Right-wing columnist Douglas Murray told 'new Jihadi John' suspect Siddhartha Dhar to go fight for Isis in Syria

The journalist wrote in his Spectator column that people like Dhar had 'benighted and burdened our country for years'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A right-wing columnist offered the British jihadist suspected of being the voice in Isis’ latest propaganda video a "one way ticket to Syria". 

Writing in the Spectator, journalist Douglas Murray recounted a heated exchange he had with Siddhartha Dhar  - the Muslim convert who has been dubbed “the new Jihadi John” after his voice reportedly appeared in an Isis propaganda video - on the BBC where he told the extremist to leave the UK if he wanted to live under Sharia law. 

Dhar - who is also known by his adopted name Abu Rumaysah - is believed to have left Britain to join Isis in September 2014 - not long after the debate on Sunday Morning Live. 

Raised as a Hindu he converted to Islam in his late teens, he became known for his radical views and support for Sharia law. 

The 32-year-old was a well known radical in London and was a member of the extremist organisation al-Muhajiroun - led by hate preacher Anjem Choudary - which was banned after Mr Murray was ambushed by its supporters at a debate on Sharia Law in London in 2009. 

Dhar travelled to Syria in 2014 with his wife and children while on bail after being arrested for being a member of a proscribed group.

Speaking on the programme, Dhar praised the terror group and said the videos of journalists being beheaded by the group were “lies” and the massacres of Yazidis and Christians were “exaggerations”. 

New Jihadi John suspect's sister - 'I will kill him myself'

The former bouncy castle salesman said Sharia law was superior to British democracy: “As a Muslim I would like to see the UK governed by the Sharia. It is far superior to democracy. I don’t really identify myself with British values. I am Muslim first, second and last.”

He also said “of course” he would go and fight for Isis in Syria. 

In response Mr Murray said “Well why don’t you?” and even joked the studio could have a “whip-round” to get him a ticket that evening. 

But today Mr Murray does not regret what he said: “For my part, I don’t regret that I taunted Rumaysah to leave. 

“People like him have benighted and burdened our country for years and it seems to me that neither our domestic government nor our societal defences are remotely up to the task of dealing with such people here.”

Dhar is believed to take on the propaganda role that Mohammed Emwazi - a Kuwait born computer science graduate from west London - left absent following his death by an US drone strike in November last year. 

In the video released last week, the masked figure - identified as Dhar by Sky News - speaking with an obvious British accent criticised the UK Government and Prime Minister David Cameron before shooting five hostages.