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Terrorism Factories | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Terrorism Factories

How will Arab governments react to the arrival of terrorist suspects to their capitals as they are expelled from western capital cities?

Pakistan intends on expelling a number of Arab men enrolled in its religious schools and sending them back to their countries of origin, as the government of President Pervez Musharraf believes they were taught extremist and terrorist ideologies. Britain, on the other hand, is trying to secure an agreement with Algeria to deport a number of suspected Algerian militants, including the assistant of Abdullah Azzam in Afghanistan. Egypt is sending a security delegation to Washington D.C to bring back a number of its citizens, including the son of Omar Abdul Rahman. Omar Bakri Mohammed has voluntarily fled to Beirut where the authorities detained him for a short period before releasing him. For their part, Italy and Germany plan to expel a number of Arab suspects to their native countries. Meanwhile, the U.S administration is returning some detainees in Guantanamo Bay to their countries.

How quickly do situations change! In the past, repeated warnings by Arab governments to London informing it these men were a danger to Britain and the Middle East went unanswered. Using the excuses of freedom of speech and human rights, they allowed extremists to seize control of mosques and religious institutions and spread their ideology. Only after lives were lost did Prime Minister Tony Blair abandon his ideals and decide to rid his country of these men and deport them to their countries.

Europe did not differentiate between those who aired peaceful opinions shaped by their difficult experiences in their countries of origin and the peddlers of extremism and supporters of violence who abused British laws and institutions, some going as far as setting up sleeper cells across Europe, which later committed violence.

Bakri was released in Beirut and other will be released in other Arab countries because whilst terrorist agreements are a crime, supporting terror, defending it, and driving young men to die in the name of martyrdom is not. This requires strict laws that do not distinguish between those who kill and others who encourage killing. The problem lies in the unequal treatment of these factories, that call for terrorism and those that teach terrorists; the first are punished but the second continue to function at full capacity in thousands of schools, mosques, and even satellite channels.