Video: Sharia Watch UK’s Anne Marie Waters pledges to fight Islam in Dagenham
- Credit: Archant
The head of Sharia Watch UK pledged to put Islam and sharia councils at the top of Ukip’s agenda after speaking at the Eastbrook pub.
Anne Marie Waters – who co-founded Pegida UK with ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson – addressed about 70 members of Ukip at a branch meeting in Dagenham Road, Dagenham.
After a 25-minute speech in which she said Islam was “the last remaining barrier to ending FGM (female genital mutilation)”, she told the Post on Monday tackling Islamic beliefs and immigration would be Ukip’s next fight after helping secure the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“We need to have an honest discussion about what Islam actually teaches – I want to protect democracy, free speech and women’s rights for the future of Britain,” she said. “The only way of doing that, I’m sorry to say, is to severely restrict immigration from those countries if not end it. We should be helping Muslims and human rights campaigners in those countries.”
She said anyone running sharia (Islamic law) councils in the UK should “give it up, leave or go to jail”.
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Peter Harris, chair of the Barking and Dagenham Ukip branch, agrees it’s the next big issue for his party and the borough.
“We invited Anne Marie Waters to speak to members because she has a great amount of knowledge and experience about these subjects,” he said. “People wanted to listen to her views on Islam and radical Islam.
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“Radical Islam needs to be addressed, our leaders need to lead and actually address this.”
Anne Marie, who also writes for pro-Trump news site Breitbart and appeared on the BBC’s The Big Questions on Sunday, stood for the party in the 2015 General Election for Lewisham East in South London.
The family lawyer is touring branches across the country in the hope of forming a Ukip Against Sharia group.
She told the meeting on Tuesday last week that Muslims practising child marriage were following the example of their prophet Muhammad, who she said married Aisha when she was a child.
“The attitude is if it’s good enough for the prophet, it’s good enough for us,” she said.
But Siemah Ahmad, who represents Barking’s Ahmadi Muslims, said it’s wrong to blame Islam for women’s rights abuses, adding it was her faith that inspired her become a lawyer after graduating from Oxford University in 1999.
“FGM is in no way condoned by Islam,” the 38-year-old said. “There’s no support in the Qur’an or in the practices of the holy prophet Muhammad, who was a champion of women’s rights.
“Women are given full respect in Islam, mothers are given a higher status than fathers and throughout the holy Qur’an God gives equal guidance to both men and women.”
She said Aisha took part in an Islamic ceremony when she was nine years old which gave her the legal status of a wife but would not have lived with Muhammad as a wife because it was against the custom of the time to have that kind of relationship before child-bearing age.
And she agreed Muslims should obey UK law, not set up parallel sharia systems.
“You have to obey the law of the country you’re in and if you feel you can’t practise the law of your religion then the solution is to migrate,” she said. “You can’t force your beliefs or practices on anybody else.”