From Gulf News, “Cleric: Blair’s policies creating militants,” with thanks to Skeetstreet
London : An Islamic cleric who admits to supporting Al Qaida has warned that thousands of Muslims could take up arms against the British Government.
Shaikh Omar Bakri Mohammad told Gulf News Prime Minister Tony Blair’s policies were creating extremists and possible terrorists throughout the country.
“From my own experience I do not believe anybody in the UK is planning any action at all … but there is the potential to have a few thousand if the government continues with its own policies of terrifying [the Muslim community].
“[The government is] pressuring the youth to become radical, extremist, fundamentalist, and now [the youth] enjoy the term terrorist it’s something good.”
Omar Bakri is the former leader of Al Muhajiroun, a group of Wahabis who once called on people to actively support Osama Bin Laden.
His views inhabit the extreme fringes of Britain’s Islamic community and they are shunned by the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Britain.
Even though Al Muhajiroun was once referred to as Britain’s largest Muslim group by the New York Times?
During an exclusive interview with Gulf News in north London, he praised the actions of Al Qaida, accused the British Government of discriminating against the Islamic community and denounced the up-coming United Kingdom parliamentary election.
“Obviously I do respect Bin Laden because he is my Muslim brother. I respect what he stands for; maybe I disagree with some of his techniques and methods. But you see if I disagree with somebody’s methods it doesn’t mean I disagree with his objectives,” said Omar Bakri on Thursday.
Al Muhajiroun was formed as an independent group here in 1996. The organisation went on to cause great controversy in Britain, particularly after the September 11 attacks in the US.
Intense pressure from the government and the police led to Omar Bakri’s London home being raided in the summer of 2003 and he eventually decided to dissolve Al Muhajiroun last year.
“We started to find ourselves labelled terrorists, sometimes Al Qaida, and they started to dictate upon us what to say, what to believe,” he told Gulf News.
“[The police] took two vans [full of my possessions] and they gave it back to me only two months ago. They found nothing. They found a lot of books, a lot of videotapes, yes, a lot of quotes about jihad, yes, but jihad for me is not always by the sword. My jihad was by the word.”…