“I was a fanatic…I know their thinking, says former radical Islamist”
What is extremely interesting to me, is that this former Islamist extremist says that his former comrade jihadis would be now laughing at the statement by London’s mayor, Ken Livingston, over the recent terrorist bombing attempt in London and Glasgow.
Livingston still believes that Islamist terrorist activity in Britain is due to the UK’s foreign policy, Iraq ect. ect.. According to such thinking, if key principal foreign policies were reversed, the radicals would be appeased and their terrorist activity stopped.
And as with previous terror attacks, people are again saying that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy. For example, on Saturday on Radio 4’s Today programme, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: “What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.”
I left the British Jihadi Network in February 2006 because I realised that its members had simply become mindless killers. But if I were still fighting for their cause, I’d be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 bombings, and I were both part of the network – I met him on two occasions.
And though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many others to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain and abroad was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary worldwide Islamic state that would dispense Islamic justice.
They really do believe in their utopian dream of a world wide caliphate built upon the 7th century model. The only justice they’re looking forward to is an Islamic one, not a well intentioned hand out program from the local government.
For decades, radicals have been exploiting the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern secular state – typically by starting debate with the question: “Are you British or Muslim?” But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Muslim institutions in Britain just don’t want to talk about theology.
They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex truth that Islam can be interpreted as condoning violence against the unbeliever – and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace and hope that all of this debate will go away.
Like I have stated previously, local Muslim communities have difficulties in defending their moderate positions when confronted by the extremists. With Mohamed as Islam’s perfect role model, his many violent exhortations are used by the extremists to undermine the local Islamic teachers and leaders who are advocates of non-violence. Hassan Butt then brings up another crucial point.
For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we’ll stay here. But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale, Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of cemeteries and equal rights in law.
However, it isn’t enough for responsible Muslims to say that, because they feel at home in Britain, they can simply ignore those passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers. Because so many in the Muslim community refuse to challenge centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern world grow larger every day.
I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism.
That is the reason why it’s so important for the West to find the right voices to back, not just the loudest of voices. Hassan Butt puts to rest the notion that the West’s foreign policy is the “linch pin” to all Islamist extremist activity happening around the world today. It’s time to face up to that reality, and stop confusing the issues.
While many disagree with the current US/British foreign policies in the ME, those policies can’t be understood to be fueling the jihadist movement. The jihadis would be just as active with or without a US presence in the ME, and that is sorry truth. More here. *L* KGS