Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Abu Qatada, Bakri and the Milanese Imam | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The one thing in common between Abu Qatada, who is currently in jail in Britain, Osama Nasr, who was kidnapped in Rome, and Omar Bakri, who fled London after the 7/7 attacks, is their preference for Western countries over their own native Muslim countries.

Abu Qatada, for instance, prefers to remain in his UK prison than to be extradited to Jordan. Abu Omar Osama al Masri (Osama Nasr), the imam of an Italian mosque who was kidnapped by the CIA and taken to Egypt, is also demanding to be returned to Milan, Italy’s fashion capital, in addition to monetary compensation. The third and probably the most infamous of the three, Omar Bakri, fled London for Lebanon, as the British government was preparing to implement measures against instigators of violence and terrorism. Now, after this period in his native country, he is constantly requesting to be allowed to return to London in spite of government measures and his comments against such measures.

So what prompts these anti-western extremist fundamentalists to flock to western nations ahead of others, and then fight to remain there?

Do they suffer from a form of multiple personality disorder, with one side entertaining thoughts of hate, while the other yearns for the pleasures of life in the west?

We never hear of their desire to go to Somalia, Pakistan, or their own home countries, despite all their sermons and literature telling us that our religious duty is to our homelands, and that all others are infidels to the point where some of them have advocated violence against them.

What makes Omar Bakri, who enjoyed the benefits and freedoms of living in Britain, feel compelled to incite hatred against that country and its culture? Is it reasonable for someone like him to request to be allowed to return to Britain after everything he has said and done?

On the other hand, Abu Qatada prefers to remain in jail in England than to return to his native country of Jordan, while Abu Omar, the imam of one of Milan’s mosques protested against his transfer to and imprisonment in his home country, Egypt. Not only did the imam protest against his abduction but he has also decided to sue for €20 million.

These individuals unquestionably enjoy the benefits that are afforded to them by the western governments that they hate. They want the financial aid, security, protection, legal justice and freedom of expression that these governments provide.

Doesn’t that constitute extreme hypocrisy? Aren’t they deceiving their followers through the discrepancy between their words and actions?

It is some preachers of hate living in the West who instigated Muslims in the east against the countries in which they live, that is, the countries that sheltered and provided them with protection and care, and in many cases paid for the tuition of their children to study Islam and the Arabic language for example. What causes further disapproval is when we see a number of writers condemning the actions of governments that seek to get rid of extremists by deporting them to their native Muslim countries. Instead of requesting that the incorrect security and legal situation in the region be rectified, they want the states that expelled these extremists to allow them to stay in these countries and tolerate the intellectual destruction that they have inflicted upon their societies.