Established on February 16, 1996 by Omar Bakri Mohammed (who also founded Hizb ut-Tahrir), Al-Muhajiroun (Arabic for “The Emigrants,” a name its founder says “refers to the early followers of the Prophet Muhammad”) was a radical Muslim organization based in England that also had branches in many other nations. The group’s disbandment was announced on October 13, 2004, though it is now believed to be operating as several splinter groups, among which are The Savior Sect, the Islamic Thinkers Society, and the Salafi Youth Movement. According to Islam scholar Daniel Pipes, Al-Muhajiroun was “the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West.”
Al-Muhajiroun described itself as “not a group or a political party,” but as a Jama’ah (collective body) within Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jama’ah (The minority saviour sect) working towards the world-wide domination of Islam.” Closely allied to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, Al-Muhajiroun taught its recruits that Israel, the Jews and the West are evil and that it is their Muslim duty to fight them. The organization referred to the 9/11 hijackers as “the Magnificent 19.”
The avowed aim of Al-Muhajiroun was to restore and expand the Caliphate, or Muslim empire, which would operate according to the principles of divinely-given Islamic Sharia law. The new Caliph, called Al-Khalifah or “leader” on Al-Muhajiroun’s website, was to be one “whose foreign policy is to conquer the whole world by Jihad.”
Under this coming worldwide “Domination of Islam,” people would not necessarily be forced to become Muslims, implied the Al-Muhajiroun website, but they would be taught “to accept it as a political way of life and a solution for their [and society’s] problems.” Al-Muhajiroun said that its organizational tactics were “[t]o formulate a fifth column as a community pressure group which is well equipped with the Islamic culture e.g. ruling, social, economic, judicial, penal [sic] and ritual systems in order to become capable of implementing Islam fully and comprehensively in society.” The weapons to be used to establish global Islamic political power ranged from debate, to media appearances and the law, to the funding of Jihadists and the recruiting of suicide bombers.
Al-Muhajiroun was the sister organization of the International Institute of Islamic Thought.
Al-Muhajiroun is widely believed to have influenced Mohammed Siddique Khan, the man who led the suicide bomb attacks that killed 52 people in London on July 7, 2005.