Marches by the far right “drive Muslims to militancy”

19 November 2010

Demonstrations by far right groups like the English Defence League (EDL) act like recruiting sergeants for Islamic militants across Britain, the head of a regional counter terrorism unit said on Friday.
Detective Superintendent John Larkin from West Midlands police said EDL marches and counter-demonstrations often ended in violence, with evidence they end up pushing some members of the community towards radicalisation.
“In some areas, we have evidence that once they have gone … there’s fertile ground for those groups (to say) ‘this is the way white Western society sees us,'” he told BBC Radio. “And that’s a potential recruiting carrot for people and that’s what some of these radicalisers look for — they look for the vulnerability, for the hook to pull people through and when the EDL have been and done what they’ve done, they perversely leave that behind.”
He said it was especially true if high-profile demos ended in the destruction of Muslim property or violence against community members. The EDL has held numerous demonstrations and marches against what it calls Islamic extremism in Britain since the group emerged last year.

Should the internet game Muslim Massacre be banned?

Critics say the game of modern religious genocide contains a blatantly destructive message but there is little authorities can do about it. Computer games in which players aim to kill as many people as possible are, sadly, pretty common. But what sets “Muslim Massacre – the game of modern religious genocide” – apart from the others is that an American soldier sets out to “wipe out” the entire Muslim race. Worse still, the game is available free on the internet, with no restrictions to prevent children and the vulnerable from accessing it. The world wide web is one area that the law still struggles to regulate. Some may see the game as a parody of American foreign policy and point out that it is aimed at adults, rather than children. After all, the average US video game player is a 35-year-old man. But the game reaches a new low in bad taste and contains a blatantly destructive message. The game’s premise is that the US has declared war on Islam and invites players to take control of the American “hero” who will wipe out the Muslim race with “an arsenal of the world’s most destructive weapons”. The “hero” uses machine guns and rocket launchers to kill as many Muslims as possible – ranging from terrorists and what appear to be civilians to Osama bin Laden, Muhammad and Allah. The game’s creator, a freelance programmer called Sigvatr, describes the game as “fun and funny” and says to his critics: “Don’t whinge about how offensive and ‘edgy’ this is.” Jenny Percival reports.

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Most Muslim coverage ‘negative’

Researchers looking at the way British Muslims are represented by the media say they have found that most coverage is negative in tone. A Cardiff University team behind the study looked at nearly 1,000 newspaper articles from the past eight years. Two-thirds focused on terrorism or cultural differences, and much of it used words such as militancy, radicalism and fundamentalist. The research was commissioned by Channel Four’s Dispatches. Dr Paul Mason, a member of the team, said the team looked at three areas. They carried out a statistical analysis looking at types of stories and the way Muslims were described and the language used, the photographs used alongside the stories and they analysed the types of case studies used. He said: “We looked at both nouns and adjectives and the way in which British Muslims were described.

French arrest suspected radical Islamists

French authorities have detained seven suspected Islamic militants, who were allegedly training to fight in Iraq by firing weapons in the woods of eastern France. Ranging in age from early 20’s to mid-40’s, six of the men are French citizens of Bosnian origin, and the seventh is Algerian. All of the men were arrested in the towns of Besancon and Pontarlier in eastern France. French counterterrorism officials worry that such militancy could lead to terror attacks in France, even with the French opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Prosecutors are expected to file preliminary charges, accusing the men of criminal association with a terror group, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.