Anjem Choudary smiles for the cameras after prison release
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Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has taken advantage of Elon Musk’s recent Twitter acquisition by launching a new account. Choudry, 55, hoped the Tesla CEO’s pledge to “free” the platform and honour freedom of speech online would allow him to post once more. He is one of several controversial figures hoping to return to the online fray and has challenged Mr Musk.
The lawyer-turned-preacher served half of a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence handed down by courts for inviting support for the terrorist organisation ISIS in 2016.
Now free on licence provided he meets stringent conditions, he said he hoped Mr Musk’s iteration of Twitter would allow him to maintain a new account.
He plans to continue preaching online, telling the MailOnline that Twitter will leave his videos up “if what Elon says about free speech holds true”.
Twitter had previously suspended Choudary, who claimed to have amassed more than 32,000 followers in his trial.
The platform suspended his profile in July 2021 for “violating the Twitter rules”, with Facebook following suit the same month.
The former al-Muhajiroun member had used the platform to spread his sermons, lectures and demonstrations, in which he would voice his views on Sharia law and other topics.
The preacher said he would use his new account to continue preaching, and his profile espouses controversial views.
His Twitter bio states that he believes Islam is “superior and will never be surpassed”.
The description adds that people should “live by (Shari’ah) and struggle for (Da’wah and jihad)”.
Choudary is not the first extreme figure to attempt to rejoin Twitter since Elon Musk purchased the platform last week.
The CEO, who once described himself as a “free speech absolutist”, has vowed to adjust the platform’s content moderation policy.
He previously advocated for the return of former US President Donald Trump, who moderators kicked off Twitter following the Capitol building attack in January 2021.
At the time, Twitter said his tweets were “highly likely” to encourage people to “replicate” the criminal acts of January 6.
Mr Musk signalled his opposition to that move in May this year when he said he taught it was “not correct” to ban Mr Trump.
He told the Financial Times: “I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice.
“I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme.”
Mr Trump has since progressed to his own right-wing platform Truth Social, where he regularly communicates with his 4.41 million followers.
The former President seems content with the new platform but praised Mr Musk’s takeover.
Posting on Truth Social, he said he was “very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands” and “will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country”.
He has not signalled whether he intends to return to Twitter, where he racked up 88.7 million followers, but told Fox News he didn’t think the platform could find success without him.
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