multiculturalism and the road to terror

multiculturalism and the road to terror - multiculturalism...

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multiculturalism and the road to terror handelsblatt , 3 january 2006 How could four ordinary men born and brought up in Britain turn into such savage killers? That is the question Britain has been asking itself in wake of the London tube bombings that killed 52 people on 7 July. Three of the four men involved, Mohammed Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain came from Yorkshire in the North of England. The fourth, Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay, lived in Luton about 30 miles north of London. None of them were considered extremists, all of them were seemingly well integrated into their communities. The popular picture of Islamic terrorists is drawn from the caricatures of mad mullahs, bearded fanatics and foreign zealots that people the press. Yet few recent terrorists have fitted this picture. Many have been Western born, Western educated, and seemingly ordinary. The most detailed study yet on Al-Qaeda supporters, carried out by Marc Sageman of the University of Pennsylvania, shows that the majority are middle class with good jobs. Most are college educated, usually in the West. Fewer than one in 10 have been to religious school. Shortly after the bombings the government set up an ‘extremism taskforce’, composed mainly of Muslim leaders, to try to answer the question as to how men such as these could get gripped by a fanatic zeal for an irrational, murderous dogma, and be possessed with a hatred for such virtues as democracy and decency. And how could it be prevented from happening again? The taskforce has just published its first conclusions. The London bombings, it reported, were the work of young men alienated by Islamophobia. The best way to combat extremism, the taskforce suggested, is by recognising Muslim grievances and by establishing a more plural society in which moderate Muslim leaders are able to wield greater political power. Its recommendations included a ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ to combat Islamophobia, a better reflection of Islam in the national educational curriculum, a national ‘roadshow’ of Muslim scholars to tour Muslim communities and a training programme for imams. The taskforce hopes that these proposals will isolate extremists and build a better relationship between Muslims and the government. In fact the proposals will make matters worse. The real problem is not Islamophobia but the culture of grievance created by Britain’s multicultural policies. Certainly Muslims face discrimination and harassment. But the extent of such discrimination has been greatly exaggerated by both government and Muslim leaders. There is, for instance, a widespread perception that Muslims are disproportionately stopped and searched by the police under Britain’s anti- terror laws. Last year I interviewed Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, for a documentary I was making for British TV. He claimed that ‘95 to 98 per cent’ of those stopped under the terror laws were Muslim. In fact the vast majority are white. Just 15 per cent are Asians (Britain collects figures by race rather than
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Parkin during the Summer '11 term at Wilfred Laurier University .

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multiculturalism and the road to terror - multiculturalism...

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