Converts to radical Islam in London are so severely dedicated to their new found fundamentalism that one tells Clarissa Ward that he can’t love his own mother because she is not a Muslim. Ward speaks to two prominent Islamic radicals who are ISIS sympathizers for her report on how these people think and what role they may be playing in recruiting British citizens to the battlefield in Syria. Her report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Nov. 2 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM PY) on the CBS Television Network.
Abu Rumaysah, a young convert who was born in Britain cannot love others who are unlike himself. Asked if he feels love toward his own mother, he replies, “It’s not allowed for me to love non-Muslims. So that’s something that is a matter of faith,” he tells Ward. What’s more, he cannot respect any point of view other than his own, based on the extreme law of Sharia, the rule imposed by ISIS in Syria. “Ultimately, I want to see every single woman in this country covered from head to toe…the hand of the thief cut…adulterers stoned to death. I want to see Sharia law in Europe. And I want to see it in America as well,” he tells Ward. Watch an excerpt.
Rumaysah conducts what he and his fellow radicals call “Muslim Patrols.” 60 MINUTES cameras accompany them on one such patrol, on which they scold people for drinking alcohol in a park. During the “patrol” Ward questions Rumaysah about trying to impose his views on others. He responds that he has that right and he shouts at the modestly dressed Ward to “Cover up. Wear the hajib!” Video of similar patrols conducted by unidentified people and posted online shows them berating a woman in a short skirt and threatening a gay man.
Rumaysah and others are influenced by a lawyer turned radical Islamic preacher whose name is Amjem Choudary. He will not condemn the violence perpetrated by ISIS, but readily attacks Western countries for fighting ISIS. He has been arrested several times but only convicted of staging illegal demonstrations. He demonstrates against democracy because its freedoms are against Sharia law. Ward points out the irony of him condemning a system that allows him to publicly advocate another that would never allow such freedoms. He has a ready answer. “Allah is the only one to legislate…Allah created my tongue to speak,” says Choudary. “I don’t have freedom to come here, because Allah created my feet to walk. So I walk, and I speak, and I look, and I hear, according to what God says.”
Choudary has spoken out for several organizations the British government has banned under its anti-terror laws. Authorities believe such organizations and their radical rhetoric help recruit fighters to the ISIS cause. They estimate that hundreds of Britons are fighting for ISIS, with five more joining their ranks each week. Choudary denies he sends anyone to Syria to fight. He would be in jail he points out, if that were true. Instead, he uses only words, perfectly legal in a true democracy. “You know, the messenger Mohammad, he said, ‘Fight them with your wealth, with your body, with your tongue.’ So, I’m engaged here, if you like, in a verbal jihad.”
Choudary was arrested again a week after the interview for alleged membership in one of the banned organization and for “encouraging terrorism.” Rumaysah was also arrested. Both were granted bail and are currently free.