UK: Siddiqui tells Muslim conference 'confront extremism'

Awaaz News
Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament, told a Muslim conference in Birmingham, attended by over 3000 people, that they must confront extremism within their ranks if they wished to live in peace in Britain.
He told the audience that both the Muslim community and our secret services must end ‘denial’ of their role in creating conditions leading upto bombings in London on 7 July.
He said first generation of explosives experts among the jehadists were trained by the CIA and our secret services in Afghanistan in the wake of the Soviet invasion in 1979. These jehadists are now acting as masterminds for the current generation of suicide bombers.

The conference organised by Jamaat-ahle-Sunnat, a Sunni Muslim group, also issued a fatwa declaring suicide bombing a crime and an un-Islamic act.

Following is the text of his speech:

Muslims need to reclaim Islam from the extremists. Islam is about social justice, tolerance and equality. It seeks to establish a just, enlightened and egalitarian society in which all human beings are equal to God and under the law. It was this Islam that created one of the most dynamic societies in history, the achievements of which gave rise to what is known in Europe as the Renaissance. Intolerant Islam, which shows no respect for any of these qualities and is a negation of Islam’s own civilisational record, is a phenomenon peculiar to our times and arose as a consequence of the convergence between salafist/wahabist teachings and the nefarious aims of the British and the American secret services in the wake of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

For far too long Muslims have tolerated presence of this movement within their ranks. Now four British-born young men have been found to be involved in the London bombings. The time has come to go beyond the ‘denial’. We must challenge this evil theology, which motivates and inspires young people to become suicide bombers.

We must reject any ideology which does not respect human life, honour and dignity. We must condemn suicide bombing as a weapon of resistance or revenge under any circumstances.

Two things must happen simultaneously:
  • Our security services must come clean. They must acknowledge that they were involved in the training of earlier generations of ‘holy worriers’. These ‘holy warriors’ were trained in sabotage techniques and how to make explosives from house hold items. The old hats are now the trainers, planners and masterminds of the current generation of suicide bombers. Without such acknowledgement and information of training by our security services the total picture of the problem will always remain obscure.

  • We must identify all those Islamic groups who supported and participated in the ‘Afghan Jihad’ and trace their links in Britain. Their identification and linkage is important to know who the promoters of ‘jihadist’ ideology are in Britain. Many of these groups will be found to be in control of many mosques and Islamic centres. These groups hold conferences in Britain and invite clerics who have supported jihadist activities in Afghanistan and beyond.
Most mosques are not equipped to deal with young people (many mosque still do not allow women to use mosque facilities). They do not have the staff equipped with Islamic knowledge, experience and professionalism. Young people have drifted away either because they were banned to discuss controversial issues in the mosque or found nothing inspiring on offer there. Our mosques are largely tribal and controlled by old men on-the-dole with no understanding of the changing world around them. Expansion of mosque activities could have provided the opportunity to many young men and women to become involved in youth projects. The unwelcoming and suffocating atmosphere within mosques did not allow this to happen. Many radical and active young people began drifting away organising themselves outside the influence of the mosque structure. Some regrettably came under the influence of those promoting ‘wahabist/jihadist ideology’.

Muslim youth have nowhere to go to learn, discuss or get professional advice on issues relating to growing up.

To meet some of these challenges we need to take some immediate measures:
  • All mosque committees should be reorganised bringing in young people in their management committees as a matter of urgency. 40% of committee composition should go to under 30 years within one year. This should include women.
  • Muslim schools should take non-Muslim pupils, to create a semblance of a multi-cultural and multi-faith mix that exists in the society.
  • Muslim charities should change their funding priorities. Henceforth 60% of charitable funds should be allocated to causes in Britain like arts, theatre and supporting students taking up careers in journalism.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui – 020 8563 1995/ 07860 259 289