How jihadist sentiments are spread in Britain. “I know how these terrorists are inspired,” by Ed Husain in the Telegraph, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
…In 1995, at college in east London, I was part of the secret cell structure of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist organisation banned in most Muslim countries and rejected by most mosques in Britain. Yet the group had a free rein on university and college campuses, where it advocated that British Muslims were a community whose allegiance lay not with Queen and country, but to a coming caliph in the Middle East.
This caliph would instruct us to act as agents of the caliphate in Britain, and open a “home front” by assisting the expansionist state. We believed that all Arab governments were not sufficiently “Islamic” and were liable to removal; entire populations would submit to the army of the caliph, or face extinction.
I was part of a generation of young British Muslim teenagers who were raised in mono-cultural ghettoes, disconnected from mainstream Britain and receptive to the message of separatism preached by Arab political asylum seekers. I was indoctrinated in my cell meetings as I studied the books written by Islamist ideologues such as Taqiuddin al-Nabhani and Syed Qutb, angry men struggling in a post-colonial Middle East to find meaning in a new world.
We brought al-Nabhani’s teachings to life in my secret meetings: Britain, France, America and Russia were enemies and the army of the Islamist state would “march on Downing Street and raise the Islamist flag above Westminster”. All this can easily be dismissed as extremist claptrap. But the mindset and ideology that spouts this worldview – Islamism – is entrenched in certain sections of the Muslim community in Britain….
As long as it remains legal for extremists in Britain to plan and finance Islamist attempts to mobilise the Muslim masses in the Middle East, and prepare an army for “jihad as foreign policy”, there will always be a segment of this movement that will take jihad to its logical conclusion and act immediately, without leadership.
The rhetoric of jihad introduced by Hizb ut-Tahrir in my days was the preamble to 7/7 and several other attempted attacks. By proscribing Hizb ut-Tahrir, we would send a strong message to extremists that Britain will not tolerate intolerance. Yes, we are a free country with a proud tradition of liberty, but it has always had limits.
In 1991, Omar Bakri, then leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, called for the assassination of John Major – we ignored it. In 1997, Osama bin Laden declared a jihad against the West – we ignored it.
Today, in our midst, Hizb ut-Tahrir calls for an expansionist, violent, totalitarian Islamist state – and we continue to ignore it. There is no quick fix to the problem of home-grown terrorism, but banning Hizb ut-Tahrir would be an excellent first step, sending a strong signal to aspiring terrorists that Britain has not changed the rules of game. We no longer play that game.