The Magazine Covering All Aspects of The Indian World
Editorial Business Forum Political News Dispatches & Reports Letters Spotlight Lifestyle Travel Health India Sport Scene
October - November 2005
The British Scene - The Growing Threat of Islamic Extremism
“This is Allah’s revenge on Britain and USA for attacking Afghanistan and Iraq,” said a voice in an Arab video relayed recently through the Al-Jazeera Channel amidst scenes of utter devastation in London caused by the gruesome 7/7 attack which left 52 dead and 700 injured.
What was all the more disconcerting was that the four Islamic suicide bombers were not alien Arabs but home-grown terrorists - born and bred in Britain! Hasib Hussein(18), Shehzad Tanveer(22) and 30-year-old Mohammed Sadique Khan - all of Pakistani origin – and their accomplice Jamaal Lindsay(19) , a black convert to Islam from Jamaica, were normal Yorkshire lads who played football and enjoyed a pint or two at the local pub with their English colleagues.
The British public was now suddenly faced with the grim reality that these vicious bombers were not outsiders but fellow Brits who had chosen to revolt against the British way of life and blow themselves up for the sake of Islamic Jihad.
Perhaps what is not widely recognized is that a sinister evil was lurking in the background which systematically brainwashed and goaded the gullible young men to become terrorists: the likes of fiery Muslim clerics such as Egyptian Sheikh Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri Mohammed of Syrian origin, Abu Qataba (Jordanian), Mohammed Al-Masari (Saudi) and Pakistani Imam Mohammed Shareef and hordes of others like them with malice in their heart.
And where were the four misguided young men brainwashed? In mosques like the controversial Finsbury Park one in north London which was raided last year and closed for several months by the Metropolitan police because of serious anti-state propaganda by pro Al-Qaeda activists, and from which house of prayer Abu Hamza was ultimately expelled as the all-powerful Imam.
From the widespread hate campaign orchestrated by militant Muslim clerics in mosques and at demonstrations in and around London, there has emerged a disturbing scenario of mounting Muslim anger and hostility against the West not witnessed before in Britain. And more than political it has, for most Muslims, now become a serious religious issue.
This was evident when a large and rowdy crowd of militant Muslims in Islamic robes incessantly shouting Allahu-Akbar burned a wooden Christian Cross in front of the Central Mosque in Regents Park amidst a brazen declaration over the loudspeaker that the Islamic Shariah regime would soon be established in Britain. “Get ready for the day of judgment, you Infidels”, yelled a young bearded Asian with Arab headgear. This was a very serious matter. But not a single arrest was made by the police.
According to latest intelligence report as many as 3000 UK citizens, mostly of Pakistani origin, had returned to UK as Al-Qaeda ‘Sleepers’ - ready to strike at a moment’s notice - after attending terror training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan and having fought in Iraq along with Muslim mercenaries against British troops. Also, political analysts believe that up to 90,000 to 100,000 Muslim citizens of Britain have pledged allegiance and support to Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda cohorts. This is another very disturbing scenario.
In the wake of the unprecedented anti—British activity by UK-based Muslim extremists, more and more Britons and the national press are now calling for zero tolerance of sermons of hate and violence against British democracy, and advocating stringent measures including detention and deportation of extremists It is also felt that those among an estimated 2000-3000 hardcore Moulvis of Mudrassas and Imams of mosques who are uneducated, cannot speak English are totally ignorant of the British way of life and preach hatred and violence, should be regularly monitored by the police.
At the same time, in view of the gravity of the current extremist situation, many British people are of the opinion that the out-dated Human Rights legislation be cast aside, and in the interests of national security treason be made a punishable offence by a death sentence [the enemy has declared war on Britain and in such a crisis situation it is strongly felt that hanging be brought back].
In this context it is worth recalling that in 1883 Lord Chief Justice Coleridge while passing judgment against Irish terrorists stated that their crime was ‘an act of war punishable with death.’
So when viewing the danger of Islamic extremism/terrorism in Britain today, and the very serious problems that have arisen in its wake, a clearer picture emerges of the serious security risk that is posed by rabid Muslim extremists out to destroy the British way of life.
Yet it seems that the British authorities responsible for national security and safety of British citizens - the Prime Minister’s office, Home Office, Scotland Yard and MI5 – had failed to take due cognizance of the anti-state activities, both clandestine and open, of extremist elements out to harm Britain and what it stands for.
Seven years ago I had warned Metropolitan police and MI5 of this threat by citing the rowdy demonstration by militant Islamists on 28 June 1998 in Trafalgar Square organized by the notorious Al-Mohajiroun and attended by Omar Bakri Mohammed, its founder, and Pakistani firebrand Anjum Chaudhury.
At this noisy rally, cries of ‘Kill the Kaffirs, KILL the Christians, Jews and Hindus for the glory of Islam’ took English spectators and European tourists by surprise. Sighed an elderly English lady standing next to me, “What has England come to!” Surveying the rowdy - and so very un-English - scene from his high perch, Lord Nelson would have had the same sentiments!
The absence of police monitoring was noticeable and, again, no arrests or prosecution were made, and my warning went unheeded. At that ugly demonstration a picture of Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was labelled as ‘Murderer’ of Kashmiri Muslims.
It was only with the sudden and devastating 7/7 London attack this year by Islamic suicide bombers - which caught British intelligence with their pants down - that the British authorities and the public have woken up with a jolt to the grim and frightening reality that the enemy was now in their midst.