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Expel extremism today! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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For over ten years now, myself and other Arab writers have warned against the dangers of recklessly handling the issue of extremism that is now spreading like the plague within British community.

It was never understood why British authorities gave refuge to suspicious characters previously involved in terrorist activities. Why would Britain grant asylum to Arabs who have been convicted of political crimes, religious extremism or even sentenced to death? Not only are they admitted to the country, they are also provided with accommodation, a monthly salary, and free legal advice for those who want to prosecute the British government.

The answer I believe is what I call &#34blind generosity&#34, despite its legal or political pretenses. This bizarre logic stuns those such as students in search of establishing their careers abroad, who are rejected citizenship. These people do not have criminal records like the others.

Extremism, like many other diseases, is an infectious one. A small dose of carriers can spread the infection like wild fire, establishing a community full of destructive thoughts and practices such as the horrific event that took place in London recently.

The reason behind such a practice is the recklessness that has been taking place since the 1990”s of British internal policies. This irresponsibility has been demonstrated in their allowing of extremists to enter the country resulting in Thursday”s attacks, a crime that the majority of us awaited as such leniency and such hatred was bound to come together at some point. It is even harder to believe what politicians state about legal allegations when numerous legal paths can be pursued in order to drive out those who are a danger to society.

The lenience of the British authorities concerning fundamental fascism has allowed many, including Arab and Muslim intellects and journalists to adopt ideologies that promote extremism and defends criminals such as Bin Laden and Al-Zarqawi. The situation has escalated to an extent that Arab and Muslim intellects fear the repercussions of condemning extremists.

The battle we face is against the ideology as opposed to the terrorists themselves. The terrorist groups make the most of the concept of freedom of speech as well as the ability to promote such ideas to gain support. Such tolerance on behalf of the British government has allowed Arab and Muslim extremists to seek refuge in Britain away from their own countries, France and northern Europe to the extent that they outnumber that of the moderate believers.

In the matter of one decade, they have established organizations, promoting their beliefs all over the world and denounced others as infidels in mosques, schools, and the media, and have publicly called for battles to begin. They have spread into the city of London, reached the outskirts and communities who have had no previous record of extremism and its practice. The results were illustrated last Thursday.

So why has this happened?

Until recently, there was the delusion in London that extremists will not target Britain, but rather only use it as a base, protecting their freedom as they worked against Arab and Islamic governments. For this reason, Britain was full of convicted opponents known for propagating their extremist ideologies. The time has come for British authorities to sternly deal with extremism before complete chaos is unleashed onto British society.

In the past, we talked about stopping them. It is now time to expel them.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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