by Anil Dawar | Express.co.uk | April 18, 2011
One woman was told she faced death if she failed to don the hijab, or headscarf, in east London’s Tower Hamlets.
Signs warning the area is a “gay-free zone” have also been seen while posters at bus shelters featuring models and a Bollywood film have been defaced with black paint. Incidents involving posters have also happened in Birmingham.
An Asian Whitechapel shopkeeper, who is not a practising Muslim and who dresses in western clothes, said she was told to cover up last month or face a boycott of her pharmacy. When she went to the press a man came to the shop, she said, telling her, “If you keep doing these things we will kill you”. She spoke to police last week.
The news comes after Iraqi Mohamed Al Hakim, 30, was spared jail for threatening to kill his cousin if she didn’t cover her head. He claimed Alya Al Safar, 21, had branded her family as “bitches and whores”. But firebrand Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary insisted the Muslims were only giving “advice”.
He said: “It’s ridiculous. I think the idea of threats being made has been fabricated.”
Paul Rickett, Borough Commander of Tower Hamlets, said the issue was being investigated and anyone making threats would be prosecuted.