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Muslim film-maker vows to carry on speaking out against extremism
“I will not be terrorised into silence.”
Those are the words of a prominent British Muslim from Hampshire who has vowed to carry on speaking out against extremism – despite being threatened in a video released by the Somali-based terror group Al-Shabaab.
Film-maker Mohammed Ansar, 39, is one of several people singled out for having criticised jihadists following the Woolwich murder of soldier Lee Rigby.
Now Mr Ansar, his wife and their four young children have been given police protection.
Their Hampshire home has been equipped with panic alarms and other security systems and a patrol car is parked in the area.
Despite the precautions the family went away at the weekend in a bid to escape the stress caused by their ordeal.
But Mr Ansar is refusing to be cowed by the threats made against him.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo from a secret location he said: “I’m not prepared to be terrorised into silence.
“It’s vitally important that people have an opportunity to speak up and I will carry on speaking out against extremism, whether it’s the far right or Islamic extremism.”
Mr Ansar became a prominent figure earlier this year after condemning the “abhorrent” murder of Drummer Rigby.
Police visited his home at midnight on Wednesday after Al-Shabaab released an hour-long video entitled The Woolwich Attack: It’s An Eye For An Eye.
Narrated by a man wearing a black mask and a camouflage jacket, the production praises those behind the killing.
The jihadist group, which has also claimed responsibility for the Westgate shopping mall massacre in Kenya, accuses Mr Ansar and other British Muslims of “mutilating the teachings of Islam”.
Holding an automatic weapon in his hand the narrator says: “If you can’t afford to get one of these, a simple knife from your local B&Q will do the job.”
Mr Ansar said: “We’ve got police patrols and quick response alarms and we’ve had our locks and doors reinforced. The police have been really fantastic – I can’t praise them enough.”
Mr Ansar said he was speaking from “outside Hampshire” but refused to say where.
“It’s good to get away and clear your head,” he said.
Scotland Yard added: “We are aware of the video and we are assessing its contents and looking into it.”
Mr Ansar’s documentary about Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League, is due to be shown on BBC2 on October 28.
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