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The report issued by the Quilliam Foundation, the first think-tank to counter extremism and fundamentalism in Britain, which is led by a former Islamist of Pakistani-origin Maajid Nawaz, a one time member of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group, confirms one important piece of information for us, which is that terrorists and extremists continue to act freely in Britain. The Quilliam Foundation report reveals the extent and importance of internet websites in Britain in supporting extremism in the Arab world, inciting the killing of innocents, and even British soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. This report represents a warning to alert observers of the danger from “Londonistan”, as Britain – for quite some time – has been a haven for extremists and inciters of hatred and violence under the pretext of jihad who are taking advantage of the freedoms there. This is something that all Arab countries have suffered from without exception, although there are Arab countries that have benefited from these extremists in different forms, due to short-sightedness, and the disputes that break out between Arab countries from time to time.

What is strange is that the British media in all its forms is eager to reveal the features of extremism in Arab and Islamic countries, despite what many Arab countries are doing today to stand firm against extremists and those that fund them. However the British media fails to cover it’s on backyard, i.e. Britain itself, and how extremism exists there, despite the danger that these terrorists represent to British society and the Arab and Islamic world. If the security services have their own special agenda, what is the British media’s agenda?

Kuwait has withdrawn it’s nationality from one of its citizens who almost sparked civil unrest when – from London – he insulted the beliefs of a major component of Kuwaiti society, while Britain did nothing. Bahrain also protested against those that violated its national security by undertaking acts of sabotage and inciting sectarianism [also from London], whilst Britain did nothing. Meanwhile we see the British media and civil institutions monitoring the Arab and Islamic world, and the best example of this is how Pakistan continues to be portrayed – politically and in the media – as not combating extremism strongly enough, all the while the issue of British territory being used to spread poisonous extremism and terrorism in the Arab and Islamic world is overlooked and ignored.

Therefore the British – whether this is the government, the media, or the civil institutes – must look carefully at the danger represented by those who take advantage of British freedoms to spread poisonous extremism. The history of these extremist groups clearly shows that they always turn against those that shelter them, and the June 2005 bombings in London is clear proof of this.

Of course I do not mean that everybody who grows a beard should be monitored, but what is important is to monitor and track anybody who issues a fatwa inciting hatred or murder. This is because incitement is more dangerous than murder; the actions of somebody who fires a bullet ends when he pulls the trigger, however somebody inciting hatred and terrorism is capable of recruiting new terrorists everyday which would see the situation further destabilize and innocents being targeted, including British citizens. If the British are not too concerned with regards to the threat that this represents to the Arab or Islamic world, is it reasonable that they are unconcerned about the safety of their own citizens?

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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