Just when we thought that things couldn’t get any worse, waking up on Thursday morning, British-Muslims realized that it could. Uncovering what has been called possibly the greatest potential act of Terrorism carried out on British soil, British Muslims braced themselves for yet more abuse as 24 British Muslims had successfully placed Islam and the Muslim community at large, on public trial, again. US Muslims reacted swiftly to President Bush’s remarks that this plot was a stark reminder that the free world was under attack from Islamic-Fascists .
In all this madness,
we must remember that the government has 28 days to build a case against those
arrested, so, for now, we assume all are innocent until proven guilty. It’s
quite natural that many people will question the quality of the source(s) of
intelligence given its abysmal track-record: from the the brutal killing of Charles de Menezes to the hundreds of "terror" arrests across the country that have resulted with only seventeen charges; a ricin attack that never was and of course, who can forget the bad taste that was left from the Forest-gate debacle? Yes,
Muslim in particular will need some convincing
if we are later told that those arrested were actually involved in such a vile
and evil plot. It is also quite possible, as some friends of those arrested have said that they have been mistakenly scooped up. We only need to read the horror stories that are coming from released "prisoners" from Guantanamo to know this is only too real.
So what about
some reflections? What I find so staggering is that the youngest Muslim that
has been arrested is as young as 17.
Averaging about 21-23 years of age, those arrested were in their teens
when 9/11 occurred; maturing (possibly) in a ghettoized environment that is hostile to the West. That environment in which the 19 young
men live in is littered by some real nasty characters. I know that for a fact
because I have spoken to some of them over the past five years. They range from
the angry to the enraged to those blinded by hatred. Yes, foreign policy has been the root of all their anger, but I assume that the government will deny that such a link exists as it did with the 7/7 attacks. Those trying to
rationalize with them are simply written off as collaborators with the
“kuffar”. Try to speak to them about theology or jurisprudence and most of them
would look back to you in puzzlement while some will attempt to quote a hadith
or Quranic verses without understanding the context nor even realising that
there was one. How can converts get mixed up with all this? Well, converts
usually come to the religion with sincere zeal and the real burden of
responsibility lies with those that teach them. I recall reading an essay in
which new converts to Islam were offered courses on the principles of accusing
other Muslims as unbelievers! That course was offered in Luton.
unfolding events behind a lens of conspiracy theories, theological neuroses and
religious illiteracy, it’s quite possible that these men were weaned on such a
deadly cocktail that lead them to tread a path that would end in destruction. It
will be very interesting to see if any of those “born” Muslims who have been arrested
have had any formal training in Islamic law. By examining the actors in the
events from 9/11 to that of 7/7 the trend would indicate that the answer will
be “no”. All the Muslims that committed acts of terrorism either in the