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UK cleric in holy war cry

London, Jan. 22 (Reuters): A London-based Muslim cleric accused of supporting Osama bin Laden urged his followers to use chemical and nuclear weapons in an Islamic holy war against the rest of the world, a British court was told today.

Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, 39, denies five rare charges of incitement to murder by encouraging others to kill “enemies of Islam”. He could face life imprisonment if convicted.

“He encouraged his audiences to wage war against non believers, in particular, Hindus, Jews and any citizen of the United States of America,” said prosecutor David Perry.

Before the trial began at London’s Old Bailey court, judge Peter Beaumont disqualified anyone who was Hindu, Jewish or married to someone from those faiths from serving on the jury.

Faisal, based in Euston, central London, is also charged with stirring up racial hatred through use of threatening and abusive words and with video and audio tapes in the four years before his arrest by anti-terrorist police last year.

Perry said Faisal preached that the use of chemical and nuclear weapons was justified in order to exterminate “the enemy” and create a worldwide Islamic state. He had also labelled Britain and other European countries as enemies of Islam, the court heard.

Faisal told his followers there were only two religions in the world — “the right one and the wrong one”. “It is Islam versus the rest of the world”, Perry said.

Perry said Faisal made a series of tapes — with names such as “Jihad” (Holy War),“No Peace with Jews” and “Them Versus Us” — which were distributed throughout the country for sale from Islamic book shops.

One of the tapes made some time in the year 2000 included a cover picture and the voice of bin Laden.

Perry said Faisal translated bin Laden’s words into English for his audiences.

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