Woolwich and the dark underbelly of British Islam

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.

Scottish Muslims claim increased police harrassment

Kenny Macaskill, the justice secretary, and senior police officers are to hold talks with Muslim leaders this week amid growing resentment that Asian passengers are allegedly being harassed under terrorist stop-and-search powers. Community leaders say the powers are being over-used by police at airports and railway stations, with people routinely detained for up to two hours and interrogated on their religious beliefs, prayer habits, knowledge of the Koran, political affiliations, hobbies, and their views of the Iraq war. In some cases, “suspects” are later visited at home and questioned about internet sites they have viewed, fuelling fears that they are under surveillance. The British transport police (BTP) have also been accused of heavy-handedness at main stations such as Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central. The issue will be raised at a private meeting at the central mosque in Glasgow attended by MacAskill and senior police officers. MacAskill has already attacked the BTP on the issue. Last year, Tom Harris, the UK rail minister, accused him of being “cynical and irresponsible” for claiming the BTP was harassing ethnic minorities.