Footage has emerged of the first British jihadist to be killed in the Syrian civil war, in which he claims that his family in London supported his decision to join opposition forces fighting troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. He adds: “We can’t accept enemies of Allah… killing us, abusing our religion, belittling it, taking our lands. So the Mujahedeen, those who practice jihad, are those who defend the Muslims.” Filmed over several months the young British jihadi fighter can be seen shooting weapons, going shopping, and joining a key battle for a Syrian army base called Sheik Suleiman in western Aleppo. At one point he’s asked if his mother knows where he is and replies: “I remember I called my mother once. I told her I am going on an operation tomorrow.” She said: ‘Make sure you’re not at the back. Go to the front.’” Laughing, he adds: “I don’t think my mother loves me that much. No I’m joking. She must love me for her to say that.” The Katiba al Muhajireen, now part of a jihadi alliance, is comprised mostly of Chechen and Russian fighters but there are many other recruits from America, Sweden, Britain and across Europe. Members of the militia are shown carrying a black jihadi flag associated with al-Qaida. In the film, Mazwagi is seen preparing to marry a Muslim woman from Sweden and goes to choose a sheep for slaughter for his wedding banquet. Later he is shown on his wedding day celebrating with a group of well-armed jihadists, many in combat fatigues and balaclavas. Mazwagi’s father said after his death that he had no idea about his son’s activities, claiming he thought he had been doing charity work in Syria.
December 3 2010
Home Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner considered the implications of a burqa ban in his comments to MPs on Thursday. Donner noted his attempt to draft “legislation on face-covering which will apply to all Dutch nationals”. While this outlaws the burqa, the minister noted he still has “to decide how far to go” with motorbike helmets, carnival costumes, and balaclavas during skating races.
A Conservative MP is attempting to pass a law which would ban people from wearing burkas and balaclavas. Philip Hollobone has put forward parliamentary legislation to regulate the use of “certain facial coverings” in public. Hollobone said this “would obviously have a big impact for those who wear full-face Islamic veils”. He has previously described the burka as “against the British way of life”.
The proposal has stirred much criticism, although it also received some support. A burqa-ban would be un-British, commentators have said.