The British Home Secretary Theresa May has banned an Islamic militant group, Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), from protesting Armistice Day ceremonies, which will be held on Friday.
Last year, members of the Muslim group burned poppies near Albert Hall in London during the anniversary of the end of World War I, leading a judge to describe their actions as a calculated and deliberate insult to the dead and those who mourn or remember them.
The red poppy flower is a symbol of the remembrance of the dead from the Great War.
May's order will also make membership or support of MAC a criminal offense. She believes that MAC is simply another name of various other similarly banned Islamic extremist groups operating in Britain -- including Al-Muhajiroun, Al Ghurabaa, Islam4UK, Call to Submission, Islamic Path, London School of Sharia and The Saved Sect or Saviour Sect.
The government believes that MAC is the latest version of a group originally founded by an extremist Muslim preacher named Omar Bakri Mohammed who fled Britain six years ago.
The organization was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name, May said.
MAC has engaged in several inflammatory protests, including a demonstration outside the U.S. embassy in London on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The English Defense League – a nationalist group which is described as anti-Islam – has had direct street confrontations MAC.
Muslim extremist groups have also protested memorials of British soldiers who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A statement on MAC’s website said: We will be leading the campaign to highlight the atrocities which have been committed and continue to be committed against the Muslims, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in the brutal torture concentration camps of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib by the US, UK and their allies.
However, some Islamic groups in Britain are outraged by MAC’s actions.
Julie Siddiqui of the Islamic Society of Britain plans a counter-demonstration against Muslim extremists on Friday.
In one sweep, Muslims Against Crusades display an unspeakable disregard for the feelings and common bond of our countrymen and women, a contempt and rejection of our hard-earned democracy and its institutions, a disdain for the majority of British Muslims - who do not share their views - and a violation of the example of the Prophet Muhammad, she told BBC.
Tory MP Mike Freer, who has reportedly been threatened by members of MAC, told reporters: What we must also do is ensure that any new incarnation of this group continues to be monitored because past history tells us that this group does reform, rename and reappear.