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News Conference Ends in Melee as Press Refuses To Pay Islamists (A must read for humor ROTFLMAO)
The Wall Street Journal | August 16,2002 | Marc Champion

Posted on 08/16/2002 7:50:01 AM PDT by tom paine 2

LONDON -- As news conferences go, this one sounded promising.

"The Satanic Alliance and the Islamic response," proclaimed the top line of an invitation resembling a circus flier.

It added: "The most radical leaders of the Muslim community gather to give their uncompromising Islamic stance on the U.S. crusade against Muslims."

But Thursday's news conference at London's Euston Plaza hotel turned into a standoff between two uncompromising and uncomprehending worlds -- before ending in a melee of overturned furniture and squealing car tires as the Islamists made their getaway from a frustrated press corps.

The problem? The Islamists wanted to charge a £30 (€47) entry fee, and the journalists refused to pay. Two Scotland Yard detectives sent to monitor the event balked as well.

The event, organized by Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed's Al-Muhajiroun group, was highly unusual for London's Islamist extremists, who spend much of their time feuding. Together they were due on Thursday to issue a fatwah, a religious decree, condemning any attack on Iraq. "If the U.S. and the U.K. continue to play with fire, there can only be one consequence, which is for them to burn their hands and to choke on the smoke -- Sept. 11 being an example," the invitation said.

The event began to go wrong as the journalists argued with the organizers over the ethics of payment.

"The press are normally more than willing to pay for stories, so I don't think this is any different," said Anjem Choudary, Al-Muhajiroun's U.K. leader. Al-Muhajiroun just wanted to share the cost of renting the hotel room, he said. While some newspapers do pay for stories, most (including this one) do not. Paying to attend news conferences is unheard of. As the argument carried on, the clerics filed quietly into the hotel's Stockholm Suite.

Mr. Bakri was followed by Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand, the result of injuries he says he sustained while fighting the armed forces of the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Mr. Al-Masri's firebrand sermons in North London were attended by two alleged terrorists now awaiting trial in the U.S.

Next came Yasser Al-Siri, the 39-year-old head of London's Islamic Observation Center, who is wanted in the U.S. for allegedly helping to fund the al Qaeda terrorist network. Mr. Al-Siri was released from custody two weeks ago, after a British court threw out a U.S. extradition request for lack of evidence.

As the Islamists waited in their conference room, one organizer called to the journalists outside: "Anyone here from al Jazeera?" the Arabic-language, Qatar-based television station. There was no reply. It didn't appear that any journalists had gone inside, but it was impossible to tell for sure because the glass in the doors had been covered over.

Mr. Choudary twice tried to save face. First he offered to accept business cards and invoice the media organizations later. No dice. Then he cracked the door of the conference room to offer: "Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [convert to the Muslim faith], you are welcome to come in -- or else pay £30." Again, no takers. Nor was anyone buying Al-Muhajiroun's propaganda videos at £5 and £10 apiece.

By the end of a two-hour standoff, in which the Islamist leaders were left to talk among themselves, the atmosphere was hostile. A polite hotel request for the 40 or 50 journalists to make room for the Islamists to make a quick exit was met with laughter. "Move tighter together lads," said one journalist. "We're going to charge them 60 quid [pounds] each to get out."

Finally, the doors to the Stockholm Suite burst open: "We're coming through!" cried a man in sunglasses, and a band of about 20 young Muslim men charged the journalists in an attempt to punch through, only to become entangled in television camera wires. A heavy couch was pulled across the hotel lobby. The doors to the hotel were jammed with bodies as Al-Muhajiroun followers tried to block beefy cameramen inside the hotel, while getting out themselves.

As the Islamist leaders finally leapt into waiting Vauxhall Cavalier cars, their young followers slammed the doors, banged on the roofs and shouted: "Go! Go! Go!" There was to be no fatwah, and "absolutely no comment!" shouted one of the young men.

Write to Marc Champion at marc.champion@wsj.com

Updated August 16, 2002


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/16/2002 7:50:01 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: tom paine 2
Those welfare checks they're getting aren't enough, obviously. ROFL! Thanks for the post; this is a real knee-slapper, as advertised.
2 posted on 08/16/2002 7:52:09 AM PDT by wimpycat
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To: tom paine 2; dighton
Now THAT sounds like something out of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
3 posted on 08/16/2002 7:52:14 AM PDT by BlueLancer
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: tom paine 2
"Move tighter together lads," said one journalist. "We're going to charge them 60 quid [pounds] each to get out."

I like this reporter's style!

5 posted on 08/16/2002 7:54:36 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: tom paine 2
By the end of a two-hour standoff, in which the Islamist leaders were left to talk among themselves, the atmosphere was hostile. A polite hotel request for the 40 or 50 journalists to make room for the Islamists to make a quick exit was met with laughter. "Move tighter together lads," said one journalist. "We're going to charge them 60 quid [pounds] each to get out."


Finally, the doors to the Stockholm Suite burst open: "We're coming through!" cried a man in sunglasses, and a band of about 20 young Muslim men charged the journalists in an attempt to punch through, only to become entangled in television camera wires. A heavy couch was pulled across the hotel lobby. The doors to the hotel were jammed with bodies as Al-Muhajiroun followers tried to block beefy cameramen inside the hotel, while getting out themselves.


As the Islamist leaders finally leapt into waiting Vauxhall Cavalier cars, their young followers slammed the doors, banged on the roofs and shouted: "Go! Go! Go!" There was to be no fatwah, and "absolutely no comment!" shouted one of the young men.

____________________________________________________________

That last part is the funniest part, IMO. Very well written. I can see the melee clearly as I read it.
6 posted on 08/16/2002 7:55:16 AM PDT by wimpycat
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To: tom paine 2
The Islamists wanted to charge a £30 (€47) entry fee...

They want a person to pay to listen to their fanatic propaganda? Get real.

7 posted on 08/16/2002 7:56:10 AM PDT by Pern
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To: tom paine 2
"a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand"

Arrr!</Pirate Voice>
8 posted on 08/16/2002 7:56:21 AM PDT by Spruce
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To: BlueLancer
"Mr. Choudary twice tried to save face. First he offered to accept business cards and invoice the media organizations later. No dice. Then he cracked the door of the conference room to offer: "Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [convert to the Muslim faith], you are welcome to come in -- or else pay £30." Again, no takers. Nor was anyone buying Al-Muhajiroun's propaganda videos at £5 and £10 apiece."

This was hilarious! "Ok my final offer, buy one carpet, get half-off the second carpet, and I'll throw in some camel fragrance for free."

9 posted on 08/16/2002 7:57:33 AM PDT by Enterprise
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To: tom paine 2
A polite hotel request for the 40 or 50 journalists to make room for the Islamists to make a quick exit was met with laughter. "Move tighter together lads," said one journalist. "We're going to charge them 60 quid [pounds] each to get out."

ROFLMAO! Oh now this was perfect!

10 posted on 08/16/2002 7:57:36 AM PDT by RikaStrom
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To: tom paine 2
Sheikh Omar Bakri "Buffet Buster" Mohammed's Al-Muhajiroun

Mr. Bakri was followed by Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand

He was a one-eyed, one-hook, flying purple people eater....

11 posted on 08/16/2002 7:58:47 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Spruce
"a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand"

Arrr!</Pirate Voice>

"He was a one-eyed, one-hand, lyin' turbaned sheeple leader..."

12 posted on 08/16/2002 7:59:42 AM PDT by MarineDad
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To: RikaStrom
The whole thing was perfect. Hope there is some video. LOL
13 posted on 08/16/2002 8:05:35 AM PDT by blackbart1
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To: Enterprise
"Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [convert to the Muslim faith], you are welcome to come in -- or else pay £30." Again, no takers.

Ummm. How about one and six and we get to set you on fire.

14 posted on 08/16/2002 8:07:05 AM PDT by tet68
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To: tom paine 2
Traditionally in order to ensure a packed house of journalists one only has to offer free booze. Guess the turban boys can't do that...
15 posted on 08/16/2002 8:07:29 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: MarineDad
"He was a one-eyed, one-hand, lyin' turbaned sheeple leader..."

LOL! Now I'll have the song stuck in my head all day.

16 posted on 08/16/2002 8:08:53 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: wimpycat; dighton; Orual; aculeus
Finally, the doors to the Stockholm Suite burst open: "We're coming through!" cried a man in sunglasses, and a band of about 20 young Muslim men charged the journalists in an attempt to punch through, only to become entangled in television camera wires. A heavy couch was pulled across the hotel lobby. The doors to the hotel were jammed with bodies as Al-Muhajiroun followers tried to block beefy cameramen inside the hotel, while getting out themselves

I want video. Video, video, video. This sounds absolutely priceless...

17 posted on 08/16/2002 8:08:57 AM PDT by general_re
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To: Pern
Additional evidence that the Muslim world is totally out of touch with reality and the modern world. Perhaps they should go back to the deserts and their tents of the 10th century. Surely they have not acquired the skills required to live in such a sophisticated environment as London.
18 posted on 08/16/2002 8:10:30 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Enterprise
Don't forget the goats.
19 posted on 08/16/2002 8:11:45 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: tom paine 2
Isn't Multiculturalism grand?

In all seriousness, these "Islamists" should have been taken outside, lined up against a wall, and shot.
20 posted on 08/16/2002 8:12:56 AM PDT by Guillermo
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To: tom paine 2; general_re; dighton; aculeus
Great story. As for the video, g_r, only if you pay, but I'd be willing to chip-in.
21 posted on 08/16/2002 8:16:59 AM PDT by Orual
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To: Spruce
Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand, the result of injuries he says he sustained while fighting the armed forces of the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

BULLSH*t! He most likely sustained his injuries by trying to change his fan belt while the car was still running. Some of my in-laws lived in Cairo for a couple of years and marveled over motorists driving at night without their headlights, and guys trying to fix their cars on the side of the road, with their top halves underneath the car and their legs hanging out in the road! They have no conception of safety when it comes to modern machinery. After all, if any mishaps occur, they chalk it up to the will of Allah.

22 posted on 08/16/2002 8:17:34 AM PDT by wimpycat
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To: tom paine 2
This is one money-grubbing opportunity that the DNC and the Sinkmaster missed during his occupancy of our White House. They are probably kicking themselve.
23 posted on 08/16/2002 8:18:33 AM PDT by doug from upland
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To: tom paine 2
Hope the hotel made the nut cases pay in advance?
24 posted on 08/16/2002 8:20:43 AM PDT by monday
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To: tom paine 2; BlueLancer; Catspaw; general_re
"Finally, the doors to the Stockholm Suite burst open: "We're coming through!" cried a man in sunglasses, and a band of about 20 young Muslim men charged the journalists in an attempt to punch through, only to become entangled in television camera wires. A heavy couch was pulled across the hotel lobby. The doors to the hotel were jammed with bodies as Al-Muhajiroun followers tried to block beefy cameramen inside the hotel, while getting out themselves."

I don't see why any one is so critical. This is much like the Reform Party Convention in Nashville where they had to call the cops to separate the sides and restore order. You don't think Fulani Whatshername (Buchanan's campaign manager) organized this thingy, do you?
25 posted on 08/16/2002 8:21:35 AM PDT by DugwayDuke
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To: Pern; Orual; aculeus; general_re; BlueLancer
They want a person to pay to listen to their fanatic propaganda? Get real.

Were they capable of getting real, they wouldn't be Islamist nutjobs.

26 posted on 08/16/2002 8:23:10 AM PDT by dighton
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To: Orual
As for the video, g_r, only if you pay, but I'd be willing to chip-in.

Even if they can't make any money from the reporters, they still have a shot at the grand prize on "Islam's Funniest Home Videos"...

27 posted on 08/16/2002 8:25:09 AM PDT by general_re
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To: blackbart1
There has to be video with all those cameramen.
28 posted on 08/16/2002 8:35:15 AM PDT by Kermit
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To: tom paine 2
You know, more and more these whackjobs succeed in showing the world what a pathetic joke they are as a "culture." Between stunts like this and suicide bombers who take out nothing but a falafel stand, it's got to be sinking into their rag heads how lost their cause is.

Picture the looks on their animal faces when they get to hell and look for their virgins only to discover that, beside themselves, they killed 300 innocent falafels! You know you're a loser when that happens!
29 posted on 08/16/2002 8:39:47 AM PDT by Neckbone
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To: spike_00
Right out of the WSJ Leisure section.
30 posted on 08/16/2002 8:39:56 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: DugwayDuke
I don't see why any one is so critical. This is much like the Reform Party Convention in Nashville where they had to call the cops to separate the sides and restore order. You don't think Fulani Whatshername (Buchanan's campaign manager) organized this thingy, do you?

I thought that was the highlight of the Reform Party convention. There's nothing like a good brawl to get the political juices flowing.

31 posted on 08/16/2002 8:42:30 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: tom paine 2
now you've done it, journalists. next week you'll see a fatwad for your death. they're gonna get you by hook or by crook!
32 posted on 08/16/2002 9:20:59 AM PDT by debg
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To: dennisw; knighthawk
You guys have *got* to see this one!
33 posted on 08/16/2002 9:30:24 AM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: tom paine 2
Mr. Bakri was followed by Sheikh Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a one-eyed Egyptian-born cleric who has a metal hook in place of a hand,

I keep wondering if he had an itchy eye and forgot about the hook. Isn't it funny how many of us picked up on the same line?

34 posted on 08/16/2002 9:48:45 AM PDT by Cable225
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To: Cable225
"You lost your eye because of a seagull dropping?" he said incredulously.

To which Cap'n Blinky sheepishly replied, "arrrgh, it was me first day with the hook."

35 posted on 08/16/2002 9:58:21 AM PDT by MarineDad
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To: tom paine 2
"Mr. Choudary twice tried to save face...Then he cracked the door of the conference room to offer: "Sheikh Omar said that if any of you declare the Shahada [convert to the Muslim faith], you are welcome to come in"

ROTFLMTO!!!!

" Move tighter together lads," said one journalist. "We're going to charge them 60 quid [pounds] each to get out."

LOL....~grin~....British wit.

36 posted on 08/16/2002 10:00:05 AM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: wimpycat
"He most likely sustained his injuries by trying to change his fan belt while the car was still running."

LOL

I do doubt it was anything as honorable as a combat wound inflicted by the Soviets. Probably a premature detonation.

37 posted on 08/16/2002 10:04:51 AM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: spike_00
Yes, it is. Footage of the getaway was aired this morning on the BBC 1 news.
38 posted on 08/16/2002 10:22:18 AM PDT by knighthawk
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To: LiteKeeper
Well, allright. I'll throw in a goat and a signed copy of my Koran (Signed by Sheik 'ya Booty).
39 posted on 08/16/2002 10:26:12 AM PDT by Enterprise
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To: tom paine 2
Thanks for posting this. Somehow I missed seeing it, and it is truly hilarious.
40 posted on 08/16/2002 10:51:18 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: TroutStalker
bump
41 posted on 08/16/2002 1:29:05 PM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: tom paine 2
Worth another bump.
42 posted on 08/16/2002 1:57:51 PM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: Hap
Ping 'cause this is almost as funny as the Hooters thread!
43 posted on 08/16/2002 2:02:07 PM PDT by Xenalyte
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To: Xenalyte
Yep, a real hoot.
44 posted on 08/16/2002 2:33:26 PM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: TroutStalker
bump
45 posted on 08/16/2002 8:30:38 PM PDT by tom paine 2
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