But he doesn’t consider the possibility that this “view” of a “strand” of Islam is “proving powerful” because its proponents successfully present it as pure and authentic Islam, faithful to the Qur’an and Sunnah, and peaceful Muslims have mounted no effective response to this challenge. “Bomb suspects ‘radicalised in weeks,'” by Michael Holden for Reuters, with thanks to Montague:
LONDON (Reuters) – A group of British Muslims suspected of plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airliners flying from Britain had been radicalised in just weeks or months, London’s police chief said on Wednesday.
British detectives announced last August they had foiled a suicide bomb plot to blow up planes using liquid explosives.
Officers have charged 15 people over the suspected plot with offences including conspiracy to murder and planning acts of terrorism. The suspects are due to go on trial next year.
“One of the really shocking things … is the apparent speed with which young, reasonably affluent, some reasonably well-educated, British-born people were converted,” police chief Ian Blair told a conference on Islamophobia.
It is only shocking because he still clings to what has been disproven many times: that jihadists are poor and uneducated. Note also that he was speaking at a conference on “Islamophobia,” not on…jihad terrorism.
He said the suspects had been converted “from what would appear to be ordinary lives in a matter of some weeks and months, not years, to a position where they were allegedly prepared to commit suicide and murder thousands of people”.
Authorities are trying to understand what has caused a growth in extremism among the Britain’s 1.8 million Muslims, dramatically exemplified by the July 2005 suicide bomb attacks on London’s transport system by four British Islamists who killed themselves and 52 other people….
Blair said the “extreme view of one austere strand” of Islam was proving powerful.
“It seems to be very potent,” he said, repeating his warning that the threat to Britain was “growing, and extremely grave” and the conspiracies were growing in “number and gravity”.
He said he was concerned about recent opinion polls taken amongst British Muslims which found support in “principle at least” for terrorist action.
A poll of Islamic students and Muslims generally found that 4 and 6 percent of those questioned thought the July 7 London bombings were justified — the equivalent of about 80,000 and 120,000 people, Blair said.
“I’m not suggesting that means there are that many terrorists. It does however indicate the power of the ideology involved.”
Blair said it was vital to get over the message of “Britishness” based on values of tolerance, fairness and respect for faiths and traditions of others.
“We have to get over the message this is not a clash of civilisations.”
And of course, it is entirely incumbent upon British authorities, in Ian Blair’s mind, to get that message out. Muslim leaders have no responsibility whatsoever to demonstrate their loyalty.