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Anjem Choudary Is Now Trying To Convince British Muslims Not To Vote In The General Election

His group "Islamic Roadshow" believes that voting is a violation of Islamic teachings, and say that the UK should replace "man-made law" with Sharia.

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Islamic Roadshow is a new group that is trying to convince British Muslims not to vote in May's general election.

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The group believes that voting is a sin in Islam and that Muslims should advocate Shariah – a system in which the state is governed by laws set out in the Qur'an.

The groups is fronted by an extremist British preacher called Anjem Choudary.

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The controversial preacher has been the public face of a number of banned groups in the UK, including al Muhajiroon, Muslims Against Crusades and Islam4UK.

A former solicitor, Choudary has been accused of condoning and encouraging terrorist activity, and has voiced his support for ISIS.

A number of his followers have also been involved in terrorist activity, including Michael Adebolajo, who in 2013 killed the British soldier Lee Rigby. More recently, Siddhartha Dhar, a student of Choudary's, left the UK while on bail to join ISIS.

While Choudary is well known in the UK media, he remains a fringe figure in British Islam, and many established imams have condemned his provocative remarks and actions.

Using the hashtag #StayMuslimDontVote, his new group is attempting to reach young Muslims on social media.

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Supporters of the campaign have also released videos on YouTube, warning of the "dangers of voting" in the election. Some videos express the virtues of Shariah, and claim that "man-made laws" lead to corruption and greed.

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Like most of Choudary's other groups, his followers usually preach in busy town centres around the country.

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One of the group's members, Minazur Rahman, told BuzzFeed News that Muslims had an obligation to reject voting and democracy.

Rahman, who also goes by the name Abu Baraa, said: "It's a duty in Islam to uphold Tawheed (monotheism), and in Islam, we believe it is our duty to enjoin the good and forbid the evil.

"Democracy is a form of worshipping people rather than Allah, so it is a duty for Muslims to reject this system."

When asked about criticisms of the campaign – including the fact that Muslims not voting might encourage political parties to advocate anti-Islamic policies – he said: "The problem is that we already have a government that is pushing through anti-Muslim policies."

He added that a change in government would not help British Muslims: "We want a good government, and that's why we want to replace man-made laws with the Shariah."

However, not all British Muslims are buying Chaudhry's latest message.

Can you believe there is a hashtag #StayMuslimDontVote What is wrong with these people? You've lost the plot. Seriously get a grip.

@rofi1slam This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard, EVER. #StayMuslimDontVote is an insult to any critical thinking Muslim.

Imam Ghulam Rasool from ImamsOnline said that participating in elections was the "mainstream view of British Muslims".

Rasool admitted that "voting is a sensitive issue" in some parts of the Muslim community, because it is not an explicitly Islamic concept.

"However," he added, "the way the scholars look at it is that it's about fixing your communities – so the general view is that it's important to get involved, fight for your rights and help your community.

"Groups like the Muslim Action Forum also participate by engaging with MPs to tackle anti-Muslim hatred, and we work with MPs on issues to do with Islamophobia and incitement of hate toward Muslims."

Rasool also said that Choudary's group "believe that you can only trust Muslims to govern", adding that they were "conservative and inward-looking".

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He added that the group were "intolerant of co-religionism".

Hussein Kesvani is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Hussein Kesvani at .

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