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October - November 2006

Political News

Islamic Extremism and its Repercussions - Analysis

by Krishan Gopal Dutt

Hitherto it was assumed that only a small minority of Muslims in Britain were hardline extremists opposed to democratic British values. According to a survey following recent events linked to terrorism on British soil, however, a sinister and deeply worrying image of Islamic extremism has emerged that has set alarm bells ringing in the corridors of Whitehall and, for the first time, awoken the British public to the danger of Islamic fundamentalism-turned-extremism.

Home Secretary John Reid hit the nail on the head when he claimed on August 9 on national television that Britain faces a greater threat from Islamic terrorists, and said: “Al-Qaida and home-grown (Islamic) fundamentalists pose a bigger danger than the IRA at the height of their bombing campaign.”

In recent times an eerie mood of hardline Islamic radicalization appears to have gripped the Muslim community in Britain and induced many to take up the call to Jehaad; that more and more British Muslims, especially in the 17-35 age group, have developed strong pro Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah sympathies and support, and openly castigate Britain and America for the spiralling violence and unrest in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, is quite alarming.

Also alarming are the startling revelations that as much as 31 per cent of UK Muslims, mostly under the age of 24 – a staggering half a million in a (Muslim) population of 1.6 million _ believe the London attack by Islamic suicide bombers was ‘justified.’ Just imagine 496,000 UK residents, many born here, with rabid anti-British sentiments.

To make matters worse, bigoted and uneducated Mullahs and Moulvis, and many Imams of mosques, are persistently and systematically brainwashing UK Muslims into believing that British authorities including the police are anti-Islam and out to harm Muslim identity.

According to popular BBC newsreader/reporter George Alagiah, the arrival of Imams from Pakistan in recent years has led to a ‘volatile version of Islam seeping its way into Bradford’s mosques and Mudrassas (religious schools)’.

In this context a senior Metropolitan police officer has stated that ‘those mosques which allow preachers to deliver sermons of hatred and violence should be shut down.’

And a Peer in the House of Lords has said that those Islamic clerics who preach racial and religious hate, and deliver death threats to non-Muslim people, ‘should be deported to their or their ancestors’ countries of origin.’

It is noteworthy that many Muslim clerics — particularly Sheikh Abu Hamza of Egyptian origin and Syrian Omar Bakri Mohammed, and UK-born solicitor Anjum Choudhary of Pakistani parentage - have since the early Nineties openly called upon young British Muslims to attack targets within Britain and fight to kill British soldiers operating in Muslim countries.

Yet these preachers of hate have until recently never been charged or prosecuted with ‘incitement to murder’ and ‘glorifying or justifying terrorism.’ Whether it was Labour’s lame appeasement policy towards Muslim fundamentalists or its politically-correct dogma gone mad is anyone’s guess.

An estimated 2000-3000 fanatical Islamic clerics, many of them illiterate rabble-rousing Punjabis and Mirpuri Kashmiris, roam the country unhindered, often misquoting the Koran, and through the hundreds of Mudrassas attached to the 1600 mosques in Britain are exerting an evil influence on young Muslims.

Unfortunately, leaders of the Muslim community have failed to raise their voice against their extremist co-religionists, and when confronted deny any problems with disaffected Muslim youth. They are like the Ostrich which hides its face into the sand and thinks ‘Ah, I cannot see any danger, so there is no problem!’

That Britain 2006 also faces the deadly scourge of ‘Sleepers’ has been highlighted by Scotland Yard admitting that as many as 1200 potential terrorists owing allegiance to Al-Qaida and lying low across Britain are poised to unleash attacks against targets within the UK. [in the year 2002 the figure was 150 suspected Al-Qaeda agents gone underground].

When it was announced that ‘four other serious plots by home-grown terrorists’ - to quote Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke of the Anti-Terrorism Branch – had been successfully foiled since the 7/7 attacks, it clearly showed the danger of terrorism in Britain to be ever-present – highlighted no less by the 22 British citizens of Pakistani origin recently taken into custody as suspected terrorists involved in a gruesome plot to blow up airplanes on the UK-to-USA flight.

This ghastly situation has been further exacerbated by a declaration in 1998 by Osama bin Laden - seen and revered by many Muslims worldwide as a present-day supreme Islamic Khalifah – that ‘Muslims all over the world continue to suffer deep humiliation and bitter frustration by the destruction of the (Islamic) Ottomon Empire 80 years ago [1917] by Western military forces - a humiliation that must be avenged.’

At a meeting of analysts of Islamic fundamentalism/extremism held recently in London, the widespread anti-Muslim feeling in Britain that had erupted in the wake of the 7/7 London bombing by home-grown suicide bombers was discussed at length. And that a fairly-high percentage of UK Muslims wanted Britain to be turned into an Islamic state governed by Shariah law was also a point of serious discussion.

At this meeting it was also pointed out that during WW2 thousands of British citizens of German origin classified as ‘Hostile’ were rounded up in 1942 – during the intense bombing of London by German warplanes - and held in detention.

These bonafide citizens of Britain had wholly integrated into mainstream (British) society, even changing their names to English ones and speaking impeccable English. Yet they were unceremoniously removed from their homes and held in concentration camps until 1945. It is also noteworthy that a British aristocrat Lady Howard of Effingham, a Nazi sympathiser, was arrested in 1941 and interned at Holloway Women’s prison for ‘working with the enemy’.

Some of the analysts were of the opinion that with the devastating London bombing of last year which left 52 Britons dead and over 700 seriously injured still fresh in the minds of the indigenous British people, and in the event of further murderous attacks on British soil by Islamic terrorists, it was likely that many members of the highly volatile Muslim community in the UK suspected of liaising with terrorists – whether foreigners or British-born – could find themselves incarcerated in detention centres.

A sad situation, no doubt, and a setback to harmonious race relations in the country, nonetheless, but for their grim predicament the unfortunate detainees would have no one but their own (fanatical) fellow Muslims to blame.

Meanwhile the disaffected and alienated Muslim youth need HELP. We ignore them to our peril.

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