There was, of course, no way that Ed Balls could have known what Reyaad Khan was going to do five years after he posed for a photo with him. The problem is that nothing effective is being done to prevent young Muslims from becoming “extremists.” As our AFDI ad points out, “Today’s moderate is tomorrow’s headline.” The ad has been condemned all over, with no thought given to the fact that some Muslims who have been assumed to be “moderate” have turned to jihad. This needs to be discussed in the public square, with consideration of strategies that could be employed to prevent it in genuinely effective ways. But that would be “Islamophobic.”
Contribute to this all-important ad campaign here. It is the only way we are going to have any public discussion of this crucial issue.
“Posing with Ed Balls, the teenager who just five years after being pictured with Labour MP turned into a notorious jihadist,” by Stephen Wright and Luke Salkeld, Daily Mail, October 17, 2014:
Hands in pockets and casually dressed, he looks like a typical teenager as he poses with Ed Balls when he was Labour Education Secretary.
Reyaad Khan, 15, was said to be thrilled when Mr Balls visited his youth club in Cardiff in July 2009 as the teenager had dreamed of becoming Britain’s first Asian prime minister. Khan also spoke of the need to rid the world of evil.
But, fast forward five years, and he has become a notorious jihadi terrorist.
Now 20, he is fighting for Islamic State in Syria and was featured in June with two other Britons in a propaganda video for the radicals.
He has since boasted of preparing for ‘martyrdom’ and also claimed he is planning on ‘fireworks’ – sparking fears that he could be part of a wave of suicide attacks against US interests in the north of the country.
The picture of him at the Riverside Warehouse youth club was still on the Shadow Chancellor’s Twitter feed this week.
Last night, Khan’s mother Rukia, 41, said of the visit: ‘My son came home and was excited and said he had met a Labour minister.’ Khan is thought to have left Cardiff last year.
His mother declined to say if he has been in touch since appearing in the IS video….