VICE News Meets Anthony Small: The Islamist Boxer

Former professional boxer Anthony Small, has been cleared of plotting to leave Britain to join Islamic State militants in Syria.

Small’s flourishing boxing career came to an end when he converted to Islam at the age of 24. Now known as Abdul-Haqq, he decided the sport’s lifestyle was incompatible with his hardline practice of the religion and took up preaching instead.

An associate of the infamous Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary and his banned organization Al-Muhajiroun, Haqq used social media to share his fundamentalist views of Islam. He regularly posted controversial videos filmed in his home, justifying IS beheadings and terror attacks such as the public killing of UK soldier Lee Rigby in 2013.

Haqq’s views have led to multiple police raids on his house, as well as accusations of trying to join IS in the Middle East. VICE News spoke to Haqq on the run up to his arrest about police raids, Western foreign policy, and his faith. We then caught up with him again outside London’s Old Bailey court after his release.

Watch “The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1DU4icy

Read “’The Struggle of Our Generation’: David Cameron Unveils Plan to Root Out ‘Poison’ of Islamist Extremism in UK” – http://bit.ly/1DkhSN8

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Debt-Ridden Students Protest in Brighton (Extra Scene from ’The Student Debt Sentence’)

Watch “The Student Debt Sentence: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1JhuqVE

In this extra scene we meet students in Brighton protesting outside the corporations and banks they think are evading tax. They’re pissed off that the government, rather than cracking down on tax avoidance which they think could make education free, has apparently chosen instead to put an entire generation of students into debt.

Watch “The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1HdhYqF

Watch “Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1RcX0uK

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Inside an Islamist Women’s Group (Extra Scene from ’The Fight for the Muslim Vote’)

Watch “The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1HdhYqF

In this extra scene from ‘The Fight for the Muslim Vote,’ VICE News speaks with a group of women in the UK from Campaign Islam, a group that promotes Islam values and holds regular classes on Islamic law.

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

Watch “Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1RcX0uK

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Spying on a Stag Hunt (Extra Scene from ‘Bringing Back the Hunt’)

Watch “Bringing Back the Hunt: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1J6TEpK

Days after the UK Conservative Party won a surprise majority in the country’s national elections, a top Tory official has confirmed that his government will try to scrap a 2004 ban on hunting with hounds.

Stag hunting — in which a deer is tracked and chased by a large pack of dogs, often guided by red coat-wearing hunters on horseback — was made illegal by the Hunting Act 11 years ago, under Tony Blair’s Labour Party government.

But in the months leading up to the 2015 election, Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to push a re-vote on the legislation. “I have always been a strong supporter of country sports. It is my firm belief that people should have the freedom to hunt,” he wrote in the Countryside Alliance magazine.

Anti-hunt activists, in turn, say they will do everything in their power to stop Cameron. “Ten years on, a small minority want to make it legal again for foxes and other animals to be chased, maimed, and killed for their enjoyment,” said the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in a statement to VICE News. “There’s no justification: Hunting is not an efficient method of population control.”

In this extra scene, we meet Paul Tillsley, head of investigations for LACS, and travel to Quantock Hills in Somerset to secretly film a stag hunt in action.

Watch “The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1DU4icy

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

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The Student Debt Sentence: The British Election

The reform to higher education in England, which among other things tripled annual university tuition fees, sparked mass protests in 2010. In the lead up to the general election on May 7, only 0.3 percent of the policy debates dealt with the contentious issue of higher education.

VICE News follows students who feel let down by those in power and are once again taking to the streets and occupying their campuses. They are taking direct action against the new loan-backed fees system, which they fear is a ticking debt bomb, and their universities being turned into profit-driven corporations, rather than places to expand the mind.

Watch “Will Britain Bring Back the Hunt? – The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1IS3Q5b

Watch “Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1RcX0uK

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Will Britain Bring Back the Hunt? – The British Election

Just weeks before the UK’s general election, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that if re-elected, he would work to overturn the 2004 Hunting Act, which made it illegal to hunt wild animals with large packs of hounds. With that, Conservative Party leader Cameron thrust the issue of hunting onto Britain’s election agenda — kicking up a heated debate that can seem to pitch rich against poor, tradition against modernity, and city against countryside. Labour, the main opposition party has in turn vowed to defend the hunting ban.

On both sides of the line, activists now speak of a reignited “class war.” VICE News traveled across the British countryside, meeting with hunters, activists, balaclava-clad “hunt saboteurs,” and everyday Brits who say that urban politicians just don’t get their country way of life.

Watch “The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1DU4icy

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

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The Fight for the Muslim Vote: The British Election

Ahead of the UK general election on May 7, VICE News explores voter apathy within the British Muslim community and finds out if issues such as the country’s counterterrorism policy and Islamophobia are pushing young Muslims into disenfranchisement.

In the 2010 general election, a lower percentage of British Muslims voted than any other religious group. Despite being the fastest growing religion in the UK and boasting more young adherents than any other religion, it appears young Muslims are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the government.

VICE News speaks with Islamists who are rejecting voting and British society, those trying to get Muslims to vote, and those trying to win those votes. We meet with young Muslims to hear their opinions on the election and explore what influences them at a time when they are facing numerous challenges.

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

Watch “Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1RcX0uK

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Who Would Migrants Vote For? – The British Election

British politics hasn’t been this concerned with immigration for decades. As the general election looms, UKIP, a controversial right-wing political party, is predicted to woo one in 10 voters due to its uncompromising anti-immigration policy — which includes only accepting Christian refugees. Even the left-leaning Labour party has made controls on immigration a central point of its manifesto.

For more than 10 years, Calais, a port town in the north of France, has been a stop off point for migrants and refugees seeking a better life in the UK. Surviving in shantytowns and squats, they risk their lives scrambling onto moving trucks in an effort to get into Britain illegally.

VICE News travelled to Calais to see what life is like in this limbo overlooking the English Channel — and find out who the migrants and refugees would vote for if they could participate in the election.

Watch “Behind the Political Spin: The British Election” – http://bit.ly/1QiWfih

Read “‘England’s Most Precious Institution’: Election Battle Lines Are Drawn Over the UK’s Beloved Health Service” – http://bit.ly/1E5i25q

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Behind the Political Spin: The British Election

This election is the closest in decades, so winning over an increasingly disillusioned electorate matters. But instead of actually facing the public, the risk-averse party leaders are stuck on a grim carousel of predictable press conferences and stage-managed photocalls.

Politicians are aided in their cause by an army of spin-doctors that minimize unscripted interactions with journalists and the public alike. These media buffers, crowd fluffers, and party cheerleaders help the campaign stay on message, but in doing so they keep politicians evasive, and the public at arm’s length.

VICE News joined the campaign trail to confront the journalists, spin-doctors, and leaders who all have a part to play in the evolution of this Pyongyang press junket that serves to lock out the great, unvetted public.

Watch “Anti-Islamists Demonstrate in Britain: Hate in Europe” – http://bit.ly/1GOyT2r

Read “The UK’s Next Leader Is Going to Face Some Serious Questions on Nukes” – http://bit.ly/1c4c1Pz

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The British Election (Series Trailer)

The United Kingdom will hold its general election on May 7, deciding which party, or parties, will form the next government. But until then, the mudslinging between the political groups continues as they jostle for both the media and the public’s attention.

While the party leaders are managed by slick spin-doctors and broadcast carefully constructed messages, there is a growing disillusionment with the current state of British politics.

But even as the general public’s attention dwindles, groups of committed students, activists, and concerned citizens from a variety of backgrounds are pushing to make their mark.

In our week-long election series, VICE News ventures beyond the political party machine — from the movement against cuts to education to the right to freedom of expression for young Muslims, and from the migrants caught in limbo in France to class war in the English countryside.

Watch “Anti-Islamists Demonstrate in Britain: Hate in Europe” – http://bit.ly/1GOyT2r

Read “The UK’s Next Leader Is Going to Face Some Serious Questions on Nukes” – http://bit.ly/1c4c1Pz

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