Now let me get this straight: a gang of Muslims in Britain sets off bombs that murder scores of British civilians, for avowedly Muslim purposes. Then another group of Muslims in Britain tells the British Prime Minister that they are losing confidence in him — and he eagerly takes his medicine. Yet the assumption that prevailed in this peculiar meeting — that the July 7 attacks and other instances of Islamic terrorism actually have nothing to do with Islam — has never been established, either by large-scale Muslim opposition to such acts, or by a refutation, generally accepted among Muslims, of the Islamic justification for such acts.
From IslamOnline, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
CAIRO, November 18, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) — Seeking a hands-on experience on challenges facing the Muslim minority in Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair has met with a group of young British Muslims to discuss their views on extremism, Britishness and the role of religion.
“We’re losing confidence and trust in you,” Hayder Khan, a young British Muslim, told Blair during a meeting Thursday at a Leeds community center, The Independent said Friday, November 18.
Bright, entrepreneurial, sports-loving and a university student, Khan said that the British foreign policy and the Iraq war have been a main cause in fueling extremism among the Muslim minority.
“With this foreign policy Muslims feel you are attacking them. We all used to vote Labour but not any more. You need to row back and take us with you.”
Blair, on his first visit to Leeds since the July 7 attacks, also discussed with the young British Muslims at a primary school in Chapeltown their views on education and what it meant to be British.
Waseem Naeem, 22, a business studies student at Huddersfield University, agreed with his colleague.
“The Government’s foreign policy was a factor in many Muslims turning away from the Government.”…
“Making Eid a public holiday for all would delight the non-Muslims and make them examine what the festival means”, an optimistic young woman told Blair….
Aneela Mather, one of the few white faces in the room, said divorcing the concepts of terrorism and Islam would also be a step forward.
“Every time there is a picture of the suicide bombers on the television, it is followed by people praying at a mosque,” she told the Prime Minister.
Her colleague further suggested that divorcing nationality from religion would also help.
“I’m Muslim but that has nothing to do with my Britishness, which is about being free to go out for a drink and to dance.”
This is also part of the problem. Being British involves much more than being free to go out for a drink and to dance.
Delighted with the suggestions, Blair promised to attempt to convert some of these thoughts into practice.
“I’ll need to set up a government committee to answer that,” Blair replied.
Blair, on his part, said that the young Muslim group represented the real voice of the young British Muslims, according to the daily.
“The extremism that grows up within communities, the only way ultimately it can be tackled is when people like yourselves are going back in there and standing up to it.”
He said that the media tended to give a platform only to the “loudest and most extreme” voices.
“I’m not blaming you guys, that’s just the way it is,” he said, turning to the press corps.