Muslims have to tackle extremism - scrutiny of charities and closing down of mosques must be an option
Bombers kin claim son was "brainwashed'
Muslims have to tackle extremism
"...Nor should Muslims fear greater scrutiny of Islamic charities and of their foreign donations. Other religious, political and charitable institutions are subject to such controls. It is not rational for a multicultural, multi-faith society to allow anyone to incite others to murder and the fact that the incitement emanates from religious belief does not make it somehow acceptable. Where it is known that such incitement has become routine, closing down mosques must be an option..."
These events, with differences of place, method and Islamic sect, are connected: the bomb has become the language of rage against all aspects of the Western world. The suicidal fury of young men is not a new phenomenon. We have seen it in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Morocco. But we have refused to acknowledge that this violent and repugnant cult of death was certain to happen inside Britain. Now that it has, we find it almost impossible to comprehend why apparently integrated young Britons feel so much hate. The London bombings have marked a terrible shift in the onward march of Islamic extremism.
We have good reason to be pleased that so far the response of our leaders, our police, and the religious communities has been measured and intelligent. But we cannot go on congratulating ourselves for our forbearance, or Blitz spirit or reason in the face of madness. If we want to keep hold of a free and democratic society, then we must defend our values a little more actively.
Most of us, reading the testimonies of the bereaved and the maimed, would consider giving up some liberties and privacies to guarantee that the events of 7 July are not repeated. Some may have a change of heart on identity cards, for example, or accept the case for ever-increasing surveillance. But such measures are probably futile against determined suicide bombers. They only hand victory to the enemies of an open society. Long-term success will be harder, requiring well-targeted security measures such as those announced by the government last week. It is reasonable and appropriate to outlaw 'acts preparatory to terrorism' or travelling to jihadi training camps. By themselves, though, they are blunt weapons with which to challenge a form of fascist extremism which takes pride in its reckless extremism violent nihilism.
There are, though, ways forward. Firstly, the UK government, chairing both the G8 and the European Union, is well placed to seek unity among the advanced economies on how to isolate extremism both within its borders and beyond.
Britain also has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe. This is not a problem, as we have been inclined to see it, but an asset. As the moving tribute of the parents of Shahara Islam, who died on the No 30 bus, reveals, most Muslims are stunned that a deluded minority of its youth has been so corrupted by extremists that they are ready to die for an essentially fascistic cause.
Real and lasting solutions have to come from Muslim communities themselves and need to be practical and immediate. Those who lament the brainwashing of their children must launch the fight for stricter controls of imams trained in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Muslim leaders in Britain have themselves complained that imams who speak no English cannot understand the pressures faced by young Muslims living in the West. If they are fearful of the bigotry and hatred coming from such preachers, they must make their feelings known. Should imams be registered with the Home Office, perhaps? Should the state fund an Islamic college to provide a new generation of British imams? These are debates that must be had among Muslims.
Nor should Muslims fear greater scrutiny of Islamic charities and of their foreign donations. Other religious, political and charitable institutions are subject to such controls. It is not rational for a multicultural, multi-faith society to allow anyone to incite others to murder and the fact that the incitement emanates from religious belief does not make it somehow acceptable. Where it is known that such incitement has become routine, closing down mosques must be an option.
There are risks. Such measures risk creating more young radicals. But it is young Muslims, in particular, who have most to gain from working to root out religious extremism. Their future, and ours, is bleak if they do not take up the challenge.
MIM: The bombers family's claims that they were brainwashed is purposely denying the fact that it is the religion of Islam which caused them to carry out terrorist attacks and an attempt to say it is out of their control by blaming it on a wider conspiracy.There is no way one can say that four British born Muslims at almost the same moment, were prepared to detonate themselves was due to brainwashing by some mysterious forces and ignore the role religion played in this.The fact that they had 'arrayed' themselves in a cross pattern shows that this was a well thought out religously motivated action.
Even less credible is the family's claim that they had 'no inkling' of their intent. Yet at the same time the families of the bombers report that the sons took extended trips to Pakistan and in some cases became more religious all warning signs they deliberately chose to ignore. Some, like the wife of the Jamaican convert suicide bomber, are in total denial. The pregnant wife of the terrorist claimed 'she won't believe it till she sees proof' - until they have his DNA'. This denial on the parts of the families highlights the futility of expecting Muslims to monitor their own for signs of extremism.
More striking is that they express no word of remorse or sympathy with the victims. This sociopathic denial of responsibilty or sense or wrongdoing is another example that they are a big part of the problem and it is naive and dangerous to believe that Muslims will have anything to do with the solution.
West Yorkshire police released a statement from Khan's family saying he must have been "brainwashed" and calling on people to "expose the terror networks which target and groom our sons to carry out such evils."
Samantha Lewthwaite, the wife of the Jamaican suspect, told The Sun newspaper she refused to believe her husband was among the bombers "until they have his DNA."
"He wasn't the sort of person who'd do this. I won't believe it until I see proof," she said. The newspaper said Lewthwaite was pregnant with the couple's second child and under police protection.
UK suicide bomber's family suspect son 'brainwashed'
By Mark Trevelyan
LONDON (Reuters) - Relatives of one of the London suicide bombers said on Saturday he may have been "brainwashed" and appealed for new leads in a fast-moving investigation which has so far linked Britain, Egypt and Pakistan.
"We are devastated that our son may have been brainwashed into carrying out such an atrocity, since we know him as a kind and caring member of our family," said the parents of Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30.
"We urge people with the tiniest piece of information to come forward in order to expose these terror networks which target and groom our sons to carry out such evils." Three of the bombers who blew themselves up in Britain's first suicide attacks were young British Muslims of Pakistani origin, while the fourth was a Jamaican-born Briton.
Police said another victim of the bombs had died from injuries, taking to 55 the number of people, including the bombers, who were killed in the explosions on three underground trains and a bus in the morning rush hour on July 7.
Police are seeking connections with the militant Islamist network of al Qaeda, which carried out the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings in the United States and a string of bombings in Bali, Morocco, Kenya, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Spain and elsewhere.
Pakistani security forces detained two men overnight in the eastern city of Lahore on suspicion of links with another of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, bringing the total number of arrests in Pakistan to six.
"We are interrogating whether these two people had any links with Tanweer," an intelligence official told Reuters.
Tanweer had visited Faisalabad and Lahore during two trips to Pakistan over the last two years. Pakistani intelligence sources say that in 2003 he met a man later arrested for bombing a church in the capital Islamabad.
In Egypt, police have arrested a British-trained biochemist, Magdy Elnashar, and are questioning him about the attacks.
But Egyptian Interior Minister Habib el-Adli told the al-Gomhuria newspaper that Elnashar was not a member of al Qaeda and that Western and Arab media had drawn hasty conclusions about the arrested man.
Elnashar, 33, left England for a 45-day holiday before the bombings and intended to return, an Interior Ministry source said. He had denied any knowledge of the attacks.
London police chief Ian Blair said he would send officers to Cairo if necessary and may seek Elnashar's extradition.
The Egyptian was a researcher at Leeds University in England, and had also studied in the United States.
British newspapers said he had rented a house in Leeds where police have carried out raids and discovered explosives. The northern English city was home to three of the bombers.
A Leeds University spokeswoman said Elnashar had received a doctorate in biochemistry in May, studying "chemically inactive substances" with applications for the food industry. He was sponsored in his studies by the Egyptian government.
Friends and family of the suicide bombers have said they had no inkling of their plans.
Sidique Khan, a primary school teaching assistant, was a 30-year-old married man with a daughter. He had visited the British parliament last year and met a cabinet minister during a trip with his school.
The family of Hasib Hussain, 18, said in a statement: "Hasib was a loving and normal young man who gave us no concern ... We had no knowledge of his activities."
(Additional reporting by Tim Castle)