Two days ago, an advert was placed in The Times newspaper — notably signed by three Members of Parliament, three peers and various Muslim religious groups — calling upon the British Prime Minister to change foreign policy to ‘tackle’ terrorism. The text of the advert follows, with thanks to Western Resistance:
As British Muslims we urge you to do more to fight against those who target civilans with violence, whenever and wherever that happens.
It is our view that current British government policy risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad.
To combat terror the government has focused extensively on domestic legislation. While some of this will have an impact, the government must not ignore the role of its foreign policy.
The debacle of Iraq and now the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all.
We urge the prime minister to redouble his efforts to tackle terror and extremism and change our foreign policy.
Attacking civilians is never justified. This message is a global one. We urge the Prime Minister to redouble his efforts to tackle terror and extremism and change our foreign policy to show the world that we value the lives of civilians wherever they live and whatever their religion.
Such a move would make us all safer.
Sadiq Khan MP, Shahid Malik MP, Mohammed Sarwar MP, Lord Patel of Blackburn, Lord Ahmed of Rotheram, Baroness Uddin, Association of Muslim Schools, British Muslim Forum, Bolton Mosques Council for Community Care, Confederation of Sunni Mosques, Midlands Council for Nigerian Muslim Organisations, Council of Mosques — London & Southern Counties, Council of Mosques — Tower Hamlets, Da’awatul Islam UK & Eire, Federation of Muslim Organisations (Leicestershire), Federation of Students Islamic Societies (FOSIS), Indian Muslim Federation, Islamic Forum Europe, Islamic Society of Britain, Jama’at Ahle Sunnat UK, Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith UK, Jamiat-e-Ulema Britain, Lancashire Council of Mosques, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Council of Wales, Muslim Doctors and Dentists Associaion, Muslim Parliament, Muslim Solidarity Committee, Muslim Students Society UK & Eire, Muslim Welfare House (London), Muslim Women Society (MWS), Muslim Women’s Association, Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association (NIMFA), Sussex Muslim Society, The Council of European Jamaats, UK Action Committee on Islamic Affars, UK Islamic Mission, UK Turkish Islamic Association, World Federation of KSIMC, World Islamic Misssion, Young Muslim Organisation UK, Young Muslim Sisters (UK), Young Muslims UK
My first reaction was surprise at the number of significant Muslim associations within Britain but with 1.6 million Muslims in this country as of 2001 (Census figures) I shouldn’t have been. MI5 believes up to 400,000 people in Britain are sympathetic to violent ‘jihad’ around the world and that as many as 1,200 — The Enemy Within — are involved in terrorist networks, the vast majority of these are undoubtedly Muslims.
This letter is nothing more than a case of a minority within our country — Muslims account for 2.8% of our population — pressurising the government to change its foreign policy, based upon the implicit threat of further terrorist attacks by disaffected British Muslims. This shows a lack of basic understanding: last year the British population in the general election voted the New Labour government back in to power — foreign policy included. While it is entirely appropriate to lobby the government of the day, either directly or via one’s local MP, any intimation that the desired change needs to occur to avoid terrorism must be firmly rejected.
Unfortunately, the British government, both past and present, has to take some reponsibility for the current situation. Mass immigration, along with the policy of multi-culturism has allowed the development of unassimilated and fundamentalist Islamic communities in London, the West Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is within these communities that Islamic preachers such as Omar Bakri Muhammed and Abu Hamza have operated, preaching the fundamentalist Islamic creed to second- and third-generation Pakistani youths. The activities of such preachers were allowed under an unwritten gentleman’s agreement: cause no trouble at home and we’ll allow you to stay and continue to preach. Unfortunately these were no gentlemen.
I expect a significant proprortion of the signatories to this letter are no gentlemen either.