* A Christian minister who has had heated arguments with Muslims on his TV Gospel show has been brutally attacked by three men who ripped off his cross and warned: ‘If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.’
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Luton’s Muslim extremists defy public anger
The Muslim extremists in Luton who jeered British troops returning from Iraq are continuing to defy public anger despite the simmering tension it has caused in a racially-mixed town.
“British soldiers … murderers … rapists … not heroes …”
Too little action is being taken by the authorities against hostile Muslims, says Con Coughlin.
It’s not just soldiers who win wars. Governments also have a crucial role to play â€“ and to judge by the response of most Western governments to the threat we face from radical Islamism, we are simply not competing on equal terms with the enemy.
No one can claim that we in Britain don’t understand the nature of the threat we face. In recent months, there has been a succession of reports highlighting the increasingly pernicious influence British Islamists are having on the Nato-led campaign to bring stability to Afghanistan.
After senior officers confirmed last year that British Muslims were fighting with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, it was revealed that RAF Nimrod surveillance planes monitoring Taliban radio stations were surprised to hear insurgents speaking in strong Yorkshire or Midlands accents.
More recently, officers based at the main military base at Lashkar Gah revealed that they had found British-made components in roadside bombs used to attack coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, sent to Helmand by Muslim sympathisers in Britain. This week three British Muslims, part of a terrorist cell whose leader was convicted of plotting to kidnap and behead a British soldier on video, were jailed at the Old Bailey for supplying equipment to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The active involvement of radical British Muslims in the Afghan insurgency has led senior officers to claim that they are engaged in a “surreal mini-civil war” in Afghanistan. And yet, for all the compelling evidence that British-based Islamist radicals are actively participating in a jihad against Britain and its coalition allies, the Government, together with those who have opposed our involvement in the War on Terror from the start, seems determined to give the Islamist radicals the benefit of the doubt.
Even when incontrovertible proof is found that British Muslims are aiding and abetting the enemy in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the Government’s instinct is to try to cover up their involvement, for fear of further inflaming Islamist sensitivities.
Twice in the past year I have been admonished by our military establishment for revealing details about the support British sympathisers are providing to the Afghan insurgency, whether it involves actually fighting alongside the Taliban or providing them with the means to kill and maim British personnel. Officials did not question the reports’ veracity. On both occasions, I was told that it was simply not helpful to expose such details, as they might cause offence to the Muslim community, or encourage Islamist radicals to intimidate British soldiers returning from combat.
Well, to judge by the disgraceful reception given this week by Muslim demonstrators to members of 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, as they paraded through the centre of Luton, the Islamists are receiving all the encouragement they need, not least in the form of the virulently anti-Western sermons delivered over the internet by the Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was banished from Britain in 2005 following the July 7 attacks in London. He has made his approval of the protesters’ actions known, claiming “my brothers from Luton were protesting against people they see as killers of Muslims”.
Nor should we be surprised that the only action taken by Bedfordshire police has been to arrest those who were incensed by the Islamists’ taunts of “criminals” and “terrorists”, aimed at the returning soldiers. The authorities’ response in Luton is symptomatic of the perverse attitude that seems to have become Britain’s default position when confronted by difficult Islamist issues. When the former GuantÃ¡namo detainee Binyam Mohamed claimed that British intelligence officials were complicit in his torture, the main focus of the controversy was the alleged collusion of ministers, rather than precisely what Mr Mohamed was doing in Afghanistan.
He might, as he insists, be innocent of any wrongdoing. But the risks of taking the protestations of innocence of a former GuantÃ¡namo detainee at face value have been graphically demonstrated this week by the revelation that another inmate, Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, has re-emerged as one of the Taliban’s most effective commanders in southern Afghanistan.
During the six years he was held at GuantÃ¡namo, Rasoul, now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, managed to convince his American interrogators that he had never held a military command, even though it turns out he was a high-ranking commander close to Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s supreme leader. Rasoul was eventually released after claiming he wanted to return to his family and farm. British officials believe he is the mastermind behind the deadly surge in roadside bombings in Helmand since last spring.
The worldwide campaign against Islamist-inspired militancy is highly complex. But if the West to wants to prevent further terror attacks, we must first distinguish between those who are on our side, and those who are not.