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The extremist Muslim group Al Muhajiroun was founded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 1983 by the radical cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad. The small group, now based at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London, has been largely dismissed by mainstream Muslim religious leaders as a band of “propaganda seeking extremists” and is often written off by British commentators as a bothersome joke.

Muhammad, a Syrian, was expelled from Saudi Arabia and has lived legally in London since 1986. Known in British tabloid headlines as the “Tottenham Ayatollah,” Muhammad urges his followers to fight to reestablish “true” Islam, often using harsh anti-Semitic language to call for the wiping out of other religions. Although Muhammad's application for British citizenship has been rejected several times, he was granted “exceptional leave to remain” because the Syrian government rescinded his passport and is not likely to issue him another ...

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