Muslim cleric in Britain charged with supporting Islamic State militants

Anjem Choudary, a British-born Muslim cleric, is one of two men charged in England with inviting support for Islamic State militants on Wednesday.

He and the second man, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, were arrested in September on suspicion of being members of the Islamic State group, and released on bail. They were slated to appear in court later Wednesday on charges under Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The prosecution said the two men “invited support for [the Islamic State group] in individual lectures which were subsequently published online.”

Choudary has about 32,600 followers on his Twitter account. Groups like “Muslims against Anjem Choudary” have taken to Facebook to counter what they call his extremism.

Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reported from London about friction with the Muslim community.

Choudary is a lawyer of Pakistani descent who supports establishing Sharia law in Britain. He spoke of the appeal of the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate, or Islamic state, among Muslims in Western Europe in a PBS NewsHour report in January.

“People are going there (to the caliphate) to experience the Sharia, to look at life you know of the divine law, to bring up their children where they don’t face the vices of gambling, prostitution, you know alcohol etc. And in fact have a proper Islamic upbringing,” he said.