Islamic Extremism in Britain How Term Paper

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In 2006 the government of Great Britain is stated to have: "...toughened anti-terrorism laws, making it a crime to 'glorify' terrorism and easing procedures for deporting clerics and others who advocate violence. There are presently approximately 2 million plus Muslims residing in Britain's Muslim community. In August 2006 a plot to bomb jumbo jets from the skies of Great Britain, jets that were headed to major U.S. cities was foiled. The 19 suspects, who are all Muslims, and 14 of which who are from London range in age from 17 to 35 years of age. Low employment rates among young Muslims ages 16 to 24, or a rate of 28% is said to "provide a fertile environment for extremist groups recruiting new members." (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) According to the Washington Post report the root of the trouble is "...foreign policy." (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) During the latter part of the 1990s 'Britain became the center of gravity for militant causes in Europe...and this made a very solid base for radicalization" (Sullivan and Partlow, 2006) according to Petter Nesser, analyst at the Norweigian Defense Research Establishment.


In a 2006 report entitled: "Focus: How Liberal Britain Let Hate Flourish" Woods and Leppard report a story of Ricahid Salama, a young Algerian, who found himself homeless in London and found refuge in a large mosque in Finsbury Park "under the regime imposed by Abu Hamza, the one-eyed, hook-handed Egyptian who had seized control of the building from moderates and turned in into a centre for incitement to murder. The poisonous progress of Hazma, and the authority's slow reaction to it, reflects the wider rise of Islamic extremism in Britain and the sidelining of moderates." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) Hazma came to Britain to "take advantage of opportunities in the UK that he could not find in his native country - in his case Egypt. In 1979, aged 21, he arrived in London to study engineering. He worked as a hotel receptionists and nightclub bouncer, married an Englishwoman called Valerie Flemming and had a son. Favoring western dress, he exhibited no sign of radicalism." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) in the middle of the 1980s his wife had told him that due to his flirting with other women that she was leaving him. Hamza told her that he would change and dedicate himself to Islam at which time they began to attend a mosque in north London. (Woods and Leppard, 2006, paraphrased) However, it wasn't long before Hamza disappeared with his young son into the Middle East, reportedly to visit relatives for about six months yet Fleming hardly heard from Hazma of her son for 16 years. During this time Hazma lost his hands in an explosion and finally returned to Britain as an activist for radical Islam. Previous preachers for radical Islam generally spoke Pakistani or Indian dialects however, Hazma preached his sermons in Arabic and English and is stated to have "electrified his audience." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) the British intelligence services hired Reda Hassaine, an Algerian journalist to spy on Hazma who reported that "Hazma repeatedly called fro the murder of westerners and for holy war against all those opposed to Islam." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) Hassaine reported that: "He would sit down with boys as young as 10 in small groups and preach jihad to them," said Hassaine. "He would talk to them about death, the war and going to paradise. He would tell them they had a duty to fight for Allah and that they had to use a sword and they had to kill in the name of Allah and they had to die." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) Hassaine reported that Hazma was brainwashing these young men and sending them to Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, that he was preaching jihad and murder and that he was involved in the provision of false passports, and that he was a chief terrorist. (Woods and Leppard, 2006; paraphrased) it appears that "the authorities were wary of offending Muslim sensibilities, even in the case of Hazma. When police did finally raid the Finsbury Park mosque, they treated the hotbed of terrorism with utmost respect." (Woods and Leppard, 2006) Dr. Fouad Ajami, professor of Middle Eastern studies at John Hopkins University stated at this time that a battle for modern Islam is taking place and that the crisis in European Islam is one of a very severe nature. (Woods and Leppard, 2006; paraphrased) Ajami states that Hazma has goaded the younger generation who is the generation that feels the most alienation and is the most militant. The moderates in Britain far outnumber the extremists who remain a minority in the country.

In the work entitled: "The Dangers of Tolerance" Peter Bergen writes: "One lasting legacy of the July 7 terrorist attacks in London may be the exploding..." Of the myth that terrorism is found in some foreign land. According to Bergen: "...the attacks have focused attention on the extent to which Great Britain has become an exporter of Islamic terrorism in recent years by providing refuge to Islamist radicals from throughout the Middle East. British-based radicals have taken advantage of the country's tradition of free expression to encourage young Muslims to join Osama bin Laden's jihad, providing the spiritual inspiration - and in several cases the manpower - for attacks and attempted attacks, not only in Europe and the United States, but back in the Middle East as well." (Bergen, 2006) Bergen relates that the residence of three cleric in Britain, specifically, Shik Omar Bakrai Mohammed, Abu Hazma Al Masri and Abu Qatada, have been "particularly critical to the support of terrorism worldwide." (2006)

The work of Serge Trifkovic states that: "What is striking about most second- and third-generation British Muslims is their intense religiosity. Asked how much of a role Islam played in their everyday lives, 45% of the respondents in the student survey said it played a role in everything while 48% said it played a role in most things. This is in sharp contrast with a comparable survey of the British public in which 66% said religion was not an important factors in their lives." (Trifkovic, 2006) Trifkovic relates that in a survey of the attitudes of British Muslims published in the Daily Telegraph immediately following the London July 7, 2005, bombings, one in four are stated to sympathize with the motives of the terrorists and six percent stated that the bombings were "fully justified." (Trifkovic, 2006) Stated is that: "The sheer scale of Muslim alienation from British society that the survey reveals is remarkable: nearly 32%, believe that Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to bring it to an end." (Trifkovic, 2006) According to Trifkovic, the attacks should not have come as a surprise since it has been known for many years that terrorist who had been trained by al-Qaeda were present in the country operating in small cell structures. (Trifkovic, 2006; paraphrased) Furthermore, "British government sources acknowledged the existence of terrorist cells in the country and predicted that the most likely threat would take the form of 'explosives left in a public place' and attacks on transport networks." (Trifkovic, 2006) There appears to have been a general state of denial that Islamic groups had perpetrated the attacks since the deputy assistant commission of London's Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick stated that the individuals committing the act were "certainly not Islamic terrorists, because Islam and terrorism simply don't go together." (Trifkovic, 2006) Tony Blair has repeatedly refused to acknowledge terrorist cells among Great Britain's Muslims and according to Trifkovic: "With Messrs, Livingstone, Blair, and other such elected and appointed officials in charge, the bombers could do their thing unobserved and unhindered. It is to be feared that if and when '7/7' happens again, possibly on a far grander scale, the sleepwalking of those who are supposed to protect Britain will become more determined than ever before. Blairism is all-pervasive in the academia that informs the policymakers." (Trifkovic, 2006)


According to Sarah Spencer, of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society at Oxford University: "We need to move beyond security and the fear of radicalization and to 'set a narrow and potentially divisive context for an agenda that has to embrace broader outcomes such as greater access by the Muslim community to jobs, housing, health, education, poverty and civic participation." (Trifkovic, 2006) There has been much in the way of a "manifestation of the ongoing legitimization of the Sharia as a 'legal code' with a role in the public life of Great Britain" and in fact it has penetrated culture in Great Britain affecting even movie and theatre productions to the point where Christopher Marlowe's 'Tamburlain the Great' was "censored beyond recognition." (Trifkovic, 2006) the Director, David Farr, made an open admission that the scene was edited because "he did not want…

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