“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.” — Winston Churchill
Speaking of “safety valves,” the British government hoping for some of its own here, attempting to mollify the “extremist” Muslims in the U.K. enough to head off acts of violent jihad.
It will backfire. “Hizb ut Tahrir is not a gateway to terrorism, claims Whitehall report,” by Andrew Gilligan for the Telegraph, July 25 (thanks to the aptly pseudonymed Thomas Pellow):
The Government has opened the way for official links with Muslim extremists after civil servants said radical groups could be a “safety valve” for those tempted by terrorism.
The groups specifically named – in documents leaked to The Sunday Telegraph – include al-Muhajiroun, which has praised 9/11 as “magnificent” and Hizb ut Tahrir, which wants to turn Britain into an Islamic dictatorship under sharia law.
In addition, al-Muhajiroun’s spinoff group Islam4UK was banned in January after planning a march through Wootton Bassett, a town known for honoring fallen soldiers upon their return to Britain. Is this supposed to be a “safety valve?”
In the classified papers, presented last week to Coalition ministers on the Cabinet’s home affairs committee, officials say a “clear assessment” has been made that individuals “do not progress” to violence through such groups.
One paper, classified “Restricted” and entitled “Government strategy towards extremism”, says: “It is sometimes argued that violent extremists have progressed to terrorism by way of a passing commitment to non-violent Islamist extremism, for example of a kind associated with al-Muhajiroun or Hizb ut Tahrir … We do not believe that it is accurate to regard radicalisation in this country as a linear ‘conveyor belt’ moving from grievance, through radicalisation, to violence … This thesis seems to both misread the radicalisation process and to give undue weight to ideological factors.”
In fact, at least 19 terrorists convicted in Britain have had links with al-Muhajiroun, including Omar Khayam, sentenced to life imprisonment as leader of the “fertiliser bomb” plot, and Abdullah Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of the airliner “liquid bomb” plot, who is also serving life.
Al-Muhajiroun provided backing to Abu Hamza, the extremist cleric, whose Finsbury Park mosque was a forming-ground for other terrorists. Advertising a conference held in the mosque in 2002, al-Muhajiroun leaflets described the 9/11 hijackers as the “magnificent 19”.
The organisation was banned under Labour, but ex-members have regrouped under different banners. Former al-Muhajiroun activists demonstrated against a parade by British troops through Luton and threatened to do the same against the coffins of dead soldiers passing through the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett.
Hizb ut Tahrir says it opposes terrorism and condemned the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks. However, it regards integration as “dangerous,” orders all Muslims to keep apart from non-believers and says that “those [Muslims] who believe in democracy are Kafir”, or apostates. A British would-be suicide bomber, Omar Sharif, was radicalised partly by Hizb activists at his London university.
Before he became Prime Minister, David Cameron repeatedly called for Hizb to be outlawed, and criticised Labour for failing to introduce a ban. In March he said in an interview that he wanted to keep foreign preachers of hate out of Britain and “ban those extremist groups like Hizb ut Tahrir who are already here”.
The Whitehall documents admit that a “minority” of terrorists have been involved with non-violent extremist groups such as al-Muhajiroun, and state that such groups “can foster a sense of Muslim isolationism from wider UK society, which may increase vulnerability to radicalisation”.
But in a “restricted” memorandum to Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, written on July 15, Robert Mason, one of his senior officials, says the papers present “a clear assessment that individuals do not progress through non-violent extremist groups to violent groups … Extreme groups may also provide a legal ‘safety valve’ for extreme views.”…