LONDON — He’s called Sheik Terra.
With a Koran in one hand and pistol in the other, the British rapper calls for the murder of non-Muslims, including several world leaders, on a videotape.
The video is well known in one London mosque, whose imam — or leader — is accused of setting up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and whose followers don’t like Western media.
Abu Hamza, who lost two hands and an eye in Afghanistan, is in jail now but other extremists from among Britain’s two million Muslims continue to preach violence, veiling the message to take advantage of some of Europe’s most liberal freedom-of-speech laws.
“We cannot tolerate a crocodile in our bedroom,” said Sheik Omar Bakri. “U.S. forces in Muslim countries are crocodiles in our bedrooms. So we are not going to give them ice cream.”
Bakri says the terrorists who staged the Sept. 11, 2001, (search) attacks on the United States are magnificent and Westerners in Arab lands need to be killed by any means necessary. He makes the threats with a smile.
“If we use violence, you will forget the name of your mother and father,” he said.
The drawing power of the extremists, especially among the youth, has posed a challenge for mainstream Muslim leaders across Europe.
Part of Britain’s problem is that it can’t provide native-trained imams; more than 90 percent are foreigners with very limited training or, some like Hamza, have none at all.
To prevent more mosques from being hijacked, London’s Muslim college is trying to educate home-grown British imams but the voices of moderation struggle to be heard over media-savvy terrorists.
The “hijacking” is so easy, as the BBC has noted, because the hijackers present their visions of violent jihad as “pure Islam,” and the moderates have yet to mount an effective comeback.
Meanwhile, it is always someone else’s fault:
The beheading of British engineer Kenneth Bigley in Iraq went from videotape to the Internet, then from cell phone to cell phone, bringing a smile from one young British Muslim who says he knows who the real killers are.
“They are not Muslims. They are Jews,” the young man said.