British group calls for public debate over Afghan victims

A British group said it would call off the march if the government agreed to a public debate with the issue.

British group calls for public debate over Afghan victims

A British group, planning to march in a town, said on Tuesday wants to raise public awareness of US-West invasion over civilian victims, saying it would call off the event if the government agreed to a public debate with the issue.

The coffins of troops pass through the streets of Wootton Bassett from a nearby airforce base which receives the bodies of British soldiers from Afghanistan invasion.

Islam4UK leading activist Anjem Choudary said, "the procession is not about the people in Wootton Bassett and never was about that. It is not against them personally.

"It is to highlight the real cost of the war in Afghanistan.

"The sad reality of the situation is that if we were to hold it somewhere else it would not have the media attention it has now.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned that anything that offended the families of dead soldiers would be "unacceptable".

Choudary said, he challenged Brown or any of his ministers to a public debate on television about Afghanistan.

"If they agree to a televised debate, I am willing to cancel any idea of a procession through Wootton Bassett," he said.

"The government believes it is fighting for freedom and democracy. But I and many Muslims believe they are fighting to establish their economic interests in that region."

"There are a lot of people who are up in arms about a procession in the town and say the dead should be respected. So this is difficult for the government and the local community, and it doesn't take anything more than a minister to talk about Afghanistan with us for this to be called off."

"We want to create a sense of awareness about it," he said.

"Letter"

The United Nations released figures this week showing that civilian deaths rose 10.8 percent in the first 10 months of 2009 to 2,038, up from 1,838 for the same period of 2008.

The group head had written an open letter to families of the soldiers killed in Afghan occupation why they plan the march.

Anjem Choudary said his organisation Islam4UK intended to hold a procession in the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett to highlight the deaths of innocent Muslim men, women and children who had been killed in the invasion.

In his letter, Choudary, who is the UK head of al-Muhajiroun, said he wanted to explain to family and friends of dead soldiers the reason of the proposed march.

"It is worth reminding those who are still not blinded by the media propaganda that Afghanistan is not a British Town near Wootton Basset but rather Muslim land which no one has the right to occupy, with a Muslim population who do not deserve their innocent men, women and children to be killed for political mileage and for the greedy interests of the oppressive US and UK regimes.

"The procession in Wootton Basset is therefore an attempt to engage the British publics minds on the real reasons why their soldiers are returning home in body bags and the real cost of the war."

The group's website states that the event is being organised "not in memory of the occupying and merciless British military" but instead of Muslims who have been "murdered in the name of democracy and freedom".

Earlier Mr Choudary, 42, a former lawyer, explained that the march was being held "not in memory of the occupying and merciless British military" but of the Muslims he says have been "murdered in the name of democracy and freedom".

Choudary, 42, a former lawyer from east London, said the march would be peaceful, with "symbolic coffins being carried to honour Muslim victims of the conflict." "it will not take place on the same day as a soldier's repatriation ceremony," he said.

246 British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.

Obama early this month ordered 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghan invasion, leading people fearing higher civilian casualties.

There are already around 110,000 foreign troops for Afghanistan occupation.


Agencies

 



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Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2010, 17:10
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