Mosque leaders say foreign policy 'fuels extremism'

MUSLIMS who conspired to murder have been condemned by local Mosque leaders.

But representatives of the Muslim community said it is "counterproductive" not to acknowledge the role of British foreign policy in the radicalisation of Muslim youth.

Several young Muslims were arrested connection with an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic flights during a massive police operation across the borough two years ago.

Many members of the community said they felt under seige as the worlds's media descended on the area.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 27, of Prospect Hill, Walthamstow, Tanvir Hussain, 27, of Nottingham Road, Leyton, and Assad Sarwar, of High Wycombe, were found guilty of conspiring to cause mass murder on Monday.

However the jury were unable to reach a verdict on any of the eight defendants, including three others from Waltham Forest, in relation to the charge they intended to blow up airliners.

In a statement the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, which represents eight mosques, said: "We would like to emphasise that Islam rejects terrorism in all its forms. Islam does not legitimise using violence as a form of political dissent.

"It is with great regret that this situation has occurred and we are saddened as a community. We must understand the factors that have caused this and strive to prevent this from happening again.

"During the trial the men stated they acted to 'create awareness of unjust foreign policy'. We condemn their actions but it is counterproductive to deny foreign policy played a part in the radicalisation of these young men. The Muslim community has as much concern for the source, as it has for the product, of radicalisation.

"We would like to state we are working to counter the extremist views within our community but the government must acknowledge that the actions it supports in foreign countries is the main fuel these violent extremist use to drive their campaign.

"We are engaging with the young and vulnerable with intellectual and rational arguments to channel the anger in to legitimate and effective forms of communication and non-violent action. At the same time we are exposing the deviant ideas of the few, propagating violence as a means to their ends."

During a visit to Leytonstone earlier this year, communities secretary Hazel Blears denied that a change in the government's policy abroad would stem the threat of terrorism.

Ali, Hussain and Sarwar had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause public nuisance, along with Ibrahim Savant, of Folkstone Road, Walthamstow, Waheed Zaman, Queens Road, Walthamstow, Arafat Waheed Khan, 26, of Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow, and Umar Islam of High Wycombe.

Comments (4)

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1:40pm Tue 9 Sep 08

Technomist says...

I am pleased that Waltham Forest Council of Mosques condemns terrorism and violence and are engaging with the young and vulnerable with intellectual and rational arguments to channel anger into legitimate and effective forms of communication and non-violent action. At the same time we are exposing the deviant ideas of the few, propagating violence as a means to their ends."

Would they like to give more details as to when and how this has been done? How many such sessions have they had with how many young people? Who is taking them? Is the curriculum published? How has their effectiveness been monitored? Have any people with these deviant violent ideas which been exposed as a result of this process been reported to the police? Do they know how many local muslim youngsters have missed out on this process?
I am pleased that Waltham Forest Council of Mosques condemns terrorism and violence and are engaging with the young and vulnerable with intellectual and rational arguments to channel anger into legitimate and effective forms of communication and non-violent action. At the same time we are exposing the deviant ideas of the few, propagating violence as a means to their ends." Would they like to give more details as to when and how this has been done? How many such sessions have they had with how many young people? Who is taking them? Is the curriculum published? How has their effectiveness been monitored? Have any people with these deviant violent ideas which been exposed as a result of this process been reported to the police? Do they know how many local muslim youngsters have missed out on this process? Technomist
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Tue 9 Sep 08

saifullah1 says...

Well done to Waltham Forest Council of Mosques for highlighting this important issue and taking a stand against the baffling ignorance that our government continues to portray when it says that foreign policy has no role in radicalisation.
Well done to Waltham Forest Council of Mosques for highlighting this important issue and taking a stand against the baffling ignorance that our government continues to portray when it says that foreign policy has no role in radicalisation. saifullah1
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Wed 10 Sep 08

Iftikhar says...



Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim
culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad
www.londonschoolofis
lamics.org.uk
Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools. The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60. Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture. Iftikhar Ahmad www.londonschoolofis lamics.org.uk Iftikhar
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Wed 10 Sep 08

Walthamster says...

Comments such as Iftikhar's "There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school" show exactly why religious schools are a disaster!

Separatism is the root of these problems. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was wicked, but it didn't cause the hostility that was already being fostered by some Islamic groups in London in the 1990s.

We've all got on well enough in the past. Instead of pushing a wedge between people, please give those good relations a chance to grow back.
Comments such as Iftikhar's "There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school" show exactly why religious schools are a disaster! Separatism is the root of these problems. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was wicked, but it didn't cause the hostility that was already being fostered by some Islamic groups in London in the 1990s. We've all got on well enough in the past. Instead of pushing a wedge between people, please give those good relations a chance to grow back. Walthamster
  • Score: 0
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