better society.
‘Of all of their messages, some are good messages so they are full of good messages. What I’m trying to do is tell people the whole story.’
But Haras Rafiq, head of outreach for the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation, said Rahman’s comments were ‘appalling and disgusting.’
He said: ‘These videos are dangerous because what he’s doing is creating an “us and them” situation and leaving people angry with a clear enemy.
‘He is teaching how to hate and anger non-Muslims. That is a real threat to society and needs to be countered’
‘The comments he’s made about Boko Haram are particularly dangerous, appalling and disgusting. He is teaching how to hate and anger non-Muslims. That is a real threat to society and needs to be countered.’
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘We are aware of the video and we are assessing its contents. ‘We are not prepared to discuss this further.’
Violence linked to Boko Haram has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013, including attacks on Western tourists and the bombing of churches, schools and police stations.
The video has emerged as Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan vowed today to ‘do everything possible to bring our daughters home’, referring to the mass abduction of the schoolgirls.
He said that the Islamic extremists who kidnapped them threaten the country’s democratic gains. The girls were kidnapped from a school in the town of Chibok on April 15.
Click here to read the original.