Is London the new Kabul?

From What's Up in Jordan?

(Abu Daoud: An excellent Jordanian blog!)

Years back, security experts and ordinary people were worried about the return of young mujahideen from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Under US watch and patronage, Osama Bin Laden and many other young Arab and Muslim youth were indoctrinated and trained to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan, using heavy doses of religious dogma to increase their zeal.

After paying dearly for this short sighted policy on September 11, 2001, the US was supposed to have learnt its lesson. However, their close allies, the British, continued to try to exploit and appease Islamic extremists, even after a group of them bombed the London subway system on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people. London continues to be the home for the most extreme religious fanatics, operating in total freedom.

So, when a brilliant young doctor and his wife left Jordan two years ago, it might not have been too far fetched that he may become a target for the preachers of hate and violence who call London home (as suggested by Firas). The man and wife had clean security records, and were focused on academic and professional achievement rather than mischief. It has not been established yet in court whether they were really involved in the terror plots or to what extent. However, they do seem to have been mixing with a bad crowd.

Personally, I take little stock in the propaganda that tries to blame such conversions to fanaticism on the freedom which is enjoyed in the west. The descendants of the British Empire on which the sun never set can not be so impotent when dealing with a few loud mouthed welfare abusing fanatics. The country that did not hesitate to destroy Iraq and throw it’s population into massive turmoil in which hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions have been displaced can not be so sensitive to the supposed civil rights of a few trouble makers who can be dealt with in a legal and civilized manner. The government that railroaded Abdelbaset Megrahi for the sole purpose of extorting the Libyan government is not so sensitive to due process or justice. The “freedom” argument for such blatant harboring of inciters of terror rings quite hollow.

It is not difficult to conclude that British authorities harbor and tolerate these people because they serve a purpose. I might add that this purpose is not benign. The end result is that terror emanating from the preachers of hate serves to marginalize the Muslim community in Britain, and fosters xenophobia with the British public. Abroad, this tolerance legitimizes extremism, and is a source of pressure on Arab and Muslim countries to act in a similar way with their own extremists. Only a lunatic or a traitor would try to emulate this behavior.

So, while we are worried about fanatics returning from Iraq, Pakistan or Afghanistan, it might be worth while to remember that Britain is the only country that offers preachers of death residency, welfare and legal protection.



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