Great. So these guys dislike Al-Qaeda, but they still believe in the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. But that, apparently, is just fine. “Hardline imams sought to fight terror,” by Richard Kerbaj for The Australian (thanks to PRCS):
HARDLINE Muslim spiritual leaders who preach the fundamentalist Salafi brand of Islam espoused by Osama bin Laden have become the latest recruits in combating global terrorism.
Australian security agencies have been urged by former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism expert Robert Lambert to enlist key Salafi leaders – who are widely perceived to be part of the radicalisation problem – to help prevent young Muslims from embracing al-Qa’ida’s ideology.
Mr Lambert, co-founder of Scotland Yard’s Muslim Contact Unit, said Salafi spiritual leaders, who follow a puritanical interpretation of the Koran and are often accused of being proponents of terrorism, had a vested interest in discrediting al-Qa’ida because the network had hijacked and distorted their true beliefs.
“As far as they’re concerned, al-Qa’ida distorts the Salafi view of the world,” Mr Lambert told The Australian during an interview in London. Australian Salafi leaders yesterday backed the idea of imams working with the authorities to prevent young Muslims from becoming radicalised, but they admitted it would be difficult for them to trust the counter-terrorism agencies.
Prominent Salafi cleric Toufic Mallah said counter-terrorism agencies should have been working closely with fundamentalist leaders to combat radicalisation from the beginning. He accused the authorities of discriminating against and singling out Salafis as extremists.
“These people (in authority) who are genuine I wouldn’t mind working with,” the Sydney-based imam told The Australian.
“But for those who want to use me to achieve what they want to achieve, then no, I don’t want to work with them. But the thing is how do you pick out the genuine from the non-genuine?”