Home Secretary talks to youth at Luton’s Central Mosque

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith visited Luton’s Central Mosque on Monday meeting young Muslims whom she said were playing an integral part in the fight extremism. “They were proud to be Muslims and proud to be British,” she said. Her visit to Luton came in the wake of a fatal stabbing of a young man in Bedford last Saturday evening. Asked about the prevalence of knife crime, she said: “Any knife crime is a tragedy and we need to do everything we can to counter it. “Of course people are upset and worried when something like this happens. But they’re part of the answer as well as the police.” She also spoke to Luton residents and promised more resources were being pumped into fighting crime in Bedfordshire. She visited the High Town Community Sports and Arts Centre in Concorde Street, where she took questions from police officers and residents and launched the new ‘police pledge’, a document outlining the commitments of the police to the public. After the meeting she reportedly said that extra cash was being provided to help Bedfordshire Police cut crime in the county.

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Muslim hate preacher Bakri makes a mockery of UK law

Just days after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced tough new measures to name and shame foreign-based extremists barred from UK, Muslim hate preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad has dodged the law to preach his views in the UK. More than 200 Muslims attended a packed public meeting in Tower Hamlets and were told by organiser Anjem Choudary: “We have a special surprise, a special treat for you. Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad will be joining us on a live feed from Lebanon.”

“As Muslims, we will not submit to any man-made law, any government, or any prime minister – Bush or Brown – or Jacqui Smith. We submit to Allah,” he added. Choudary, who, with Bakri led the fanatical Al-Muhajiroun organization – notorious for its glorification of terrorism and the 9/11 attacks before its banning and dissolution in 2004 -warmed up the crowd with his own inflammatory rhetoric. Bakri, who was booted out of Britain after calling for the West’s downfall, addressed a meeting of young Muslims via a videolink from Lebanon.

Bakri, who is on the UK’s terror watch list, sidestepped the law by not appearing at the east London meeting in person. Choudary, who had booked the council-run room in Tower Hamlets for the event, told the gathering that taking over the UK was their duty.

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Islamic radicals make mockery of hate laws

Just days after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced tough new measures to name and shame foreign-based extremists and prevent them coming from abroad to stir up hatred in the UK, firebrand preacher Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad cocked a snook at her new initiative, the Evening Standard reveals.

More than 200 Muslims at a packed public meeting in Tower Hamlets were told by organiser Anjem Choudary: “We have a special surprise, a special treat for you. Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad will be joining us on a live feed from Lebanon.” He added: “As Muslims, we will not submit to any man-made law, any government, or any prime minister – Bush or Brown – or [to] Jacqui Smith. We submit to Allah.”

Choudary, who with Bakri led the fanatical Al-Muhajiroun organisation – notorious for its glorification of terrorism and the 9/11 attacks before its banning and dissolution in 2004 -warmed up the crowd, two Sundays ago, with his own inflammatory rhetoric. “It is our religious obligation to prepare ourselves both physically and mentally and rise up against Muslim oppression and take what is rightfully ours,” he said. “Jihad is a duty and a struggle and an obligation that lies upon the shoulders of us all. We will not rest until the flag of Allah and the flag of Islam is raised above 10 Downing Street.”

To loud cheers of “Allah Akbar” [God is great], he railed: “There are three types of Muslims, those in prison, those of us that are on our way [to prison] and non-practising Muslims. Brothers and sisters, if you do not fear your home being raided by the Kufar [non-believer] police, you are not enforcing the Sharia.”

Later, in front of a huge banner that exhorted “Muslims rise against British oppression”, he introduced Omar Bakri, who was standing by in Lebanon. A giant screen, six-feet high and six-feet wide, had been set up to project the image of the extremist known as “the Tottenham Ayatollah”.

He was refused re-entry to the UK in 2005 as “not conducive to the public good” after vowing that Muslims would “give the West a 9/11 day after day after day”. But when a problem with the live internet video feed failed to yield a picture, Mr. Choudary phoned his colleague from the stage and put the receiver to the microphone. The connection was loud and clear and Bakri spoke for 15 minutes.

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Met’s most senior Muslim woman ‘ostracised’

A Muslim woman responsible for upholding racial and religious diversity within the Metropolitan police claims she was so marginalised that she was not even allowed to make the coffee. Yasmin Rehman, 42, the force’s director of partnerships and diversity, is taking her bosses to an employment tribunal claiming she was bullied because of her colour and sex. She says one female detective told her not even to touch her coffee cup because she was Muslim, according to legal documents. At every turn her colour, religion and sex caused her to be “undermined, marginalised and excluded”, she claims. Her treatment at the hands of her white colleagues became so unbearable she is off work with stress and has considered suicide, she says in documents. A copy of Rehman’s employment tribunal claim, lodged with the tribunal and the force and passed to The Sunday Times, reads: “[A senior detective] stated she did not want the claimant to touch her coffee cup or ever make her coffee.
“This was soon after the July 2005 bombings and [the detective’s] reasons for saying this were apparently connected to the bombings.” Her case is the latest in a series of disputes about the treatment of racial minorities within the ranks of Britain’s constabularies, and particularly the Met.
Two weeks ago, Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, ordered a race review following a decision by Boris Johnson, the London mayor, to launch an inquiry into “racism” concerns voiced by some ethnic officers and staff at the Met.

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9/11 response ‘huge overreaction’ – ex-MI5 chief

She made it clear she abhorred “war on terror” rhetoric and the government’s abandoned plans to hold terrorism suspects for 42 days without charge. She also criticised politicians including Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, for trying to outbid each other in their opposition to terrorism and making national security a partisan issue. “National security has become much more of a political issue than it ever was in my day,” she said. “Parties are tending to use it as a way of trying to get at the other side. You know, ‘We’re more tough on terrorism than you are.’ I think that’s a bad move, quite frankly.” Rimington mentioned Guantánamo Bay, the practice of extraordinary rendition, and the invasion of Iraq – three issues which the majority in Britain’s security and intelligence establishment opposed privately at the time. She also challenged claims, notably made by Tony Blair, that the war in Iraq was not related to the radicalisation of Muslim youth in Britain. Asked what impact the war had on the terrorist threat, she replied: “Well, I think all one can do is look at what those people who’ve been arrested or have left suicide videos say about their motivation. And most of them, as far as I’m aware, say that the war in Iraq played a significant part in persuading them that this is the right course of action to take.

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U.K. Tries to Thwart Al-Qaeda Recruitment in Schools

The U.K. government said schools in England must do more to prevent violent extremists and terrorist groups including al-Qaeda from recruiting students, and issued guidelines on how to combat the threat. A 44-page pamphlet released today by the Department for Children, Schools and Families advises teachers how to spot and help vulnerable pupils age 5 to 11 in schools across the country. “We have learned from past experience that a security response is not enough,” Schools Secretary Ed Balls said in the pamphlet. “We need to address the underlying issues that can attract people toward violent extremist causes.” The guidelines are part of a larger campaign unveiled by the government in June to raise awareness of extremism in local areas that include schools, colleges and universities. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said then Britain can’t wait for another attack like the July 2005 London suicide bombings in which 52 people were killed, and that preventative action is needed. Among the U.K. population of 61 million are 1.6 million followers of Islam. Some 800,000 of the Muslims in Britain are under 25, according to the government, which yesterday set up an advisory group to ensure young Muslims have access to democratic channels for dealing with concerns. There is no “typical profile” of U.K.-based extremists influenced by al-Qaeda, according to the pamphlet, titled “Learning to be Safe Together.” It advises teachers that they can come from diverse geographical areas, ethnic and cultural backgrounds and include converts to Islam. Caroline Alexander and Camilla Hall report.

High court orders release of radical preacher Qatada

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, last night expressed her “extreme disappointment” at the decision yesterday by three high court judges to order the release of the radical preacher Abu Qatada, who has been described as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. Qatada, who was still in Long Lartin maximum security prison in Worcestershire last night, is expected to be released next week, when bail conditions are expected to be agreed. It has already been agreed that at the minimum he will be placed under virtual house arrest and face a 22-hour curfew. Last month Qatada, a Jordanian, won his appeal against the government’s attempt to deport him on the grounds that he was likely to face a trial based on evidence obtained under torture by the Jordanian intelligence services. Alan Travis report.

Terrorism is ‘anti-Islamic’ – Home Secretary Jacqui Smith

The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith gave a speech on terrorism and radicalisation at a conference hosted by Kings College London to launch their International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence on Thursday. She said: “First and foremost, terrorists are criminals. As so many Muslims in the UK and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorise, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain, and grief. Indeed, if anything, these actions are _anti-Islamic’.” “We need to challenge the ideology of violent extremism, that misreading of Islam and view of history and contemporary politics which justify terrorism.” The Secretary of State said: “Stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists is the major long-term challenge we face. “I believe we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism.” Ms Smith outlined the Government’s strategy to tackle radicalization among British Muslims and announced moves to clamp down on violent extremism on the internet. She urged internet providers to remove al Qaida and extremist websites and called for action against people who groom others to commit acts of terrorism. This move comes after details of an extremist website containing threats against the Prime Minister and calling for the creation of a British al-Qaida were revealed. Safa Suling Tanhttp://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=530E54911282A1C341E3E1C3&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=Front%20Page%20News

Smith targets internet extremism

The home secretary has outlined plans to target websites promoting extremism, as part of efforts to stop people being drawn towards radical groups. Jacqui Smith said she wanted to use technology to stop “vulnerable people” being “groomed for violent extremism”. Jacqui Smith said she wanted to use technology to stop “vulnerable people” being “groomed for violent extremism”. “Because something is difficult, that is no reason not to have a go at it,” she added. “The internet can’t be a no-go area for government.” Ms Smith is to discuss the plans with members of the communications industry. She will meet internet service providers and members of the Muslim community to discuss measures to block websites which promote terrorism. The home secretary said it would be possible to “learn lessons” about removing offensive material which was placed online.