Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Heathrow Warning: Who Will Protect Britain's Muslims from the Promoters of Evil? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The tension that was inflicted on London this week, not to mention the financial losses especially those suffered by the British Muslims, was only equaled by the tension that followed the terrorist operation of 7 July 2005, which claimed more than 50 lives, and injured more than a hundred of all ethnic groups and religions, including Muslims.

Were it not for God’s mercy, the alertness of MI5 and Special Branch, and the cooperation of many British Muslims with the security and police authorities, the disaster would have led to much more losses than that of 7 July, and at a level higher than those of Bali, Taba, Sharm al-Shaykh, and perhaps 11 September 2001. The British Muslims cooperated with the security and police authorities because they are good citizens with live consciences, and their loyalty to their country and to humanity takes priority over any empty slogans with which the imams of hatred and the promoters of evil brainwash the misguided youths.

The terrorist group consisted of a number of cells; 18 people were arrested on Wednesday (9 August) night and at dawn on Thursday, and then three others were arrested after that. The terrorists’ plan could be boiled down to blowing up a number of passenger airliners, mostly belonging to US airlines, over the Atlantic Ocean or over US cities at the rate of three airliners at a time.

If the average capacity of every busy airliner is 300 people and around 10 crew members, this means the death of nearly 1,000 people in every “terrorist batch of explosions.” This was planned to take place during the summer holiday season, when the majority of passengers are families with young children from all ethnic groups and religions, naturally including Muslims, not to mention the death of people in the cities over which they intended to blow up the airliners. When the Pan American airliner crashed in 1988 over Lockerbie, a large number of the population of the town was killed as a result of the airliner’s debris.

The vile scheme required the terrorists to assemble liquid chemical bombs during the flights. This would have been done by smuggling undetectable components on board, and hence they did not need to hijack the airliners, and they would have blown them up suddenly with nobody noticing the preparations.

According to sources at the police Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the cells were under surveillance, and the movements and contacts of their members had been monitored since December 2005, i.e. for more than eight months. We emphasize this point so that the “pan-Arabists” do not pounce on us blaming Prime Minister Tony Blair’s stance toward the war in Lebanon as a reason for angering the Muslim youths, and for their shift toward terrorism.

Despite my sympathy toward the liberals and the jurists in their permanent criticism of the Blair Government’s hard-line policy that diminishes freedoms, and my dislike of Home Secretary John Reid, I sympathize with him in his unenviable position of yesterday, Thursday 10 August.

The police surveillance of the suspects, and the monitoring of their communications revealed that they were about to carry out their vile scheme within less than 48 hours. Therefore, the state of security alert was raised to “critical,” i.e. to maximum.

Arresting a group of terrorist cells could motivate another cell that had not been detected yet by the police radar, and that could be planning a long-term operation, to act quickly before being detected by the police, or before one of the arrested suspects exposed it in his confessions. The undetected group might carry out a terrorist attack against any soft civilian target. Thus the home secretary was forced to impose arbitrary measures at the airports because of the fear that an undetected cell might escape.

Therefore, were an undetected cell to achieve its goal, the home secretary would be the first target of blame and attack, and he would be held responsible for the blood of the innocent.

Moreover, if it were to turn out that the information was deceptive, and nothing were proved, the home secretary would be fiercely criticized, and would be asked to resign, the same as it happened when the innocent Brazilian young man was shot dead by the police on 21 July 2005, and when the house of two Pakistani young men was stormed by the police, and one of them was mistakenly shot, but no evidence to prove their guilt was found.

However, I salute the courage of Dr. Reid in risking his position and political future. He opted to act according to the principle of safety first in order to preserve the lives of the people as he considered the loss of his political future a much lower price to pay than the loss of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives if it turned out that the cells were really scheming to blow up the airliners.

What is noticeable is that the British people, with their usual courage and calmness, are accepting the losses, obstruction of business, and that thousands of people are losing their holidays – the majority of whom have been saving for these holidays for a full year – (Heathrow Airport alone receives some 93,000 passengers, and more than 90,000 depart from it everyday, not to mention four other airports around London and dozens of airports in Scotland, Wales, and the home counties). They all suffered these losses courageously, without panic, and without any exchanges of insults with the employees of the airline companies.

The other disturbing remark is that most of the detainees are British-born, and the Muslims among them – I believe that all of them are Muslims, even if Scotland Yard politely refuses to divulge such information in order to preserve the feelings of Muslims – either were born to Muslim families most of whom of Pakistani origins, or converted to Islam as adults in mosques and Islamic centers that are unfortunately controlled by hard-line fundamentalists.

The main problem lies in finding the way to combat terrorism, which is an impossible task if we do not defeat its ideology, as Blair mentioned in his Los Angeles lecture and at his press conference last week. At any other time or in any other era prior to the emergence of the hard-line fundamental Islam, Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, Al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others, these British-born young men would have been proud of belonging to their country, Britain, and would have been loyal to their country in which they live and on whose ground they earn their livelihoods.

The danger is that these young men have been brainwashed, and now they do not recognize the national belonging to the country, and they consider themselves to belong to a mythical expression some people call “Islamic Caliphate,” or what they think to be an Islamic nation. This is similar to the utterance pronounced publicly by the general guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, “To hell with Egypt, the father of Egypt, and those who established Egypt.” Therefore, these brainwashed Muslim Britons say “to hell” with Britain, to which their parents emigrated voluntarily looking for a culturally and economically better life, and they were not forced by anyone to come here. These young men say, or are taught to say “to hell” with life itself when they turn themselves into human suicide bombs.

The imams of corruption and hatred lied to these young men when they promised them that they would go to Paradise. Would any rational person believe that a person who committed suicide and who killed dozens of women and children will go to Paradise?

Perhaps for the hundredth time I join those who called in the past for expelling the imams of evil and hatred from Britain. In the absence of a religious affairs ministry, the Friday sermons and lessons ought to be subjected to the Interior Ministry through the supervision of Islamic academics, and they all should be delivered in English. If any of these imams did not want to master the English language, or refused to be integrated in Britain and to live as a Briton according to the laws and culture of the country, then he would be free to go back to where he came from, the same as he was free to come here. This is particularly true if he does not like the British way of life, and he considers it infidelity, he should leave this infidelity, go to the land from which he came, and join the society he likes.

At the same time, let the leftwing and liberal tendencies abandon political correctness, which they justify on the basis of respecting their cultural peculiarities. This is a fallacy, and a method that will lead to the isolation of Muslims, and their being locked up in a cultural “Ghetto” or “Muslim reservation,” which in turn will create those who will install themselves as leaders of Muslims and lead them to perdition.

This is the legal aspect. As for the social, political, and cultural aspects, law alone is not sufficient. Purging Islam and Muslim communities in Britain of harmful ideas is up to the Muslims themselves. They could kick the imams of evil and the promoters of terrorism out of Britain, so that Britain remains the country of tolerance and amicability, and the capital of the Arabs and Muslims in the western countries.