Defiant: Facebook protester Jo Cleary said she will not be cowed by threats
The creator of an online group opposing plans by an Islamic organisation to march through Wootton Bassett has received death threats.
More than 730,000 people have signed up to the ‘No To The Planned Islam4UK March Through Wootton Bassett’ group since it went live on Facebook.
It called for extremist Anjem Choudary and his followers to be barred from marching in the Wiltshire market town where the bodies of dead service personnel arrive back in the UK.
Mr Choudary’s group Islam4UK has now abandoned the march after it was revealed the Government is to ban the organisation.
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Home Secretary Alan Johnson is to use anti-terror laws to ban two organisation – Islam4UK and al-Muhajiroun – run by Mr Choudary.
But the Facebook group’s creator, Jo Cleary, who voluntarily runs the Armed Forces support group Honour Our Troops, has received death threats over her involvement with the site.
Threats have also been sent to fellow campaigner Lucy Aldridge, whose 18-year-old son Will was killed in Afghanistan.
It is not known who has made the threats.
The mother-of-four, 43, a photographer from Broomfield, Kent, said: ‘I am absolutely livid at these threats but they will not stop my campaign.
‘I have been branded a BNP member – which I most certainly am not – and my life has been threatened in the most abusive language.
‘There have even been threats made to the families of those who have given their lives for this country.
‘It is beyond belief. These are horrific emails with vile, vile threats.
‘Special Branch are involved and have offered me full protection.
‘It beggars belief someone could be of the mindset where they think it’s acceptable to threaten a mum who buried her 18-year-old soldier son six months ago.
‘I’m not going to stop because of them.
‘The most they’ve probably worn is a school uniform.
‘The day they don a uniform and fight for Queen and country and then come back and have ago at me, then I’ll listen, but don’t sit with a monitor and a keyboard and expect me to feel frightened.’
After calling off the Wootton Bassett march yesterday, Mr Choudary said the group had ‘successfully highlighted the plight of Muslims in Afghanistan’.
He went on: ‘We at Islam4UK have decided, after consultation with others including our Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, that no more could be achieved even if a procession were to take place in Wootton Bassett and in light of this we would like to announce today that there will no longer be a procession through this market town.’
Earlier Mr Choudary said: ‘No sooner had I mentioned the desire (to march) Mr Brown condemned it and his Home Secretary Mr Johnson decided he would ban it and it seems now Islam4UK as well.’
And he later added: ‘I think Britain is living in a form of dictatorship – as long as you agree with what the ruling parties dictate, fine, but the rest of the people have to live with it. It’s democracy, but only as long you agree with it.
‘I believe there are two types of people in the world – Muslims, and non-Muslims. And I believe Islam is superior.’
A Kent Police spokeswoman said: ‘We are working closely with Ms Cleary in relation to the correspondence she has received and, in conjunction with Wiltshire Police, we will continue to monitor the situation.’