UK: Welcome Mat for Jihadists
England, which once was a jewel of both East and West, today symbolizes the degeneration of Europe, the continent which has turned its back on the threat Islamist terrorists are posing. England has increased its terror threat level from "severe" to "critical"; counter-terror measures include employing the British army in key public locations as well as stepped-up counter-intelligence, and raids against suspected terrorists.
It seems, however, that British politicians have simply put the whole nation in a loop of feed, kill, repeat; meanwhile acting as if they haven't a clue as to what has stricken the lovely country.
Prime Minister Theresa May, in her public statement after the blast, stated:
"We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.... But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future. To take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence."May was careful to avoid naming the ideology.
Ironically, the terror spree caught the United Kingdom in the midst of its election season. Nonetheless, neither the Tories nor the Labour Party are offering any solid plans to counter the menace. It seems these politicians have decided to sleep on the issue, while leaving their poor citizens at the mercy of terrorists, protected only by the brave law enforcement personnel who are also targets.
British politicians seem have become intoxicated by the propaganda of those who prefer to term any action to limit Islamic extremism or terrorism "Islamophobia." When the government decides to look the other way, it allows many malpractices to flourish under the skin of British Muslim communities, among whom any action to protect the country would be stigmatized by apologists as "Islamophobic."
The Sharia Council of Britain, for example, as the scandal of halala divorce recently highlighted, determines the fate of women by undermining the laws of the land. Other forms of exploitation by Islamists in Britain include forced marriage; intimidation of moderate Muslims by extremist imams such as Anjem Choudary and Mizanur Rahman; mosque-sanctioned domestic violence; gender segregation, Islamic dress code in schools, and female genital mutilation (FGM).
All these human rights abuses are linked to the Islamic ideology, the end product of which often shows itself as violence against homosexuals, non-Muslims and other marginalized communities.
Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn, reacting to the Manchester terror attack, did not even address any root cause, nor does his election platform contain a strong policy regarding "Prevent", Britain's anti-terror program.
Corbyn is, in fact, an open critic of Prevent; he instead suggested expanding Britain's Prevent strategy to all communities, so that Muslims would not think that it only referred to them.
The Prevent strategy, Corbyn said, is "often counter-productive" and appears to cast suspicion on all Muslims. In fairness, he did add that extremism and racism must also be dealt with.
It is revealing that, instead of offering a concrete counter-terror policy, Corbyn seems to be confusing the issue of racism with the issue of the terror attacks that have taken dozens of lives in 2017 alone.
Conservative peer, Baroness Warsi is also one of those who does not seem to be fond of Britain's counter terror policy; she demanded a "pause" to the Prevent program "for an independent review".
"I think Prevent in its current form has huge problems," she said; "I think it's broken, I think the brand is toxic."
The British government used a similar program, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, until 2000, to dismantle Irish terrorist organizations.
Warsi, who served in Prime Minister David Cameroon's Cabinet, is known for defending a hardline Dewsbury madrassah, claiming that though the faith school "might have produced bombers, it also produced the first Muslim cabinet minister [Warsi]".
Extremist mosques and madrassahs in Dewsbury and in surroundings of Manchester are notorious for spreading communal hatred and terror across the board.
Manchester seems to have a problem. The Guardian reported in February 2017 that at least 16 convicted or dead terrorists have lived within 2.5 miles of the Manchester home of Ronald Fiddler, aka Jamal al-Harith, an ex-Guantanamo prisoner who blew himself up while fighting for ISIS in Syria earlier this year.
Hundreds of Britons have joined ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq to date. The BBC reported in February that of the 850 or so British citizens who fall into this category, some 200 were killed fighting in the Middle East; the rest returned to Britain, potentially to resume terrorist activity at home.
It appears that most of these jihadists were radicalized through local mosques and madrassas.
Thanks to the handicapped Prevent strategy, we have, to date, not seen any inquiry or action against the environment or people that might have contributed to or supported this radicalization.
Khalid Masood, the perpetrator of the Westminster attack on March 22, did not go abroad to hone his terrorism skills; he served as a representative of the Luton Islamic Centre mosque -- one institution among many that have eluded the government's Prevent program, due to the pressure from so-called "moderate" Muslims such as Warsi.
Above all, politicians need to realize that failure on the government's part to protect the public from Islamist radicals actually endangers the Muslim community as a whole. A general sense of insecurity in the Muslim community and lack of trust in law-enforcement only creates vigilantes.
It is therefore more crucial than ever for British Muslims and their influential representatives to join forces with the authorities to root out terrorism through sound counter-terror policies, instead of focusing only on short-term measures such as raising the terror threat level, deploying forces and trying to intimidate everyone into complicity by unjustly complaining about "Islamophobia".
Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator currently in Germany.