"Islamic fundamentalists have used Dundee University as a recruiting ground for terrorists, a new study will warn this week. Shamsul Bahri Hussein, a suspect in the Bali bombing, was recruited at the institution, which is one of 30 universities that have been targeted by terror groups, it is claimed. Professor Anthony Glees, author of the study, is convinced that Hussein was recruited by militants while studying applied mechanics at Dundee in the 1980s. He is one of eight suspects wanted in connection with the 2002 bombing, which claimed 200 lives.
"'What is clear is that Shamsul Bahri Hussein was a student at Dundee University', said Glees, whose study, When Students Turn to Terror, coincides with a planned crackdown on radical student organisations by the government."
Yes, and that is about the only thing that is clear. Glees's report states that Hussein "read applied mechanics at Dundee" ... and that's all! The report contains not a shred of evidence that even a single student was recruited to a terrorist group at Dundee University.
Supporters of an Egyptian refugee who has been in prison in Canada for more than five years under the suspicion of terrorist links are accusing Canadian authorities of putting the man's life at risk. They say Mohammad Mahjoub will die in jail unless there is immediate intervention by the federal and provincial governments. "I am here today holding the government of Canada responsible... if anything happens to my husband," his wife Mona Elfouli said Monday, choking back tears.
Andrew C. McCarthy gives his enthusiastic backing to Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts governor who called for the wiretapping of US moques.
But McCarthy's plan – which would involve snooping on "not all mosques, but many of them" – is a bit liberal for Robert Spencer's tastes: "The only problem here is that we cannot know which mosques need monitoring without monitoring them." According to Spencer, 80% of mosques in the US are under "extremist" influence. Clearly, the only solution is to wiretap the lot.
We must honour all victims of genocide equally, says Iqbal Sacranie.
Cf. Cathy Young's claim that the MCB's position on Holocaust Memorial Day proves that: "The infection of anti-Jewish bigotry is alarmingly widespread in the Muslim community today, not only in predominantly Muslim and Arab countries ... but in Western democracies as well."
Human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith has spent more than 20 years tirelessly working to get more than 300 prisoners off Death Row. But, with around 200 inmates – ten of them British – on hunger strike at the US Guantánamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, he tells John Higginson we are weeks away from a huge catastrophe.
Church of England bishops have suggested Christian leaders apologise to Muslim leaders for the war in Iraq. A report from a working group of bishops says the war was one of a "long litany of errors" relating to Iraq. As the government is unlikely to offer an apology, a meeting of religious leaders would provide a "public act of institutional repentance", it said. It urges a "truth and reconciliation" meeting, but acknowledges that arranging it could be difficult.
The report, entitled Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post 9/11, was written by a working group of the Church of England's House of Bishops. It suggests the meeting would be an opportunity to apologise for the way the West has contributed to the situation in Iraq, including the war.
David Ignatius on the struggle within Islam. A bit confused over the character of Salafism – which he equates with the jihadist groups – but perceptive about some of the forces in the Muslim world that are actually combating terrorism. He gives the example of
"an Islamic conference in Amman in July that concluded with a communique on 'True Islam and Its Role in Modern Society'. It reemphasized the traditional faith – the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence, the orthodox school of Shiite jurisprudence, the canon set forth over centuries of fatwas and other orthodox interpretations of what Islam means. Rather than running scared, as mainstream clerics sometimes do when facing the Salafist onslaught, the Amman declaration was proud and emphatic. It drew together fatwas from the leading clerics in Islam, including the sheik of Al-Azhar in Cairo and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf. Another backer was Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, who has a weekly show on al-Jazeera and is probably the best-known television preacher in the Arab world."
"Muslim extremists should not be allowed to use the force of religious authority to propel their followers into committing acts of violence. Helping organise terrorist cells should also be illegal, even if the person involved doesn’t actually detonate the bomb or procure the explosive. I don’t have any problem with that. But the idea that people can be prosecuted for simply expressing views about terrorism takes us into very disturbing territory. Like the proposed legislation on religious hatred, it constitutes a threat to freedom of speech.
Take George Galloway, who was in his usual robust form last week in New York debating Iraq with the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Two months ago, Galloway gave an interview to Al Jazeera in which he praised Iraqi militants in the most glowing terms. 'These poor Iraqis,” said the former Labour MP, “ragged people with their sandals, with their Kalashnikovs, with the lightest and most basic of weapons ... are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars. With 145 military operations every day, they have made the country ungovernable by the people who occupy it.'
"Now, any way you look at that it is exalting and celebrating terrorism. Should George Galloway be imprisoned for seven years for making these remarks? Of course not, the very idea is an offence against freedom."
Ian Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald, 18 September 2005
Not sure the folks at Harry's Place would agree with that last point.
"The London bombings pose stark dilemmas for those on the left and British Muslims in particular. The vast majority of us believe in allowing people to express their differences and practice their culture and religion, without being pushed into one set of homogenous thoughts. Should those freedoms be surrendered by supporting some of the measures being proposed by Tony Blair? Is it really credible to suppose that we should forget the international policy issues bound up in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Kashmir?
"The media (left and right) seem to think that what happened on July 7th is all to do with Islam and that Muslims want to impose their way of life in the west, destroy our liberal democracies and want to oppress women, and they think that the Hijab is a sign of that. That is just plain wrong. The lessons of history highlight the perils of targeting a religious group through propaganda."
Yasmin Qureshi in Chartist, September/October 2005