Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Britain – Raising Homegrown Terrorists

Failures of Policy


Though his presence has hardly made any impact compared to the Pope, Britain's near-invisible prime minister Gordon Brown has been visiting the United States. Brown's trip to the States happens as his popularity plunges at home, and he faces a rebellion from the ranks of his Labour Party. Once again, Brown quotes Winston Churchill. At home, Brown never quotes Churchill. He would be savaged by the press for hypocrisy.


It is not the first time Brown that has resurrected the ghost of Churchill in a bland attempt to impress America. In July last year on his first visit to America as prime minister, he used words lifted from a famous speech by Churchill. To resurrect Churchill for a second time indicates either a lack of imagination on Brown's part, or he patronizingly thinks Americans are so shallow they can only relate to Churchill as an influential British politician.


In 1975, while rector of Edinburgh University, Gordon Brown wrote fawningly of Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist party. For socialist Brown to compare himself to Churchill would make the former Tory statesman turn in his grave.


Gordon Brown was the "right-hand man" of Tony Blair until June 27, 2007, so he cannot be absolved of the messes that Labour has made since it assumed power in May 1997. Ever since July 7, 2005, there have been ample opportunities for Britain to work out a coherent strategy against homegrown terrorism. Sadly, the Labour Party is too dependent upon Muslim votes in inner cities to really produce any strategy of substance.


In the aftermath of 7/7, instead of ensuring that potential extremists were kept under control, the Labour government acted to appease the Muslim "representatives." When Tony Blair wanted to ban the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, his own advisory group, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) refused to support the move, and Hizb is still active in Britain nearly three years later. The MCB claims to be moderate but has a history of relations with Islamists. Indeed, the group was co-founded by Kemal el-Helbawy, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member.


In 2005, Home Office minister Hazel Blears was sent on a tour of Muslim communities and came back with the anodyne statement: "What we have discussed today is the need to teach the true nature of Islam, which is about peace and love." The Muslims who killed 52 civilians in London on 7/7 were well-versed in Islam, but were hardly radiating "peace and love" for their fellow citizens when they detonated their explosive rucksacks.


The British government has attempted to deal with Muslim extremism by dishonestly pretending that extremists are not Muslims. They are. They just happen to be extreme Muslims. Such blinkered approaches continue and the current Home Secretary is either naive or dishonest when she maintains that Islamist terrorism is "anti-Islamic activity."


In 2006, the Labour government wasted tax-payers’ money by creating a Muslim website that claims to be moderate, entitled "The Radical Middle Way." Funds are being thrown at Islamic extremism, with little hope of actually doing anything. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office wastes tax-payers' money on sending groups of Muslims abroad to Muslim countries to meet other Muslims to "share their experiences."


The Foreign Office spends much time trying to "reach out" to Islamofascists. In 2005, it approved of the disastrous "Waziristan Accord," a peace deal between the Taliban and the army in northwestern Pakistan. Though that accord was broken by Islamists within days, Gordon Brown appears to approve of similar acts of appeasement. His Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, is currently in Pakistan to encourage more negotiations with terrorists.


In October 2007 the communities secretary Hazel Blears announced that £70 million would be granted to set up websites so that young Muslims in Britain can discuss their "identity." Currently, the government has increased the annual funding of such hare-brained schemes to £90 million ($180 million).


The latest half-baked attempt by the British government to defuse extremism in the Muslim community is a suggestion to import more foreign imams into Britain. These are to come mainly from Pakistan, a country with such a "moderate" approach to Islam that anyone found guilty of blaspheming against the prophet Mohammed receives a mandatory death sentence. Imams brought up in such a climate are hardly going to understand or support the "liberal" customs of Britain, where freedom of speech is meant to trump religious supremacy. Who is going to decide which of these Pakistani imams is "moderate?"


Fears about extremism, which should first have been addressed in 1989 when British Muslims were calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie, are now being raised in other quarters. Prisons have long been known to create climates where radicalism spreads like a virus. The prison where most Muslim terrorists are housed is Belmarsh in Woolwich, southeast London. On April 15th this year, a report on prison radicalism was published.


This report by prisons inspector Anne Owers found that at Belmarsh the warders "do not understand" the prison's 198 Muslim detainees. It is not the duty of prison officers to “understand” their prisoners, merely to keep control, but Owers complains that this leads to isolation. Owers wrote that "there was a real danger that the alienation of Muslim prisoners in general, and the suspicion with which they perceived they were treated, would in fact feed radicalisation."


The irony of worrying about Muslims in Belmarsh – already notorious for their extremism – becoming extremists is lost on Ms. Owers. Her report was based upon an inspection made in October 2007. Since then, Yassin Nassari, a prisoner who is now freed, apparently tried to blow up the prison and had to be moved out in November 2007. In March this year, the Muslim Boys staged a riot in Belmarsh prison. This gang is famous for its forcible conversions. At Christmas 2007 one of the gang tried to kidnap a Belmarsh prison officer and hold him for ransom.


The "moderate" Muslim who acts as the Prison Service's Muslim adviser is Ahtsham Ali. He recently showed what use he is to Britain's social needs by stating that the penal service's attempts to rehabilitate Muslim sex offenders were "against Islam." Sex offenders are expected to openly discuss their crimes, but Ali objects to this. He says his objections are based upon a "legitimate Islamic position" but does not quote his Islamic sources. If this view is "legitimate" it is not well known. Should the prison service pander to a sex criminal's "religion" when public safety is at stake?


Most Muslims in Britain are peaceful, but to pretend that Islamists are not "real" Muslims is a potentially dangerous policy. Islamists tend to be better-versed in Islamic texts than many of the so-called "moderates." Any realistic strategy against extremism must take this into consideration.


Abu Izzadeen


Abu Izzadeen is certainly well-versed in Islam. A former member of Omar Bakri Mohammed's Al Muhajiroun group, which was disbanded in October 2004, Izzadeen is a convert. He was born in 1976 in Hackney, London, to a Christian family of Jamaican origin. His birth name was Trevor Brooks, but when he converted to Islam just before his 18th birthday he changed his first name to Omar.


His current name "Abu Izadeen" means "Might of the Faith," a title which reflects his rampant narcissism. In January 2001, he featured in a video taken by the BBC, in which he stated: "Because I believe America is one of the places where we should be bombing, the Government. There are some Muslims that go to America, because obviously, you know, like firearms is available inside America, to be trained legally. So why not take that opportunity to use, the heart of the enemy that's attacking us."


Izzadeen's egotism has led him to make pronouncements designed to attract attention. Just days before 7/7, he said Muslims must "instill terror into the hearts of the kuffar". He declared "I am a terrorist. As a Muslim of course I am a terrorist."


In 2004 he was unofficially preaching in Regents Park Mosque. He said: "He who joins the British Army, the American Army, he is a mortal kaffir and his only hukum (punishment) is for his head to be removed. Indeed, whoever changes his deen (Muslim code of life); kill him."


In 2005 after the bombings of 7/7 he boasted on BBC of his support for bin Laden and his contempt for the civilians who died on London Transport: "I believe many people say you shouldn't negotiate with terrorists. It's a common theme, put in the media. But I'm sure, if you asked those who passed away on the 7th of July, should we negotiate with terr- Osama bin Laden, I'm sure they'd say 'Yes'. To bring their lives back, to save themselves from the burning inferno underground, they would have said, 'Let's negotiate'." He described the London bombings as "completely praiseworthy."


On April 24, 2007 Izzadeen was arrested. A police spokesman explained that the arrest was for "alleged incitement and radicalization for the purposes of terrorism, as well as alleged provision of financial support for international terrorism."


On February 4th this year, Abu Izzadeen appeared at Kingston Crown Court in west London. He was named "Omar Brooks" by the court. On trial with him were six other people who were arrested at the same time as him. These were Abdul Rehman Saleem, 32, Shah Jalal Hussain, 25, Rajib Khan, 29, Ibrahim Abdullah Hassan, 25, Abdul Muhid, 25, and Simon Sulayman (Suliman) Keeler, 36. All defendants were members of Al Muhajiroun or the groups that succeeded it.


All were accused of fundraising for terrorism, and five Brooks, Saleem, Keeler, Khan and Ibrahim Abdullah Hassan) were accused of inciting terrorism overseas. Izzadeen was additionally charged with encouragement of terrorism and Hassan was charged with possessing a document for terrorist purposes. The charges stem from an unofficial demonstration they had made at Regents Park Mosque on November 9, 2004.


Abdul Rahman Saleem and Abdul Muhid had already been convicted and were in jail for comments they had made on February 3, 2006 at another rally against the Danish cartoons. Saleem (aka Abu Yahya) was convicted of "using words likely to stir up racial hatred" and is serving a four year jail term. Muhid is serving six years for soliciting murder. On Thursday, April 17th last week, Izzadeen was found guilty of fundraising for terrorism and inciting terrorism overseas. Two of his co-defendants, white convert Simon Keeler and Shah Jalal Hussain, were also found guilty of fundraising for terrorism. On April 8th, Shah Jalal Hussain had run off after being sent to hospital. He returned to the court on Friday April 18th. The other defendants were found guilty of inciting terror abroad.


On Friday, Izzadeen was jailed for four and a half years. Under Britain's current system, he will serve less than half of that time in jail. He would officially spend only 27 months in jail if he behaves in jail, but he has already spent 14 months in custody. He should be free in May 2009. Judge Nicolas Price described Izzadeen as "arrogant, contemptuous and utterly devoid of any sign of remorse."


Simon Keeler was given the same sentence, while Saleem received a jail term of three years and nine months. This will start as soon as he completes his existing jail term. On November 9, 2004, Saleem had preached: "Destroy the kafir wherever they are. Let their blood run in the mountains of Afghanistan, let their women become widows, may their children become orphans, let them be bombed. Let death come to them by the hands of the mujahideen."


Ibrahim Hassan was jailed for two years and nine months. Abdul Muhid was sentenced to two years' jail for fundraising for terrorists. He will commence this sentence when he has served his existing jail term for soliciting murder.


Shah Jalal Hussain was given a two year jail term for terror fundraising, with an additional three months for absconding and breaking his terms of bail.


The convictions could be seen as a "success." However, it took two and a half years from the time of the Regents Park events until the defendants' arrest. During that time, Abu Izzadeen had gone on to become a media "celebrity," celebrating the deaths of the victims of 9/11, heckling a Home Secretary, telling the public that any Muslim soldier who fought other Muslims deserved to die and using BBC radio to promote hate.


 Most of the convicted men had attended the demonstration on February 3, 2006. The demonstration, where placards called for those who insulted Islam to be beheaded, was organized by Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah, which had been founded by Simon Keeler and other former Al Muhajiroun members in November 2005. Five people received jail terms for inciting racism and soliciting murder at that demonstration, but many more guilty people never appeared in court.


Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah members also heckled Catholic worshippers at Westminster Cathedral but police did not arrest or prosecute anyone.


Dangerous Converts


Izzadeen and Simon Keeler were converts, who came into the fold of radical Islam through the actions of foreign-born preachers Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Hamza. If the government and police had acted to silence these migrant preachers of hate in the 1990s, there would certainly be less dangerous Islamists in Britain today.


The failure of the police to deal with Izzadeen and his ilk has allowed Islamism and support for terrorism to be promoted in the media. For young people who wish to rebel against their parents and their culture, Islamic radicalism becomes an attractive prospect.


Some converts appear to be more aggressive than those who inducted them into their new faith, as if they are trying to prove themselves. While Izzadeen was awaiting his sentence, another terrorism drama was unfolding in Britain. And the focus of this drama was, again, a Muslim convert.


On Thursday April 17th, a 19-year old man named Andrew Ibrahim was arrested in Bristol city center. His home at Comb Paddock, Westbury-on-Trym, was searched. Police have not disclosed all the details of the materials that they found in the suspect's home.


The police were concerned enough to evacuate 30 residents from their homes on Thursday night. They then carried out a controlled explosion at Ibrahim's home. A second explosion happened late on Friday.


Avon and Somerset police stated that "a container was safely removed from the home, covered in sandbags and taken to a safe location." The police statement asserted: "we can confirm that he did not own the property and that he has previously come into contact with the police."


The police later said that the first container that was blown up was a "viable device." This suggests that the youth had turned his home into a bomb factory. Residents are still waiting for the all-clear to return to their homes.


Ibrahim has a father from Egypt and a mother from Britain. Nassif Ibrahim works as a consultant pathologist at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.


Andrew Ibrahm had been living in a hostel for the homeless at the start of the year. He was on a drug treatment order. He initially refused to move into his current home as he did not want to live in a white middle class area. He changed his mind and moved into Comb Paddock on February 4th. He wore traditional Muslim (Arabic) clothing, and played loud Islamic music. He kept his door bolted with multiple locks. One neighbor said: "I saw him walking down the road last week in a linen cotton outfit with chiffon sides."


Ibrahim was well educated at private schools before he became involved in drugs. His conversion to Islam appears to have happened as was "in recovery" from his narcotic problems.


His arrest came from an intelligence tip-off. A police source said: "The arrest was not part of some long-running investigation. What we are trying to establish at the moment is whether this individual was working alone or was part of a team."


Britain's police have allowed Islamists to preach the "virtues" of terrorism for too long. Those preachers have spawned a new generation of radical converts, and these now appear to be having their own influence upon society.


In the name of multiculturalism alien ideologies, which include support for terrorism, have been allowed to thrive without intervention. These policies have failed and have allowed the problem to worsen to the point where terrorism and extremism is even harder to crack. In the past, it was assumed that foreign preachers' support for terrorism abroad was "acceptable" as long as it did not take place on British soil. We know now that such preachers have influenced Muslim terrorists to attack Britain. The genie that was let out of the bottle in the 1990s cannot be stuffed back where it came from.


The politicians who have presided over this appalling state of affairs are Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown. Brown does not want his cabinet ministers to use the term "war on terror," and as a result, terrorism continues unimpeded. It seems that Brown and his current cronies, so used to appeasing alien and anti-British ideologies, do not know where to begin in the fight against extremism. If they cannot even mention that we are in a war, then they will never win that war.

Adrian Morgan, aka Giraldus Cambrensis of Western Resistance, is UK-based writer and artist. He also writes for Spero News, Family Security Matters and He has previously contributed to various publications, including the Guardian and New Scientist and is a former Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society.

Hit Counter