‘Terror threat on our own doorstep’

Thus the heading to a letter in the Jewish News. And where does this domestic terror threat come from? From Inayat Bunglawala and the Muslim Council of Britain, apparently.

Terror Threat on Our Own Doorstep

(Letter in Jewish News, 17 August 2006)

Dear Sir,

At least we know where we are with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. just in case you don’t, here’s a sample: “If European countries claim that they have killed Jews in WWII… why don’t they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of Europe?” He expressly recommends that provision be made in Germany and Austria. But that’s only his second choice option. He would, as he has often stated, prefer the total annihilation of Israel.

And we know too where we stand when it comes to the ambition of Hezbollah or Hamas since it is pretty much identical to that of Ahmadinejad, Wolves dressed in wolves’ clothing –  nothing “sheepish” here.

The question is, however, where are we when it comes to the 1.6 million British Muslims and their spiritual and political leadership? Might we find a number of wolves poorly disguised as sheep here? The Muslim Council of Britain has, for example, described theologian Dr Yusuf Qaradawi as a “distinguished Muslim scholar… a voice of reason and understanding”.

Perhaps this body was encouraged to speak out in his favour by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. After all, he welcomed this benign cleric to City hall in 2004, describing him as a “moderate.” And yet, according to BBC monitoring, in a TV debate in the Gulf, Qaradawi said: “The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have children bombs and these human bombs must continue until liberation.” Sound reasonable and understanding to you?

A year or so after Sheikh Yassin was killed by Israel, a number of Muslim organisations held a memorial service in his honour at the Central Mosque in Regents Park.

The Sheikh was undoubtedly the chief ideologist behind Hamas whose charter seeks the destruction of Israel. Hamas, the terrorist organisation that at one and the same time builds hospitals for its citizens whilst funding, recruiting, training and dispatching them to their deaths as suicide bombers and ‘martyrs’ on the buses and streets of Tel Aviv.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, former Secretary General of the MCB was there, at the memorial, where Yassin was hailed by the MCB as “the renowned Islamic scholar”.

A senior member of the Muslim Association of Britain, Dr Azzam Tamimi, has said he condones suicide bombings in Israel. I would sacrifice myself –  it’s the straight way to pleasing my God,” he has said. Now I know all these remarks per am to Israel and that we live in Britain and yet, excuse me, I still feel put out.

I would like to know how the Muslim leadership of Britain can, on the one hand, brazenly, openly and/or tacitly support suicide bombing in Israel and yet think itself credible in asking us – and, perhaps more to the point, those it represents –  to believe it does not do so on these shores?

Here’s a possible answer from Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain: It’s quite misleading to compare the situation here in the UK with that in Israel.

“The 1.6 million Muslims in the UK live in peace. They are free to practice their faith and they are free to go about their daily lives without let or hinderance.”

Presumably this means that were Britain to become a place where it was perceived by Muslims that they could no longer go about their daily lives “without let or hindrance” we should watch out lest, we choose to fly to Washington on the wrong day or inadvertently board a Tube bound for destruction.

In publishing its open letter in a number of newspapers – one of the freedoms enjoyed by the subjects of this land –  this very same Muslim leadership states that the government’s foreign policy “is ammunition to the extremists who threaten us all”. (“All” except for Israeli civilians who presumably deserve what they have coming).

Is this a thinly veiled threat that if we don’t abide by the foreign policy that suits the MCB, for example, we should take cover?

Are we being told that the democratic process that usually determines government policy in this great land should be thrown out because the MCB has a deadly weapon among those they claim to represent, that we should fear –  the suicide bomber?

Or is it simply the MCB seeking to explain and rationalise to us the phenomenon of British-born Muslim suicide bombers – to show us how it is our fault and fading that these “martyrs” have come about?

Add to our shameful, “anti-Islamist” foreign policy the fact that our security services and police heavy-handedly apprehend Muslims who might be about to blow themselves up in our midst, that we insensitively insist on shutting down mosques where Muslim clerics call for global jihad and recruit the next generation of 7/7 suicide bombers, that we unreasonably call for those Muslim groups that hand out inflammatory, racist literature on universities to be outlawed and their leaders arrested, that we unfairly attempt to prevent the likes of Dr Yusuf Qaradawi from entering our country, that we infuriatingly feel that it is a necessary sacrifice to reign in the “human rights” of those who would destroy our very way of life – if not our lives themselves, and you can see why various Muslim leaders who attended Sheikh Yassin’s memorial service in Regents Park, might think Muslims can no longer go about their daily lives “without let or hinderance”.

You can understand how Inayat Bunglawala might be thought to be disingenuous in describing how he really experiences Britain to be – as a Muslim. Isn’t it about time we exposed these dangerous wolves in sheep’s clothing for what they truly are?

Andy Zneimer