The new chief of the Muslim Council of Britain demonstrates his moderation, inviting the British to accept Islamic ways — not just to “tolerate” them, you see, but to adopt them. From the Telegraph, with thanks to all who sent this in:
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari was returning from Paris on the Eurostar when he heard the news that a 23-year-old east London Muslim had been shot in a terrorism raid.
“I was stunned,” he says. “I am chairman of the east London mosque and I come from Bangladesh – I know the families in the area well. The children may squabble in the playground and there are occasional drugs – but not terrorists.
“After 9/11 and 7/7, this area prided itself on being mature. We don’t rant and rave.”
Maturity, as opposed to ranting and raving, is good. But it also suggests that he holds to the same goal as that of the Al-Ghurabaa types, but is just slicker about it.
The day after Mohammed Abul Kahar, 23, and his brother Abul Koyair, 20, were arrested, Dr Bari was voted the new leader of the Muslim Council of Britain. Afterwards he went straight to Forest Gate, where the raid had taken place, and set up a make-shift office in a sari shop. He was shocked by what he heard.
“Two hundred and fifty policemen seemed too much – and why did the police need a five-mile exclusion zone for the raid? There was a sense that the police had completely over-reacted and huge frustration because there was so much misinformation,” he says.
In the aftermath, the media carried stories saying that the brothers’ parents had gone on a pre-booked holiday to Mauritius (some said Bangladesh); a couple of papers also published a photograph apparently showing a third brother standing next to a man wearing a fake bomb at a demonstration.
“First, we were told one brother shot another, then that the policeman’s glove was too thick,” Dr Bari says. “There were so many stories against the two young men. It is untrue that their parents went off on holiday and the man involved in the Danish cartoon protests was only a half-brother they barely knew.
“On the face of it, these guys are innocent. I have talked to people who know them in the Bangladeshi community. The family said they were good boys.”
As we sit talking in the mosque in Whitechapel Road in east London, Dr Bari grows thoughtful.
“If I had been a policeman, maybe I would see it differently. But that is part of the problem. We need 3,000 more Muslim policemen in London to restore trust.”…
Foxes Guarding the Henhouse Alert.
His aim, he says, will be to encourage Britain to adopt more Muslim ways, as well as to encourage Muslims to be good British citizens.
Will he then call on Muslims to renounce Sharia and accept living in Britain as equals with non-Muslims on a permanent basis?
He thinks that non-Muslim Britons would benefit from having arranged marriages and espousing stronger family values; they would also do well to stop drinking and gambling and to follow many of the teachings of Islam.
But, first, he must calm the tensions between Muslims and the rest of Britain.
“Muslims are frightened now,” he says. “Many are still poor, under-educated and unemployed and they are finding life increasingly difficult. It is a nightmare, particularly for the young.
“There has been a 300 per cent rise in stop-and-search of the Asian community and a 600 per cent rise in race- hate crimes against Muslims. The young are rebelling. They become de-motivated; some turn to drugs, others become more religious.”
I’d like to see documentation for those figures. They could be as trumped-up as CAIR’s.
An increased interest in religion does not, however, turn them into extremists and terrorists, he says.
“Our religion teaches us to be good neighbours and friends. Any group or religion has one or two people who are bad. But now we are all seen as the enemy.
“7/7 was committed by idiots and the devout were against the man who dressed up as a suicide bomber to protest at those cartoons. These people are not true Muslims. Overwhelmingly, our community is made up of sane, sensible street cleaners, teachers, nurses and bus drivers. This idea that we are all fanatics is ludicrous.”
Of course you’re not all fanatics, Bari. But what are you doing to root out the fanatics, and to prevent your young people from becoming fanatics?
But would he not agree that many in Britain see Muslim fundamentalism as the biggest threat of the next few years?
“Extremism is a threat, but on all sides: Christian, Muslim, Jewish,” he says. “It is objectionable when people talk about Islamic terrorists; those who terrorise people are not being Islamic in any way.”
Here we go again. Bari cannot, of course, produce any evidence of any Christian or Jewish terror groups committing violence and justifying their deeds by reference to core teachings of the religion. There are, meanwhile, Islamic groups that do that all over the world. If they are “not being Islamic in any way,” Bari is being quite complacent about it. Where is his large-scale program to teach against their allegedly counterfeit Islam, to prevent more Muslims from falling for it?
Dr Bari wants to promote the activities of the 800 mosques in the country and to work with the imams.
“They do a tremendous job; but, in Britain, they are seen as nasty men with claw hooks. This is rubbish. Abu Hamza was a nightclub bouncer – he is not a religious man.”…
The assertion does not establish the fact. Abu Hamza made religious arguments. Bari should answer them.
However, he does not think that Muslims should adopt too many British practices; Britain should espouse many more Muslim traditions, he says.
“Arranged marriages are a good idea. These are not forced on children but it is a way of parents helping to guide their children to make the right choices. In youth, you are very emotional; you just go on instinct. Elders can look at compatibility, background, intentions. It is a wonderful system….”