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Al Muhajiroun and Islam4UK: The group behind the ban.

This report is based primarily on the first in-depth academic interviews conducted with members of Al Muhajirourn since 2004 and it discusses the group’s aims, beliefs, membership and activities.

The report also examines the government’s decision to proscribe Islam4UK. Critics of the decision have focused on the timing of the ban and the likely ineffectiveness of the measure, while those who welcomed it have pointed to the group’s alleged links to terrorism. This report offers the following assessment: that the government had valid reasons for banning Islam4UK but that its decision to do so was undermined by the timing of its announcement.

Another question addressed in the report is the likely effectiveness of the ban in the long-term. Although Islam4UK’s overtly public activities may have been stalled temporarily by the government’s action, the group has a strategy of creating new identities for itself, adopting new names and platforms when others have been compromised and its media profile has already been substantially increased by proscription.

Catherine Zara Raymond is currently undertaking a PhD in War Studies at King’s College London. Her research focuses on Islamic radicalisation on university campuses in the United Kingdom. Zara is also an Associate at the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, based at the Defence Studies Department, Joint Services Command and Staff College, where she conducts research into maritime piracy and terrorism.

Previously, Zara worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. She is co-editor and contributing author of the volume Best of Times, Worst of Times: Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific (WorldScientific, 2005), has contributed chapters to several books on the topic of maritime security including, most recently, Piracy and Maritime Crime: Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia, edited by Bruce Elleman and S.C.M. Paine (US Naval War College, 2009), and has had her articles published by a number of media outlets and journals.