* From the ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ department
* Thanks to Gramfan
HARDLINE Muslim spiritual leaders who preach the fundamentalist Salafi brand of Islam espoused by Osama bin Laden have become the latest recruits in combating global terrorism.
Australian security agencies have been urged by former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism expert Robert Lambert to enlist key Salafi leaders – who are widely perceived to be part of the radicalisation problem – to help prevent young Muslims from embracing al-Qa’ida’s ideology.
Mr Lambert, co-founder of Scotland Yard’s Muslim Contact Unit, said Salafi spiritual leaders, who follow a puritanical interpretation of the Koran and are often accused of being proponents of terrorism, had a vested interest in discrediting al-Qa’ida because the network had hijacked and distorted their true beliefs.
* Oh well, then perhaps Feiz Mohammed might be just the man for the job…?
“As far as they’re concerned, al-Qa’ida distorts the Salafi view of the world,” Mr Lambert told The Australian during an interview in London. Australian Salafi leaders yesterday backed the idea of imams working with the authorities to prevent young Muslims from becoming radicalised, but they admitted it would be difficult for them to trust the counter-terrorism agencies.
Prominent Salafi cleric Toufic Mallah said counter-terrorism agencies should have been working closely with fundamentalist leaders to combat radicalisation from the beginning. He accused the authorities of discriminating against and singling out Salafis as extremists.
“These people (in authority) who are genuine I wouldn’t mind working with,” the Sydney-based imam told The Australian.
* Bin Laden out, Jihad in:
“But for those who want to use me to achieve what they want to achieve, then no, I don’t want to work with them. But the thing is how do you pick out the genuine from the non-genuine?”
Mr Lambert said some counter-terrorism agencies had failed to recognise the extent to which credible Salafi figures could re-educate the young Muslims recruited by al-Qa’ida to abandon their support for terrorism and embrace “non-violent politics”.
*Â Â ‘We will outbreed you with the bellies of our women’- much better than terror! As long as jihad is ‘non-violent’ its all good, no?
“They have credibility, and if a young Muslim has bought into al-Qa’ida’s world view, they can help,” Mr Lambert said.
“In London, a handful of Salafi and Islamist groups have been at the forefront of groundbreaking community work that successfully counters the adverse influence of al-Qa’ida propaganda among susceptible youth.”
The Howard government refused to involve Salafi clerics – such as the director of the fundamentalist Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah organisation, Mohammed Omran – when it set up the Muslim Community Reference Group following the 2005 London bombings.
Sheik Omran, who has praised Osama bin Laden as a “good man”, has expressed his willingness to work with the security agencies, and rejected accusations that he or his organisation were proponents of terrorism.
Sheik Toufic, who admitted he was under constant surveillance by counter-terrorism agencies, said he opposed terrorism on the grounds of religious belief, and taught his students to follow the path of the prophet without resorting to violence.
* With security services like that, who needs enemies?
* Don’t you get a haunting suspicion that ‘former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism expert’ Robert Lambert is a well paid ‘consultant’ for the Sowdi’s?