Saturday, July 09, 2005

"To Kill And Be Killed"



Four young British Muslims in their twenties - a social worker, an IT specialist, a security guard and a financial adviser - occupy a table at a fast-food chicken restaurant in Luton. Perched on their plastic chairs, wolfing down their dinner, they seem just ordinary young men. Yet out of their mouths pour heated words of revolution.
"As far as I'm concerned, when they bomb London, the bigger the better," says Abdul Haq, the social worker. "I know it's going to happen because Sheikh bin Laden said so. Like Bali, like Turkey, like Madrid - I pray for it, I look forward to the day."

"Pass the brown sauce, brother," says Abu Malaahim, the IT specialist, devouring his chicken and chips.


Thus begins the story brought to us last April, 2004, by the This Is London page of the Evening Standard, and thus begins the nightmare which Western Civilization is so violently repressing. Push it down all we want, try to drown it in entertainment, drink, or government regulation, this nightmare keeps coming back up on us, with deadly consequences.

Because it is real. It is not fiction:



"I agree with you, brother," says Abu Yusuf, the earnest-looking financial adviser sitting opposite. "I would like to see the Mujahideen coming into London and killing thousands, whether with nuclear weapons or germ warfare. And if they need a safehouse, they can stay in mine ."

His friend, Abu Musa, the security guard, smiles radiantly. "It will be a day of joy for me," he adds, speaking with a slight lisp.

As they talk, a man with a bushy beard, dressed in a jacket emblazoned with the word "Jihad", stands and watches over them, handing around cups of steaming hot coffee. His real name is Ishtiaq Alamgir, but he goes by his adopted name, Sayful Islam, meaning "Sword of Islam". He is the 24-year-old leader of the Luton branch of al-Muhajiroun, an extremist Muslim group with about 800 members countrywide, who regard Osama bin Laden as their hero.

Until recently, nobody took the fanatical beliefs of al-Muhajiroun too seriously, believing that a British-based group so brazenly "out there" could not be involved in something as "underground" as terrorism. The group is led by the exiled Saudi, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, from his base in north London. Yesterday, in a magazine article, Bakri warned that several radical groups are poised to strike in London.

For all its inflammatory rhetoric, al-Muhajiroun has never been linked to actual violence. Yet, with the discovery last month of half-a-tonne of ammonium nitrate fertiliser - the same explosive ingredient used in the Bali and Turkey terror attacks - and with the arrest of eight young British Muslims in London and the South-East, including six in Luton, extremist groups such as al-Muhajiroun are under the spotlight like never before.


These young men are not disaffected youth. They are immigrant bougeoisie:



Detectives fear that the "enemy within", the homegrown extremists leading apparently normal lives in suburbia, now pose the greatest threat to security in Britain. Sayful and his friends fit this "homegrown" profile: three were born here, two came as young children from Pakistan; all were educated in local Luton schools; and they grew up in families of full employment - one of their fathers is a retired local businessman, two are engineers, and two worked in the local Vauxhall car plant.
Sayful Islam, for one, is particularly proud of his contribution to Luton's hardline reputation. His exploits include covering the town with " Magnificent 19" posters glorifying the 11 September suicide bombers. "When I joined al-Muhajiroun four years ago, there were five local members," he says. "Now there are more than 50 and hundreds more support us."

The strange thing is that four years ago, Sayful Islam was a jeans-clad student completing his degree in business economics at Middlesex University in Hendon, north London. The son of a British Rail engineer who came to this country from Pakistan, Sayful grew up in a moderate, middle-class Muslim family in Luton.
At the local Denbigh High School, he is remembered as one of the smartest kids, and was selected to attend a science masterclass at Cambridge University. He would go on to marry, have two children and find work as an accountant for the Inland Revenue in Luton. He was thoroughly uninterested in politics.

THEN he met Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad at a local event. Within two years, he had swapped his decently paid job as an accountant for an unpaid one as a political agitator. What turned him into an extremist? And how far is he prepared to go to achieve his aims?

He no longer works, even though he is able-bodied, he admits, preferring instead to claim housing benefit and jobseeker's allowance. He smiles sheepishly and says the irony is not lost on him that the British state is supporting him financially, even as he plots to "overthrow it".

"I made a decision that I wanted to follow what Islam really said," Sayful begins, sitting on his sofa in his thowb (a traditional robe) and bare feet.

... it was the events of 11 September that crystallised Sayful's worldview. "When I watched those planes go into the Twin Towers, I felt elated," he says. "That magnificent action split the world into two camps: you were either with Islam and al Qaeda, or with the enemy."


Clearly, the enemy understands the rules of war, and yet we in Western society recoil at it's brutality. The fact is, they laugh, while we pay for them to plot to kill us. They know it's us or them. We don't believe it, because we have no desire to kill them. Even in our wars, our strategy is meticulously designed with the goal of killing as few people as possible. The war in Iraq is designed with the aftermath in mind; to leave the Iraqi people a functioning infrastructure and government to build on.

Their goal is the opposite:



According to Sayful, the aim of al-Muhajiroun ("the immigrants") is nothing less than Khilafah - "the worldwide domination of Islam". The way to achieve this, he says, is by Jihad, led by Bin Laden. "I support him 100 per cent."

Does that support extend to violent acts of terrorism in the UK?

"Yes," he replies, unequivocally. "When a bomb attack happens here, I won't be against it, even if it kills my own children. Islam is clear: Muslims living in lands that are occupied have the right to attack their invaders.

Two members of the group - Abu Yusuf, the financial adviser, and Abu Musa, the security guard - scorn al-Muhajiroun as "too moderate".

"I am freelance," says Abu Yusuf, fixing me with his piercing brown eyes. What does that mean? I ask.

"The difference between us and those two," interjects Abu Malaahim, pointing to Musa and Yusuf, "is that us lot do a verbal thing, [but] those brothers actually want to do a physical thing."

"You want to know how far I will go," says Abu Musa, his high-pitched lisp rising an octave. "When Allah said in the Koran 'kill and be killed', that's what I want. I want a martyr operation, where I kill my enemy."

Are you saying, I probe, that you are looking to kill people yourself ? "Yes," Abu Musa says, "to kill and to be killed." He emphasises each word.



When we in Western society choose to go to war with an enemy, we go to war with ourselves as well. We split into factions, arguing through the process of making sure we do not become the monsters we hate.

That is a good thing, but when the dialectical argument becomes destructive rather than constructive, when Western society starts calling itself Nazi and Fascist, when we begin chewing ourselves up and vomiting our own better intentions into the streets like so much botulin-laden spew, then we must come to a point of decision:

Do we want to live or not? Will we accept the decisions of our leaders, based upon the track record of fairness they have recorded in our names?

The human rights violations of 20th Century America pale in comparison to those of countries we fought against. And so it is now. On the one side we have an enemy who keeps half it's population in slavery (women, the forgotten and most important rationale for this war), stones gays and adulterers, calls for death to the infidel and Jew, and proclaims it's hate for Democracy, while on the other side we are Western Civilization.

It ought to be easy for us to choose which side we wish to have live on into the future. One side created Europe and America, and the other side has created almost nothing.

If, when we are attacked, we find ourselves unable to make a clear choice, if we decide to try to opt for some middle way of compromise and charity, then we need to understand that we are in a war with an enemy who has no wish or intention to compromise. We need to heed this warning:



Sayful, the only married one in the group, prepares to go home to his wife and children. Before he departs, he says he has a message to deliver.

"Islam is not like Christianity, where they turn the other cheek."

Islamofascism has got to go.