Saturday, July 16, 2005

It's The Caliphate, Stupid

I love the way Charles at Little Green Footballs put this, so I'm just going to give you his whole post:

After several inevitable paragraphs about “Muslim anger” over Iraq, the New York Times comes clean about Islam’s goal for the United Kingdom: Anger Burns on the Fringe of Britain’s Muslims.

A recent poll commissioned by The Guardian found that 84 percent of Muslims surveyed were against the use of violence for political means, but only 33 percent of Muslims said they wanted more integration into mainstream British culture. Almost half of those surveyed said their Muslim leadership did not represent their views.

The grievances of the boys of Cross Flats Parks have not propelled them toward political action. But Dr. Waheed, a practicing psychiatrist, and Mr. Khan, a documentary filmmaker, are acting on their alienation.

Both men, eloquent, better educated and better off than most in their community, are also among the more politically motivated. They have embraced one of the more conservative, if not militant, Islamic movements in Britain today - Hizb ut-Tahrir, or Party of Liberation.

The party’s stated goal is to rebuild the Caliphate - the Muslim state dissolved with the fall of the Ottoman Empire - to displace corrupt dictators in the Muslim world, and to instill Islamic mores and Islamicize almost every aspect of daily life.

The group has drawn about 10,000 members to its recent annual meetings, its members say, and includes chapters abroad in places like Uzbekistan. It is a controversial movement, even among British Muslims, and its members have become emblematic of the shift of Muslims born in Britain to more conservative and outspoken expressions of their faith.

In interviews earlier this week in Birmingham, where they were born and bred, Dr. Waheed and Mr. Khan described the group’s struggle as one for the very identity of Muslims in Britain.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, this is the stated goal of Bin Laden and his followers. And, as I mentioned a couple days ago, Bin Laden enjoys enormous support in the Islamic world.

While his support may not be as strong among Muslims in the Western world, I believe we can assume it is still significant. Especially considering the statistic that only 34% of British Muslims said they desire to integrate more into their host society.