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Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > Al Muhajiroun flyers in mosque urges Muslims to become terrorist fighters and "pray for death and decay to descend on the West"

Al Muhajiroun flyers in mosque urges Muslims to become terrorist fighters and "pray for death and decay to descend on the West"

August 17, 2004

Terror leaflets found at mosque -

MIM:The Birmingham Central Mosque director Mohammed Naseem "doth protest too much"

Aug 15 2004

MIM: In a perversely amusing twist, British Muslims who for years have said nothing about Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir preaching hate and incitement in Britain , are suddenly calling upon the government to ban Al Muhajiroun.

The group is considered a liability to the Muslim community who are concerned for a backlash which would put them under further scrutiny now that pamphlets calling for Muslims to engage in terrorism wer found in a Birmingham mosque.

Muslims in Britain have continually criticised and thwarted government anti terrorism measures, calling them anti Muslim, and have used every opportunity to file anti discrimination suits under the pretext that goverment statutes aimed at protecting the public against terrorism are violations of their civil rights.

The hypocrisy and mercernary attitude of British Muslims is nowhere more evident then the complaint of the chairman of the Birmingham mosque that the British goverment should banish Al Muhajiroun. The UK Muslim community has not only found a convienent scapegoat in the group but can even present themselves as trying to assist the government's war on terror by urging them to take action against Al Muhajiroun (!).

One can imagine the loud hue and cry which would ensue if the British government were to accede to the stated wishes of the Birmingham mosque chairman's demand and announce that they were planning to banish Al Muhajiroun and othe Muslim organisations linked to terrorism in the UK. Such a move would solve the UK domestic terrorism virtually overnight, but would have the Muslim community up in arms and a barrage of anti racism and discrimination lawsuits would be lobbed by civil rights lawyers into the British legal system.

(See article below which details how Al Muhajiroun terrorist leader Abu Hamza Al Masri's trial will cost the British taxpayer upwards from 10 million pounds (about 5 million dollars).

The article from the Indian 'Milli Gazette' illlustrates the parallel universes of the Muslims and British society.

It highlights the mindset of UK Muslims and civil rights advocates who want to have it both ways - be given special consideration and and privledges in deference to their religious beliefs and then complain when the government does not act against a religous and ideological problem which has been festering in their community for more then a decade and they themselves have done nothing to prevent.

While the west is engaged in a mortal struggle against the advent of a 'Dark Ages of Mecca' brought upon them by the Islamists, the Muslims express concern about a 'Dark Age for British Muslims'.


MIM: A search under Birmingham Mosque reveals that the mosque director Naseem indeed "doth protest too much" at having found Al Muhajiroun leaflets saying he would go to the police because ,he was worried " they could fall into the wrong hands and encourage people to become Muhajideen fighters" . Naseem's feigned 'good citizenship' becomes even more farcical in light of the fact that police were no strangers to murderers connected to the Birmingham Mosque .

On August 3rd, the police were investigating a double murder which resulted from a dispute between members of the mosque . One of the victims had survived a previous shooting attempt .(see articles below ).


Dr Mohammed Naseem of Birmingham Central Mosque Dr Mohammed Naseem: Decades of community work

MIM: This picture is related to the article at the bottom of the page .

Note the caption. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2914121.stm


Feud at Birmingham mosque led to two murders

Gym gun victim was new dad

by Mark Cohan

Evening Mail 7/2/04


This is the first picture of the man gunned down in an execution-style killing as he worked out at a city gym.

Police today released the photograph of Azmat Yaqub as it emerged the 35-year-old had survived a previous assassination attempt on his life.

Murder detectives will be looking to see if there are any links between the brutal slaying of Mr Yaqub and the earlier attempt which saw his best friend killed.

Mr Yaqub was blasted in the head and chest as he worked out in the Chic Physique Health and Fitness Gym, in Foremans Road, Sparkhill, on Thursday.

It is understood his partner had only given birth two weeks ago. Mourners were gathered yesterday outside the family home in Yardley where his parents were being comforted. They were too distraught to talk.

Detectives said they were trying to establish a motive for Thursday's shooting close to a children's kick-boxing class.

It is thought the gang of between two and four men may have been searching for Mr Yaqub for some time.

Police said they were trying to trace a light-coloured saloon car that "appeared new, or was clean" and was seen in the area. The gunman was thought to have been white.

Eighteen months ago, Mr Yaqub and his friend Shaham Ali were ambushed in a drive-by shooting in Waverley Road, Small Heath.

Mr Ali, aged 31, was blasted in the head and later died in hospital, while Mr Yaqub was hit in the shoulder.

It was thought the shooting was a terrifying conclusion to a row between two factions at Birmingham's Central Mosque.

Six men were arrested in connection with the shooting and a mosque secretary alleged false imprisonment.

Mohammed Sharafit Khan, 31, of Fitters Mill Close, Balsall Heath, and his brother Mohammed Arshad Khan, 30, of Princess Road, Edgbaston, were cleared by a Birmingham Crown Court of murder and attempted murder.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, the chairman of the mosque, said Mr Yaqub used to be a member of the congregation, but had not been for a long time.

"He was working far away."



Shooting victim survived earlier attacks

"Six men were arrested in connection with last year's shooting and an allegation of false imprisonment made by a mosque secretray, including Sheik AbuYusuf Riyadhul-Haq, 34, a former imam at the mosque"...

...Dr Mohammed Naseem , the chairman of the Birmingham mosque told News tonight that Mr Yaqub was no longer a member of the congregation, saying that work commitments out of the city had meant he stopped worshipping there some time ago.

"He isn't a member of the congregation," he said. "He was at one time. He didn't come to the mosque for a long time. He was working far away."

He conceded that trouble had flared between rival groups in the city which led to the drive-by shooting, but said the frictions were caused outside of the mosque.

"There were two groups were in war but the trouble took place outside of the mosque," he said.


Terror Leaflets found at mosque

By Jeanette Oldham, Sunday Mercury

August 16, 2004


Hundreds of leaflets urging Muslims to become terrorist fighters have been distributed at a Midland mosque.

Police have been called in to investigate after the flyers were found at Birmingham Central Mosque last week.

The leaflets urge worshippers to become Mujahideen fighters and ask them to 'pray for death and decay to be visited upon the West'.

The literature bears the name of a group called Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamah, which mosque officials say is often used as an alias for the Al Muhajiroun group.

Al Muhajiroun, a small radical organisation which has called for a British Islamic state, has been accused of inciting terrorism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.

Mosque chairman Dr Mohammed Naseem warned that the leaflets could act as a recruitment aid for would-be terrorists.

"It is very worrying," he said. "These leaflets appear to be encouraging Muslims to become Mujahideen fighters.

"This sort of thing getting into the wrong hands is very dangerous.

"They are the views of a minority of people but young, impressionable Muslims may read this and think they should be doing these things.

"I shall be showing the leaflets to our community policeman and asking him for advice."

A mosque official who discovered piles of the leaflets at the religious centre said: "We found two varieties of a very similar flyer. It was immediately obvious that they were produced by Al Muhajiroun using their misleading alias.

"We removed them immediately after conferring with mosque staff. We have attempted to contact the authors by calling them but we have had no success.

The spokesman added: "We do not support this kind of stuff in the mosque because it can act as a recruiting sergeant for terror-related activities.

"This group's literature has found its way into the mosque before and we have banned it.

"Most of it is political ranting and raving. But we have never had anything as hate-filled as these leaflets or something which encourages people to join the Mujahideen."

Dr Naseem said he blamed the Government for Al Muhajiroun's continuing presence in Britain.

"Its leaders continue to preach and incite terrorism and yet the Government does not nothing about it," he said.

"These people should be removed from the country."


MIM: Note that 3 weeks after the Al Muhajiroun flyers were found in the Birmingham Mosque pro Osama Bin Laden posters which were hung in the city prompted a response from an "embarressed " Mohammed Naseem the leader of the mosque. Naseem once again uses the opportunity to appear moderate by 'condemning' Al Muhajiroun's 'extremism' as "anti Islamic". The article relates that :"Al Muhajiroun members had distributed flyers outside the mosque despite being banned from the premises".



City outrage over pro-Osama poster

Sep 8 2004

By Staff Reporter, Evening Mail

Stickers "promoting terrorism" by praising Osama bin Laden and the September 11 hijackers have been plastered in Birmingham streets, it was revealed today.

The stickers, which show bin Laden and US President George Bush and the doomed twin towers of the World Trade Center, have left a church group outraged and embarrassed the leader of the city's central Mosque.

They exhort people to: "Remember remember 11 September."

They have been put up in Alum Rock Road, apparently by the extremist Al-Muhajiroun organisation.

Today the inter-faith Saltley Gate Peace Group called on the city council to remove the stickers immediately and for a police investigation.

The group, which is based at Saltley Methodist Church, said it feared that as the 9/11 anniversary approaches this weekend the stickers would result in "vandal-ising the image of communities and promoting terrorism amongst a very young and vulnerable population of Muslim youth."

The group also claimed that Al-Muhajiroun members had distributed leaflets praising bin Laden outside Birmingham Central Mosque, despite being banned from the premises.

"The local police officer on site viewed the material afterwards and claimed that the leaflets could be potentially explosive if they got into the wrong hands, causing friction between communities," the church statement said.

It condemned Al Muhajiroun as a "terror-supporting organisation" and criticised the city council for failing to remove similar stickers which first appeared 12 months ago.

Today Dr Mohammed Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, was quick in his condemnation of the stickers and leaflets.

He said: "When you have friends like this who needs enemies? Whatever they recommend is not permitted in Islam.

"They boast that they can never be touched and the Government is protecting them.

"I would ask people to ignore these posters and stickers and what they are saying, which is un-Islamic.

"They have a small following of misguided young people who have little knowledge of Islam."

Dr Naseem added: "This kind of polarisation between Muslims and non-Muslims is un-Islamic and is not how the Prophet behaved."

A spokesman for the council said: "The ones we didn't remove from last year were those left on private property, but we removed all the others. We will also take these new ones down."

No-one was immediately available for comment from West Midlands Police.


MIM: Ironically it is the British government's liberal policy towards Muslims who openly support terrorism , and dhimmitude (deference) to their sensitivities that makes it highly unlikely that the Birmingham mosque chairman will get his stated wish to see Al Muhajiroun "removed from the country".


MIM: How can it be explained that posters which 'mysteriously' appeared in the vicinity of the Birmingham mosque were left intact on private property and were difficult to locate and take down when two condolence books for victims of terrorism in Spain and the beheading of Kenneth Bigley dissappeared from inside the Birmingham mosque?

This is

12/10/04 - News and city section

Thieves steal Bigley condolence book

Thieves have stolen a book of condolence opened in tribute to the murdered Iraq hostage Kenneth Bigley, it emerged today.

A framed photograph of the 62-year-old, candles and some sympathy cards were also taken from Birmingham Central Mosque, while another picture was turned upside down.

Muslim leaders from across the city had signed the book as a gesture of support to Mr Bigley's family.

Dr Mohammed Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, said: "They are sick people. We don't know who's done it and I can't put a motive on it.

"It's very distressing for us and undoubtedly for Mr Bigley's family."

The book was opened on Saturday morning and on display inside the mosque following the death of Mr Bigley at the hands of his captors last week.

It was to have been sent to the civil engineer's family in Liverpool to demonstrate the mainstream Muslim community's condemnation of his death.

The thefts and vandalism, which were discovered by a caretaker on Sunday morning, are thought to have occurred between 6.45pm and 9pm on Saturday.

A new book of condolence has now been opened at the mosque and will be kept safe in the mosque office before being sent to Merseyside.

Earlier this year, a book of condolence for the victims of the Madrid bombings was stolen from the same mosque.

It had been signed by nearly 2,000 Muslims and religious leaders and was to have been sent to Spain.



MIM: Dr. Daniel Pipes recently wrote an ongoing weblog 'Londinistan Follies' commenting on an article which claimed that the British have adopted an 'appeasement policy' and extended a safe haven for militant Islamists based on the premise that "they won't bite the and that feeds them". Below are his recents comments on the murders involving members of the Birmingham Central Mosque (including an ex Imam)


"Terror leaflets found at mosque": Police last week were called in to investigate after hundreds of leaflets urging Muslims to become Mujahideen fighters and ask them to "pray for death and decay to be visited upon the West" were distributed at Birmingham Central Mosque, one of Europe's largest Islamic centers . The flyers were signed by Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamah, said by mosque officials to be an alias of Al Muhajiroun organization, which I have elsewhere described as "perhaps the most extreme Islamist group operating in the West." Interestingly, the mosque's chairman, Mohammed Naseem, blamed the British government for Al Muhajiroun's presence. "Its leaders continue to preach and incite terrorism and yet the Government does not nothing about it. These people should be removed from the country." It bears noting that on July 29, 2004, Azmat Yaqub, a person associated with the Birmingham Central Mosque died in a hail of bullets at a gymnasium, after having survived a similar assault in March 2003 in what the press reported as a dispute between factions at the mosque. This mosque appears to be out of control; one wonders if it will it go the way of its Finsbury Park counterpart. (Aug. 15, 2004) http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/298


The Rationale behind "Londonistan"? Like many others, I have repeatedly bemoaned and ridiculed British weakness vis-à-vis Islamism (for example, here, here, here and here). But what if there's a method behind the British madness? That's the thesis of Jamie Campbell's cover story in the New Statesman dated today, "Why terrorists love Britain." Relying on the insights of Mohamed Sifaoui, author of Inside Al Qaeda (an autobiographical account of how this French Algerian journalist posed as an Islamist and infiltrated terrorist organizations in France and the United Kingdom), Campbell suggests that hosting so many terrorists renders the UK precious to the terrorists, who in turn leave it alone.

According to Sifaoui, it has long been recognised by the British Islamists, by the British government and by UK intelligence agencies, that as long as Britain guarantees a degree of freedom to the likes of Hassan Butt [a loudmouth pro-terrorist Islamist], the terrorist strikes will continue to be planned within the borders of the UK but will not occur here. Ironically, then, the presence of vocal and active Islamist terrorist sympathisers in the UK actually makes British people safer, while the full brunt of British-based terrorist plotting is suffered by people in other countries.

Campbell then tries this thesis out on Omar Bakri, leader of al-Muhajiroun, one of the most extreme Islamist groups in the UK, who confirms it:

He tells me the story of the companions of the prophet Muhammad who, when travelling to Abyssinia, were given protection and hospitality by that nation. The result of this generosity is the Koranic notion of covenant, namely that as a Muslim it is de rigueur not to attack the inhabitants of any country in which one finds oneself living safely. This, according to Bakri, makes it unlikely that British-based Muslims will carry out operations in the UK itself.

To the extent the allowing of Islamists and terrorists safe haven on British soil is a conscious decision to keep the UK safe at the expense of others, this is an immoral and despicable policy that must be changed immediately. (August 9, 2004) Permalink



The British Follies The British government won itself the reputation for being tough because it joined with the U.S.-led effort in Iraq, quite in contrast to France. But when it comes to domestic counterterrorism, the French are far ahead of the hapless, head-in-the-sand Londonistanis – as I have noted earlier. Indeed, it sometimes seems like one could handsomely fill a blog with nothing but entries documenting the British follies. Here are some examples, in reverse chronological order:

"Hardliners hijack the re-opening of mosque." The closing of north London's Finsbury Park mosque in January 2003, due to suspected terrorism-related activities associated with Abu Hamza al-Masri, was supposed to clean the place out permanently. Ah, but this is Londonistan. The mosque re-opened after a year and a half yesterday for a while and was immediately occupied for two hours by some forty of Abu Hamza's acolytes, interrupting prayers, denouncing the trustees and new imam. The group's leader, Abu Hamza ally Abu Abdullah, in a 20-minute address announced that he had taken the mosque back "for the people." In true Abu Hamza style, he damned the trustees for working with the "infidels" and claimed he could produce thirty times as many people as he had brought yesterday. As a result of these antics, the mosque was again closed. Oh, and this detail, supplied by the Guardian: Abu Hamza's followers have prayed outside the mosque every Friday since he was banned, "resulting in a sizable policing bill and the closure of the road to traffic, while neighbouring mosques have struggled to cope with up to 800 displaced worshippers (Aug. 7, 2004)


Dark Age" for Muslims in Britain?
By M Ghazali Khan


MIM: For a detailed history of Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir see the section of the article below the pictures of AM leaders Omar Bakri Muhammed and Abu Hamza.The hook handed cleric is in jail on terrorism charges and is fighting an extradition request from the US . He was arrested at the behest of the US for his involvement in the bombing the USS Cole and the killing of hostages in a terror attack which he orchestrated.


London: A well known civil liberties lawyer recently warned of an impending "dark age" of Injustice for Muslims in Britain. Addressing Muslim News (a monthly newspaper) fourth Annual Awards for Excellence in London last month, Ms Gareth Peirce, who also represents a Guatanamo Bay detainee, Moazzem said, "We have lost our way in this country. We have entered a new dark age of injustice and it is frightening that we are overwhelmed by it".

Ms Peirce, who was awarded the Annemarie Schimmel Award for championing a Muslim cause, said, "I know I am representing innocent people; innocent people who know that a jury they face will inevitably be predisposed to find them guilty.

"How is it that anybody in this room knows, or thinks they know, about what is alleged against the people arrested yesterday?" she asked referring to the arrests of nine Muslims arrested in police raids in Southeast England on 30 March for allegedly preparing to make bomb.

Prior to Ms Peirce's speech, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens had complemented the Muslim Community as a "peace loving" and "law abiding" community. Presenting the Good Citizenship Award, sponsored by his own organisation, the Metropolitan Police, Mr Stevens said, "The headline news this week has inevitably centred once again on the threat posed by international terrorism. And you are only too aware there are those who would seek to link the actions of extremists with the faith of the Muslim community. Well, put quite simply, they are wrong. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in this country are peace loving, law abiding people who completely reject all forms of violence."

In the light of an increasing number of Muslims being stopped and searched by the police and raids on Muslims' houses, Ms Peirce's concerns hold great truth. There are reports of police's alleged highhandedness in dealing with Muslims whose houses were raided on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities and most of whom were taken in police custody and were later released without charge.

The attitude of British media has seldom been positive towards Muslims. But the tragedy of September 11 provided it an all round excuse to malign the community with no bounds. However, the irony lies in the fact that some fringe Muslims groups unashamedly in the name of Islam and jihad are doing more harm to the community than any media or any organisation whatsoever. Most prominent of these are Al Muhajiroun, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and supporters of the so-called Shari'ah Court.

Omar Bakri (top) and Abu Hamza:CIA-MI5 agents?

Al-Muhajiroun is led by Omar Bakri, a Syrian born self-proclaimed spiritual leader and the judge of Shari'ah Court of UK. Nothing is known about Omar Bakri's family background and his life in Syria except that he had links with Muslim Brotherhood. After being expelled from Syria in 1982 he settled in Lebanon and joined Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a breakaway group from Muslim Brotherhood established in Jerusalem in 1953. In 1983 he moved to Saudi Arabia where he founded Al-Muhajiroun. After being expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1985 Bakri came to London.

In London Omar Bakri established Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) which became active in university campuses and started exploiting Muslim youths' anger against West's policies in the Middle East and succeeded in recruiting them in significant numbers as his firebrand followers. As regards his living, for a number of years Omar Bakri continued to receive unemployment benefits.

In 1991 Bakri left HT and founded Al-Muhajiroun (AM). He calls himself the spokesman of the International Islamic Front. In this capacity he has given statements on behalf of Taliban as well making each of his statements more provocative and venomous than before. He boasts to have recruited volunteers to fight in Afghanistan, Israel and other countries. The two British, suicide youths Omar Sharif and Asif Hanif, who, last year in May, travelled to Israel to be suicide bombers and were killed, are also said to be members of the AM. Bakri denies it but he admits that Omar Sharif had attended his classes.

In 1991 Omar Bakri threatened the life of the then Prime Minister John Major and was held by the police for 20 hours and released without being charged. In 1999 he issued a "fatwa" against Russian leader Boris Yeltsin and called British Muslims to attack Russian embassy. On 18 September 2001, outside the Pakistan High Commission Bakri issued another "fatwa", this time against General Musharraf. Interestingly when Musharraf assumed power in Pakistan in October 1999, Bakri told his close supporters that he had phoned General Musharraf who had invited him to come to Pakistan and work for the implementation for Shari'ah in the country.

The type of "service" Omar Bakri is doing to Muslims and Islam may be seen in his recent statement in which he justified the ruthless killing of innocent citizens in Madrid, majority of whom would have opposed the alliance of their government in America's war on terror, specially its role in Iraq. "What happened in Madrid is all revenge. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life. Anybody (that) commits a crime he should be punished - that's exactly what happened in relation to Spain," Bakri said.

London's Finsbury Mosque
London's Finsbury Mosque

Urging Muslim youths to "kill and be killed." Bakri explained, "People like to call it suicide bombing…We call it self sacrifice." He decreed that "If somebody decided to land an aeroplane over 10 Downing Street, for example…" he would go to paradise.

The Syrian born provocateur also told the youths that their "Objective number one" should be to "break the psychology of the occupier by hitting back in their homeland to make them worried about their own wives and loved ones."

According to Bakri's fatwa, it is haram (unlawful) for British Muslims to vote and take part in British politics. Last year he asked Muslims not to participate in the anti-war protests because, he said, the protestors wanted to disarm Iraq and were not against the aggression on Iraq.

After the sensational news of the arrest of eight Muslims for their involvement in terrorist activities the previous day when on 31 March Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella body of British Muslims organisations urged the Muslims and its affiliate bodies to be on guard and report to the police any suspicious activity, the AM demonstrated outside the Regent's Park Mosque and set alight the British flag. AM's spokesman Abdul Rehman Saleem warned the British Government, "There is nothing that me and you or the British services of the Government can do about stopping an attack in this country. There is nothing Tony Blair, this liar, can do to stop al Qaeda…"

While Bakri insists that he preaches his followers to act within the boundaries of British law, the leader of the Supporters of Shari'ah and former Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, Abu Hamza rejects "Man made laws." According to several reports in the British press Hamza has even told his young followers that the banks were a Jewish establishment and the work of Satan and that robbing them and kuffars (infidels) could be acceptable because they were not protected by Allah.

The 46 year old so called preacher, who has also worked as a bouncer in a night club, arrived in Britain in 1979 to do degree in civil engineering. In 1981 he married an English woman Valerie Fleming and became a British citizen. He claims to have participated in Afghan Jihad during which, according to him, he lost his two hands and one eye. During Afghan Jihad there were known groups led by Hikmatyar, Rabbani and Ahmed Shah Masood etc. and all of the Afghan veterans had to fight under their command but no one knows which group Abu Hamza was with.

It was neither his sanctity as a Muslim scholar nor his experience as a religious cleric that Abu Hamza was offered the job of an Imam in the Finsbury Park Mosque. For several years power struggle had been going on between the trustees of the mosque who had fought with each other for the unchecked control of the mosque. When one of the most power hungry trustee found himself helpless and less capable of dealing with the adversaries, he conspired to seek the help of someone who could give sermons in English and also deal with the militancy of the opposite group. Abu Hamza, as he had the experience of a bouncer and was able to deliver sermons in English to entice the younger generation, became the best choice for the job.

Abu Hamza did not only oust the opposite camp he also took care of his "benefactor" and silenced him as well. He virtually occupied the mosque making it his base camp and turned it into one of the most controversial places in the UK. If any trustee opposed him he was threatened. Among them is Maulana Shafiullah Patel who had refused to support Abu Hamzah. Maulana Patel also ran evening Islamic classes for children. One day when he was teaching Qur'an to the children a masked man entered the room and beat him up causing severe injuries. The terrified children, some of them as young as five years old, recognised the assailant by his clothes and said that he was a member of Abu Hamza's gang.

It was in the Finsbury Park Mosque that Abu Hamza ran his Supporter of Shari'ah organisation and allegedly gave refuge to illegal immigrants. It was here that he, from 24 to 26 December, he ran a training camp for Muslim youths which his publicity leaflet described as "military" training. The leaflet also carried the photograph of a hand grenade. Abu Hamza also "celebrated" the attack on World Trade Tower. Abu Hamza, Bakri and the leaders of the HT praise the hijackers of 11 September.

In January 2003 Scotland Yard raided the mosque and arrested seven men, including Abu Hamza. According to the police report weapons were found in the mosque. Mysteriously Abu Hamza was later released.

The police seized the mosque temporarily but the trustees found it a good opportunity to keep Abu Hamza out and locked it sine die on grounds of dereliction of the building caused by years of negligence. Since then the mosque remains closed but Hamza has not gone away. On each Friday he leads prayer outside the mosque forcing the road to be closed with full protection of the police besides masked men around him.

Last Ramadan, Maulana Yusuf Motala, a widely respected a'lim and former rector of Darul U'loom of Bury, was detained for seven hours at Heathrow by the police which caused him to cancel his Umra trip. Such a known figure is Maulana Motala that the home office had to apologise for police's behaviour. Muslims cite his example and ask "why is it that an a'alim of Maulana Motala's fame was treated with such indignity but no such action is being taken against these two elements?."

On the other hand the Government is imposing more and more stricter laws for which Muslims are being blamed. For example a cover story, How Islam has killed multiculturalism in The Spectator (1 May 2004) Lord Riddle opines, "And soon we will succumb to the government's plans for a national identity card, much as it may stick in the craw. Be in no doubt that the speed with which the government has pressed ahead with the proposed ID card is a direct consequence of 9/11 and the perception of a new enemy. It will be an imposition upon all of us and … an infringement of our rights."

From the days of being a marginalised community in the 1980s, British Muslims have come a long way. With two Muslims in House of Lords, two MPs in the House of Commons, various mayors and councillors around the country, they hold various high positions in governmental and non-governmental sectors. With an effective and influential body like the MCB today they have a voice. Their achievements were evident at Muslim News's annual Fourth Award of Excellence function which was attended by key figures from political parties and Government Departments and in which Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was supposed to be the chief guest who was held up in the late meeting at the House Commons and had to send a video message.

In the latest development Abu Hamza has appealed against Home Secretary David Blunkett's decision to revoke his nationality and deport him. His lawyer has applied for legal aid to fight his case which, if granted, will cost the British tax payer a hefty £10million and is likely to drag his case until 2015. During this time he and Omar Bakri will continue to remain active in misguiding the youths and cause maximum damage to the entire community and thus speed up the "dark age" for the British Muslims. «


Imran Ali plays radicalised youth Umar, in Paradise Imran Al plays a radicalised Muslim Youth in Paradise This is not a war against Muslims on a religious level - but the only opposition to the dominance of western capitalism is not a nation, but a people http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2914121.stm

Listening for a voice of Muslim youth

By Dominic Casciani
BBC News Online community affairs reporter

War in Iraq has brought the opinions of British Muslims to the fore - but what influence does the radical fringe have on the young?

Somewhere in the US's Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, there are a number of young British men.

The men, including a trio dubbed the 'Tipton Taleban' remain incarcerated after being seized by US forces in Afghanistan.

Why would men such as Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul and Rahul Ahmed leave their West Midlands homes to allegedly fight abroad?

Paradise, a new play in Birmingham, home to the second largest Muslim community in Britain, explores these ideas.

The play, by British-born Kashmiri Amber Lone, charts how a frustrated young man with limited prospects, Umar, falls in with an old friend-turned-radical, Younis.

Umar soon finds himself in a Muslim country, fighting for an Islamic cause that ultimately leads to his own death, shattering his family and friends.

Fashion or faith?

Imran Ali, who plays Umar, researched the part by looking at the rise of a more radical Islamic voice among his contemporaries in the midst of the current war and the fallout of 11 September.

LIVING BY THE RULES Many of these lads go to Mosque and pray five times - they then use the F-word to slag off other Muslims for not being as good Muslims as they are
Imran Ali, actor

He says many in his generation are worried that a dangerous mix of disillusionment, low self-esteem and peer pressure is making "radical Islam" more attractive.

"You see these guys wearing traditional Islamic dress - they would not have been seen dead in it five years ago," he says.

"It's got nothing to do with religion. It's got everything to do with fashion. Many of these lads I know who claim they are good Muslims are more fanatical than Younis. It's the in-thing.

"They go to mosque and pray five times. They then use the F-word to slag off other Muslims for not being as good Muslims as they are.

"I don't think that's particularly Islamic."

Dangerous mixture

What is really worrying, says Imran, is how identity politics is mixing with religion, race and social conditions.

"We all need to know who we are - but don't then say you can't get a job because the white man doesn't like Muslims. That's just bollocks.

"If you can't get a job that's probably got more to do with what you have failed to do for yourself."

Despite the furore over the so-called Tipton Taleban, the West Midlands has largely escaped the tensions of the northern towns such as Bradford and Oldham.

However, the far right is increasingly active in the area and Birmingham Perry Bar MP Khalid Mahmood has warned young men may take to the streets over Iraq.

Hearts and minds

At the heart of this is whether or not Britain's young Muslims have found a voice in political life. Is it a voice based on personal conviction or drawn solely from the Koran?

One of the radical groups involved in this is the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The international Islamic party says its faith is a system that can challenge capitalism. Its members work to establish an Islamic regime across the Muslim world. Its long-term aim is for an Islamic state in Britain.

Three of its British members are on trial in Egypt accused of attempting to destabilise the state. It is vehemently opposed by Jewish groups who accuse it of anti-semitism and it has been banned in the past from various university campuses.

Birmingham-based party leader Dr Imran Waheed refuses to say how many members it has in Britain. But it is now regularly targeting students and mosques.

Last September some 9,000 people attended its London conference, though Dr Waheed freely admits he can't say whether or not they were all supporters.

In the UK, it argues the war in Iraq is one against Islam. It says Muslims should reject lobbying through our political system because it is incompatible with their faith.

"Britain is looking after its own interests in this war," says Dr Waheed.

"It fears Islam in its fullest political form because an Islamic state re-established in the Muslim world would be a threat to the western world."

"This is not a war against Muslims on a religious level - but against Islam offering the only political alternative to capitalism.

"The only opposition to the dominance of western capitalism is not a nation, but a people."

Radicalising youth?

Dr Waheed is convinced that those who have recently turned to Islam include many who had been "intoxicated in western culture - drugs, drink and promiscuity". They had embraced Islam and rejected the West.

So how far does the party's rejection of the West go in relation to the war in Iraq?

"We would urge the Muslim nations to send their armies to help Iraq."

HIZB UT-TAHRIR This is not a war against Muslims on a religious level - but the only opposition to the dominance of western capitalism is not a nation, but a people
Dr Imran Waheed (c) with supporters Zhagum Arshad and Mohammed Rashid
And if a young man in Birmingham said he would be joining those armies?

"I would sit down and discuss with him whether that is the best method to effect change.

Is it the best method to effect change? "I would expect people to go and fight. I don't believe it's the way forward but I can understand why they are going. I understand the sentiment but would not say it's the correct sentiment."

What concerns many mainstream Muslims is that Hizb ut-Tahrir and others vehemently oppose the war, but tell young supporters there is no point in seeking a voice in British political life.

Isn't the case of the Egypt three proof that it only serves to radicalise young British Muslims?

"Words like extremism, terrorist and fundamentalist are overused," says Dr Waheed. "Anyone who seeks to bring about Islam in its political form is branded as such."

War against Islam?

Elder statesmen in Birmingham, including Dr Mohammed Naseem of Birmingham Central Mosque, dismiss the group. "There's a perception that it's a war against Islam. And I think there are powers in the world that see Islam as a threat," says Dr Naseem.

"But there is always a danger in an emotive situation that a small group of people with little knowledge and heightened sensitivities will be attracted to extreme ideas.

"These groups have not developed to a considerable extent. Groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir are outcasts."

In essence, says Dr Naseem, if you believe in the Koran, then you believe the words were for all mankind. You cannot withdraw from the West and argue among yourselves.

"The message of this war is one for all. Look to your faith and the power of reason, not the rise of emotions. Your obligations are to convey, converse and promote understanding for the common good. The us-and-them attitude is unislamic."

Paradise continues at Birmingham Rep Theatre until 12 April. See internet links for details.


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