Shaykh Shams
Shaykh Shams

An Islamic Imam's response to the recent revelations of sharia-inspired violence in east London has won widespread praise after his speech was uploaded to YouTube.

Shayh Shams Ad Duha, speaking at the mosque which the sharia vigilantes claimed to be protecting, condemned their actions as wholly "unprecedented in the books of sharia".

Ad Duha was speaking after five men were arrested and bailed over a video, which was uploaded to YouTube and showed pedestrians being harassed in the borough of Tower Hamlets. The abuse included homophobic insults aimed at a man wearing makeup.

Ad Duha, addressing the East London Mosque, said "there is some kind of problem that people think 'I've becoming [a] practising [Muslim] so I have to go around behaving like a complete bigot.

"The idea of implementing shariah has to be based on sharia. It can't be based on our whims and emotions. [The idea that] 'I was a bad boy yesterday, but now I've [started] practising, so now I need to be a bad boy in Islam as well.' That isn't how Shariah works, it isn't based on these whimsical notions.

"We can't judge [non-Muslims] according to the principles which bind us in our principles in Shariah. The same rules do not govern. They shall be left to the principles of their own sharia."

Described as an orthodox scholar, rather than a progressive, Ad Duha added the efforts of the so-called 'Muslim patrols' to enforce sharia law were "doing a lot of harm" to the popular perception of the Muslim community.

Ad Duha was speaking after radical preacher Anjem Choudary, speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK, praised the Muslim patrols for tackling the "evils" of alcoholism and prostitution.

Ad Duha's sermon has already amassed around 35,000 views on YouTube, and yielded a string of positive comments.

A Christian viewer said: "Great to listen to. As a white open minded English Christian, I have learned more about the way of Islam in 15 mins, than I ever have in 33 yrs. We need more of this in mainstream news. Thanks!"

One Muslim commentater said that the patrol's actions caused problems for Muslims.

SidKings said: "These guys have no idea how much trouble they cause for Muslims. Especially for Muslims living in small communities outside London & Birmingham. It's us that get the backlash: smashed car windows, things thrown at the house, shouting at the window, jumping on the cars etc.. we've had it for years now.

"May Allah help us all."