In early 1980, shortly after the Russians had invaded Afghanistan and installed a proxy regime, Britain took the lead in sparking an Islamic jehad in order to bait the bear. The plan was to bring Muslims from all around the world into Pakistan where they would be trained as Mujahideen (“those engaged in jehad”) and sent into Afghanistan to fight the Russians. (1)
Britain’s sponsorship of jehad was music to the ears of British Muslims, especially those who had migrated from Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, who went into a frenzy of fund raising. Islamic demagogues in places like Birmingham and London openly recruited Mujahideen at street corners, spewing hate speech not only against “godless communists” but also against Jews and Hindus.
Islamic jehad even became a fashionable catchword in Britain, with pop singer Cat Stevens becoming its most visible symbol. After converting to Islam as Yusuf Islam, he declared that author Salman Rushdie “must be killed” for insulting Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. (2)
Encouraged by Britain’s green light for international jehad, shops in London’s Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods now started displaying posters exhorting customers and passers-by to contribute money for killing Hindus in Kashmir. When an Indian friend of mine saw this, he promptly informed a British bobby about the offensive posters.
The bobby did nothing, so the friend took the matter up with his superiors. Incredibly, the British police told him this was a South Asian matter and they didn’t think it was necessary to clamp down on such banal activities.
But like all Faustian bargains, there always comes a time to pay up. The Mujahideen of the 1980s metamorphosed into the al-Qaeda which became the incubator for today’s Islamic State. But the more dangerous development from Britain’s point of view is that the Pakistanis have started turning on Britain, the country which provided them training and safe havens for launching jehad. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a visit to Islamabad said that 75 per cent of serious terrorist plots aimed at Britain were connected to Pakistan. (3) The Harvard Kennedy School agrees: “Most significant terror plots in Great Britain since 9/11 have had a Pakistan-based connection.” (4)
The result of this cynical policy of allying with the radicalised elements of the Islamic world is that British born and raised jehadis of Pakistani origin have hit the headlines globally on numerous occasions. The latest is Usman Khan, the knife-wielding terrorist who stabbed to death a young British man and woman near London Bridge. Khan was a convicted Islamist terrorist, recently released from prison after serving just half of his 16-year sentence for an earlier plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange and pubs in Stoke, the town where he was born.
Before his arrest in 2010, Khan was a member of a cell inspired by the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation. The group was trying to assemble materials and knowledge to make pipe bombs and other explosive devices, according to accounts of his earlier conviction. The men were also fundraising to construct a religious school in Pakistan that would have been used instead to train terrorists. (5)
History of backing jehadis
When it comes to providing a safe haven for hardened terrorists, Britain never fails to rise to the occasion. “The British Empire had an overprotective attitude toward Islam,” writes Nu’man Abd Al-Wahid of the Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar.
Considering that Britain was one of the prime culprits in the destabilisation of Iran in the 1950s and is behind the devastation of Iraq, Libya and Syria in more recent times, one would be tempted to take the view the British are anti-Muslim. But in fact they are only opposed to nationalist Muslims and the moderate middle classes.
Al-Wahid explains: “When the Empire began to consolidate its lordship over the Arab world after World War I, it partnered with Saudi Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood. The trends these movements represented were not so much ‘invented’ by the British but favoured and promoted.
“Before the British allowed the Wahhabis to establish themselves in Riyadh in 1901, they were an isolated, exiled cult in the Basra region known as ‘Kuwait’. With further support from the Empire, the Wahhabis expanded into the western part of the Arabian peninsula in 1924 and 1925.”
The British advocated the Muslim Brotherhood brand of Islam rather than the traditional moderate Islam as practised by the oldest university in the Islamic world, Al-Azhar.
“The British Empire…heroically and selflessly defended Islam, even if al-Azhar, the traditional bastion of Islamic learning in the world, didn’t comprehend this urgency. By the time these two major trends of Islamism strategically coalesced in the 1950s to meet the challenge of third world independence and socialism, the Americans had embraced the British Empire’s imperialist strategy.”
“This embrace meant bringing British puppets, such as the al-Saud clan of Saudi Arabia and the Thani clan of Qatar, under its protective umbrella. This American appropriation of the puppets had initially gained doctrinal credibility through the Eisenhower doctrine and extended all the way until the 1980s to support the Islamist mercenaries, or Mujahideen, against the Soviets in the 1980s.”
Britain’s infatuation with extremism was evident during its colonial presence in India. In a speech before the British Parliament in 1843, Thomas Macaulay offered a suggestion on how Britain should deal with India’s Hindu majority versus its Muslim minority. Britain, he said, should “take no part in the disputes between Mahometans and idolaters. But, if our Government does take a part, there cannot be a doubt that Mahometanism is entitled to the preference”. (6)
How Muslims are transforming Britain
Muslim mass immigration is changing Britain in ways unimaginable a generation ago. For instance, London is creating a parallel Islamic financial system to fill the growing demand for Sharia-compliant banking products demanded by Muslim immigrants. Britain has emerged as ground zero for Islamic banking in Europe; and London is now the main centre for Islamic finance outside the Muslim world.
Sharia law is transforming daily life too. In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets) extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets’ Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighbourhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring “You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced”. And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalised or blacked out with spray paint. (7)
The Islamic Emirates Project, launched by the Muslims Against the Crusades group, names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.
Says an announcement posted on the Muslims Against the Crusades website: “In the last 50 years, the United Kingdom has transformed beyond recognition. What was once a predominantly Christian country has now been overwhelmed by a rising Muslim population, which seeks to preserve its Islamic identity, and protect itself from the satanic values of the tyrannical British government.”
The website continues: “With several Islamic emirates already well established across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including Iraq and Afghanistan, we see this as a radical, but very realistic step in the heart of Western Europe, that will inshaa’allah (God willing), pave the way for the worldwide domination of Islam.”
The biggest threat is that through demographic jehad (aka relentless breeding) Muslims may subvert freedoms that British citizens have prided for centuries. Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, claims the arrival of some Muslim groups in particular who are actively “resistant to the traditional process of integration” threatens to shake the foundations of “liberal democracy” itself. (8)
In a 100-page paper, published by the think-tank Civitas set to provoke uproar, Phillips argues that a new brand of “superdiversity” is bringing challenges to the Western way of life, far removed from those of immigration of the past.
“Squeamishness about addressing diversity and its discontents risks allowing our country to sleepwalk to a catastrophe that will set community against community, endorse sexist aggression, suppress freedom of expression, reverse hard-won civil liberties, and undermine the liberal democracy that has served this country so well for so long,” he insists.
If British liberals hope the jehadi snakes they are rearing in their backyard would only bite countries Britain is civilisationally opposed to – such as Russia, India, China and Serbia – then it is mistaken. Kim Sengupta writes in The Independent: (9)
“For years, violent Islamist groups were allowed to settle in Britain, using the country as a base to carry out attacks abroad. This was tolerated in the belief that they would not bomb the country where they lived and that, as long as they are here, the security service would be able to infiltrate them. At the same time mosque after mosque was taken over through intimidation by the fundamentalists. Police and others in authority refused pleas from moderate Muslims with the excuse that they did not want to interfere.
“There was even a name for this amoral accommodation: the ‘covenant of security’. We now know that jihadists will indeed blow up their home country and that the security agencies signally failed to infiltrate the terrorist cells while they had the chance.”
The way out of the mess
Britain’s dalliance with terrorists and jehadis will not end well. A poll in April 2016 found that two-thirds of British Muslims would not tell the government if a friend or family member became involved with extremists. Half of them said homosexuality should be illegal and over 20 per cent supported establishing Sharia in the UK. (10)
The culmination of Britain’s nexus with radical Islam is that London has become the first major European city to elect a Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan. Says British politician Paul Weston: “A Muslim man with way too many extremist links to be entirely coincidental is now the Mayor of London. I suppose this is hardly a shock, though. The native English are a demographic minority (and a rapidly dwindling one) in London, whilst Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh are a rapidly expanding demographic.” (11)
Indians who were outraged by Khan looking the other way while fanatic Pakistani mobs trashed the Indian embassy in London should have seen that coming. (12) In 2008, Khan gave a speech at the Global Peace and Unity Conference, an event organised by the Islam Channel, which has been censured repeatedly by British media regulators for extremism. Members of the audience were filmed flying the black flag of jehad while Khan was speaking.
That Khan won despite Pakistanis making up only 12 per cent of London’s population shows there are way too many Britons who are unable to see that Khan’s ascendancy portends grave tidings for Britain’s non-Muslim population. Muslim leaders in Britain have declared that while they welcome the gains of electoral politics as long as they are a small minority, they will shut down parliament and introduce Islamic law when they become a majority.
Meanwhile, there is no end to political correctness when it comes to dealing with Islamic terror. One of the two people stabbed to death by Usman Khan was 25 year old Jack Merritt. When Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson attempted to pin the blame for his death on the Labour Party’s policies which ensured Khan’s early release from prison, Merritt’s father tweeted: “Don’t use my son’s death….to promote your vile propaganda. Jack stood against everything you stand for – hatred, division, ignorance.” (13)
Merritt’s father later retweeted a tweet by self-styled journalist Ash Sarkar (a frothing at the mouth leftist demagogue and British urban naxal) who railed against “draconian sentencing”, implying that Usman Khan had nothing to do with Merritt’s death. (14)
Any way you spin it, Britain seems destined to enter Islam’s digestive tract.
- The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/dec/30/uk-mujahideen-afghanistan-soviet-invasion
- Wikipedia, Cat Stevens, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens#Lawsuit_over_News_UK_newspaper_reports_that_he_had_supported_terrorism
- The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/dec/14/mumbai-terror-attacks-india
- Belfer Center, Terrorist Safehavens and the Intelligence Community, https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/files/publication/terrorist-safe-havens.pdf
- The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/london-bridge-attacker-had-previous-terrorism-conviction-police-say/2019/11/30/c365555e-12ed-11ea-924c-b34d09bbc948_story.html
- Columbia University, The Gates of Somnath, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00generallinks/macaulay/txt_commons_somnauth_1843.html
- Gatestone Institute, Britain’s “Islamic Emirates Project”, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2278/britain-islamic-emirates-project
- The Independent, Kim Sengupta, https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/secret-affairs-by-mark-curtis-2038691.html
- Express, “Astonishing” two in three British Muslims would not give police terror tip-offs, https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/659913/two-in-three-British-Muslims-would-NOT-give-police-terror-tip-offs
- Gatestone Institute, Meet the First Muslim Mayor of London, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8011/sadiq-khan
- India Today, https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/anand-mahindra-uk-journalist-pakistan-supporters-london-1613410-2019-10-28
- Wales Online, https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/london-bridge-victims-father-tells-17347369
- Twitter, https://twitter.com/AyoCaesar/status/1201402895171756032
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Rakesh is a globally cited defence analyst. His work has been published by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi; US Air Force Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies, Alabama; Russia Beyond, Moscow; Hindustan Times, New Delhi; Business Today, New Delhi; Financial Express, New Delhi; BusinessWorld Magazine, New Delhi; Swarajya Magazine, Bangalore; Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies, Warsaw; Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, among others.
As well as having contributed for a research paper for the US Air Force, he has been cited by leading organisations, including the US Army War College, Pennsylvania; US Naval PG School, California; Johns Hopkins SAIS, Washington DC; Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC; Rutgers University, New Jersey; Institute of International and Strategic Relations, Paris; Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consultancy, Berlin; Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk; Institute for Defense Analyses, Virginia; International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Washington DC; Stimson Centre, Washington DC; Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia; Center for Strategic & International Studies, Washington DC; and BBC.
His articles have been quoted extensively by national and international defence journals and in books on diplomacy, counter-terrorism, warfare, and development of the global south.