Just about everyone, from every political party and from none, is lining up to have a go at our dim, tattooed thugs, so they must have done something. And, of course, they have. Their aggressive and moronic behaviour has caused offence and fear and may even have directly contributed to acts of violence against UK citizens and residents. And yet the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby overshadowed – or should have overshadowed – everything. The attack by adherents of a hateful and violent iteration of Islam was an awful reminder that Islamism remains, even 12 years after 9/11, the greatest threat to our way of life.
Uncomfortable though it is for some, a need exists to examine the dark underbelly of what goes on in some of our mosques. True, the vast majority of British Muslims would never associate themselves with Islamism. Yet preachers of hate as well as their followers and fellow travellers, worship in the same buildings, speak to, work with, and are related to that sensible majority. And those law-abiding citizens have a duty to challenge them, expel them and, if necessary, report them to the authorities.
Tom Harris is the Labour MP for Glasgow South and Shadow Minister for the Environment in the House of Commons. He is quoted as saying “Britain, including British Muslims, must now examine the dark underbelly of what goes on in some of our mosques and do more to confront extremists”. “Some Muslims in Britain hold essentially intolerant and violent beliefs”, he said.