Saturday, August 19, 2006
Are British Muslim Terrorists their Equivalent to Football's 'Hooligans'?
I'm not sure either claim survives close analysis. The 7-7 terrorists seemed to be devout Muslims who had made the journey, principally through their religion rather than any political ideology, to the radical point where they chose to martyr themselves in the process of taking dozens of innocent British lives. The suggestion that such people are aberrant mavericks also fails to measure up.
The Economist, this week contains a report which cites polls showing 19 per cent of British Muslims(that's a third of a million people) 'respect' Osama bin Laden while 13 per cent regard the 7-7 bombers as 'martyrs'. It really seems that this putative 'hooligan' element extends quite deeply into the 1.8 strong Muslim community. The BBC hoped their panel of young Muslims would provide some fresh new and authentic input into the debate but this first consultation merely expressed how divided and confused British Muslims are about their own attitudes on the central and crucial question: how much support the terrorists within their ranks receive from the community as a whole?
Good points but Jason Burke in he Observer today makes the point that some mosques and branches of Islam act as 'gateways' to Muslims who go on to develop more radical attitudes. And on the other pont, I still think the evidence shows so far that it's not JUST a lunatic fringe but a worryingly large slice of British Muslims who express and feel sympathy and support for those committing or planning terrorist acts. I agree with your Ruth Kelly point if indeed she did misrepresent those consulted.
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