Friday, October 28, 2005

How To Wake Up
Britain Will Close Extremist Mosques

Britain continues to alternate between a deep sleep and jolting bouts of wakefulness. Today, things look a little better. The government says it will target extremist mosques for closure:

Religious leaders have expressed alarm at the Government’s new controversial proposals to give the police powers to close places of worship, which fail to comply with an order to prevent them from being used to foment extremism.

Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, has been accused of failing to listen to the advice of Muslim task forces set up in the wake of the July bombings in London in a whole raft of anti-terrorism legislation. Imam Ibrahim Mogra, Deputy Convenor of the working group on Imams and Mosques said that he was surprised by Clarke proceeding to issue a consultation paper on ‘Preventing Extremism Together – Places of Worship’ on October 5 after he rejected suggestions that mosques would be targeted when welcoming the task forces’ recommendations last month.

“Charles Clarke told us on September 22 that the Government was not intending to close down any mosques but that he wanted cooperation and assistance from the Muslim community,” Mogra told The Muslim News. “I told the Home Secretary that mosques are doing good work and we need to celebrate good practice,”he said.

The Leicester-based Imam, who chairs the Muslim Council of Britain’s Mosques and Community Affairs Committee, warned that the Government’s focus was misdirected. “Radicalisation and extremism does not take place in mosques. It takes place elsewhere. So the shift has to be to other areas where young people are vulnerable,” he said.

It seems like maybe that game isn't going to work anymore.