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Inside the Mind of Britain's Young Muslims


Ghost of

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http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1525356,00.html

Inside the minds of Britain's young Muslims

Sunday July 10, 2005

The Observer

The long, thin room that overhangs the main hall at the East London mosque is usually used for women's prayers. On Friday, the gallery was transformed into a press centre, and the mosque - minutes from Aldgate tube station - was plunged into the glare of the world's media.

Television cameras were lined against windows overlooking the hall. Scores of journalists were crammed along the wall; some had climbed on chairs to get a better view. Others gathered around the speakers holding up microphones.

Two young women arrived late and accidentally walked into the media scrum before hurrying next door to a makeshift prayer room. As they headed off, one dropped her head and muttered to her friend: 'Why are there so many cameras here?' 'They are blaming Muslims for yesterday,' replied 20-year-old Saira Bin Bashir.(no __ Sherlock, why would that be, couldn't possibly be the worldwide jihad from Thailand to Sudan to the US could it?-Ghost)

Again Britain's Muslim community is under scrutiny. The attacks last Thursday, quickly associated with 'Islamic terrorists', raised all the old questions.

Could the perpetrators be British Muslims, living among us? Could they be preaching their hatred on the roads of London, Birmingham and Manchester? Could they be targeting young men, angry about atrocities in Muslim countries across the world?

Or are we doing British Muslims a disservice by associating these people with Islam at all? Perhaps they should instead be described as extremists or criminals.

There are no simple answers to these questions. There is undoubtedly anger among Muslim youths. It is hard to find a young Muslim man on the streets of Tipton or Whitechapel who will not express anger at foreign policy in the Middle East or talk about the assault on Islam across the world. Many tell a story of someone who has suffered police brutality or convey bitterness about what they see as an attack on their civil liberties since 9/11.(Always the victim, I never actually hear much from these stories about anger towards potential Muslim killers but just whining about civil liberties and 'woe is us'

But being young and angry does not equate to being violent and criminal. So often we hear the media and politicians stress that the 'vast majority' of Muslims are law-abiding citizens. It seems patronising to have to say this at all or, moreover, to lump all Muslims together as a homogeneous group.

There are 1.6 million Muslims in the UK, each with a different personality, different interests and different opinions. Some are devout, praying regularly and dressing appropriately. Others are less strict. It is ludicrous to describe the way 'they' think or feel when we are talking about a diverse group of people.

However, one thing they do now share is a fear that ignorance will cause people to indeed lump them together and attack them.

The news of last Thursday's multiple attacks triggered emergency action across the city. Most effort was concerned with saving lives. There was another crisis strategy in operation, however. Politicians and faith leaders joined together to discuss how to protect British Muslims from a backlash.(How about people joining together to protect Brits and other innocents from murder from those that use the cover of ethnic neighborhoods or diverse populations--TURN IN YOUR JIHADISTS)

Better than anyone else, they know the risks. There was a surge in physical and verbal abuse after 9/11 and the Madrid bombings. Last Thursday the fear set in again. Within a day the Muslim Council of Britain had received more than 30,000 emails with messages of hate, while workers at the East London mosque started getting death threats.(I might be mistaken but isn't the Muslim C of Britain the one that has asked for shar'ia to be applied to divorce and for separate privileges apart from british law?)

When Saira Bin Bashir heard about the attack her first emotion was a sense of dread. She texted a white girlfriend with her concerns and received the reply: 'People who are not narrow-minded know that the majority of Muslims are against all violence.'(Yeah, the majority could be 51 percent or even 80 of 1.2 billion. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And it's so well displayed in Algeria and Sudan--Ghost)

'I just thought, she does not get it,' said Ms Bin Bashir. 'She won't be looked at weirdly, she won't be called names.'(no, she might have shrapnel driven through her brain or she might be gang-raped or beatenif this were France, Holland, Netherlands or Australia-but name-calling--my stars!)

Leaning against the window, looking down the road, she added: 'If Asian lads down there started acting up in front of the journalists, they would be labelled "Muslim boys", but I know they are not even practising. If white boys did it, they would just be labelled boys.'

Nearby, six Muslim teenagers had gathered around a ramp in the middle of the Chicksand housing estate, just off Brick Lane. 'I can't believe they are already blaming al-Qaeda,' said Jakir, 16. 'They have no evidence,' he said to nods from his friends.(yeah, must be Jews, right Jakir? After all, it bears NO resemblance to Madrid at all, right jackass?)

'When the twin towers got bombed they started on Iraq,' said Goshah, also 16. 'Now they will start on another Muslim country. And they will kick us out of this country as well.' Goshah flung his arm towards a woman standing nearby. 'You're lucky because you are white,' he said.

'Yeah, white people will be more racist now. They call us Pakis already, but it is going to get worse,' said Jakir. He was becoming agitated. 'It is that Tony Blair,' he yelled. 'I bet he did it so people hate us more.'(So long as Muslims embrace this fantastical thinking, they WILL be hated. And their societies they flee will not change.)

His conspiracy theory is far from uncommon. On Edgware Road, there are similar whisperings among men, asking where is the proof that it is al-Qaeda. 'Don't point the finger too fast or the real culprit will get away,' said one.

A woman at the East London mosque said: 'I think it was other people wanting to make people dislike Muslims.' Ms Bin Bashir raised the same questions before smiling and saying: 'Maybe I am just being paranoid.' Everywhere there is similar sentiment: why would Muslims do something that would cause such pain to other Muslims?(Have these jackasses heard of Algeria or Iraq or Saudi Arabia?)

There is an increasing feeling of isolation among the boys on the Chicksand estate. The group spend hours every day hanging around the estate, chatting and riding their bikes. When they turn 17, some will get cars, and then they will spend time hanging around in them, added one local. She reported local fears that extremists had come to the area to exploit young and reckless attitudes. Young men on Whitechapel Road had been handing out leaflets full of extremist sentiments and had used loudspeakers to denounce the erosion of 'Muslim values' and attack homosexuality.

Jakir stepped forward from his group of friends and yelled: 'Big up Jihad, big up Jihad.' However, other members of the Muslim community said his attitude was born of anger at the treatment of Muslims elsewhere and would change as the boy matured. 'Young people see what is happening to Muslims - 7,000 civilians dead in Afghanistan and Iraq - and the only way they know how to express their feelings is to shout,' said Ahmed Versi, editor of Muslim News . He added that these were not boys who were likely to take up arms in the future.(Yeah, the first British killed in Afghanistan fought for the Taliban. But they aren't potential Jihadists--7,000 Muslims killed in Afgh and Iraq...do these peopl ever consider HUMAN BEINGS killed or HUMAN FREEDOM DESTROYED throughout Muslim lands? I swear, if Islam were a race, these people would be the biggest racists on the planet.)

Older teenagers in the area seemed to confirm Mr Versi's opinion. While they expressed resentment about Western foreign policy and an increasing feeling of 'them and us' there was no other talk of condoning violence.

Shahidul Islam, 19, was sitting on a wall with a friend watching Jakir and his friends. 'What they fail to understand is that these attacks kill everyone,' he said. 'There were lots of Muslims on the bus and tube.' Mohammad Miah, 26, tried to explain local feeling. 'I feel the same as many Muslims. We give our condolences to the families and individuals involved in what was a heinous act of terror on commuters just going to work.'(much better--question is--if there were a magic button that DIDNT kill Muslims in terror attacks, how would some of these people feel?)

But he added that people felt Blair should take note of what is driving these people. 'There are individuals that have a lot of resentment over what is happening in the Middle East. I believe the only way to stop the problems is to stop what the imperialists are doing over there.'(F YOU, freeing people from a dictator and a theocratic savage regime that destroyed not only human lives but one of the world's greatest artifacts is not imperialism and since your 'people' can't throw off the yoke, it wil be done for them)

All of the young men said they were concerned about a backlash. 'It won't be so bad in this area as it is mainly Muslims,' said Munin Rahman, 17. 'I am worried about people who live in places where there are only one or two Muslims - they will really suffer. It is a particular problem for women with headscarves.'(NOT wearing headscarves in certain districts in urban France is a problem too--tends to attract sexual assault, even if the victim is Muslim)

Fara Khan, 31, emerged from the mosque wearing a green headscarf. 'I am worried,' she said. 'I have been wearing a headscarf for two years and I used to get funny looks all the time. It got worse after Madrid and Bali, but it had got better. Now it will start all over again.'(yeah, F the people blown apart and never to be part of this world. Some people after thousands and thousands of deaths and worldwide conflicts with co-religionists MIGHT get a bad perception of Islam and discriminate against me or look at me weird. Shrapnel is nothing compared to funny looks.)

Her views are shared by many others. Newsagent Mohammad Pervez, 48, said his business was likely to be affected: 'There were customers who stopped coming after 9/11. I just hope in a civilised nation the backlash will not be too bad.'

But there was also hope. Many talked about how the multicultural city would pull together. In Whitechapel, high-level representatives from many faiths, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs gathered to present a united front. They spoke of their disgust and stressed the terrorists had failed in creating divisions between groups in the capital.(Sikhs, Jews and Christians all know the Sword of Islam and dhimmitude well---good luck with that united front thing--)

· Additional reporting by Tariq Bibi

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Why is it we only hear from "The muslim community" after something like this, and then only to play the "victim" and "fear" card?

Frankly, I've been waiting for almost four years for the muslim community to stand up as a whole and declare that terrorism is against their religion, but the silence has been deafening.

Silence is begining to equal cupabilty in my book.

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Originally posted by Sarge

Why is it we only hear from "The muslim community" after something like this, and then only to play the "victim" and "fear" card?

Frankly, I've been waiting for almost four years for the muslim community to stand up as a whole and declare that terrorism is against their religion, but the silence has been deafening.

Silence is begining to equal cupabilty in my book.

Short of actually killing other Muslims, I don't think it'll satisfy you guys.

There has been a loud voice against it, nobody is listening or wants to listen.

I don't really know what it'll take to prove that there is a 99 percent majority against it.

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Originally posted by luckydevil

Ghost,

Sometimes you scare me

That's good. I scare myself, but that's the way the world is sometimes.

So you disagree with what I'm saying? Am I not stating fact and puncturing the balloon of victimology and magical thinking that many that we're TRYING TO REACH suffer from?

What would you have me do when reading this article?

Give a big up to jihad? Perhaps say that murder and tyranny isn't as big a deal as 'funny looks?'

It's about JUSTICE, I don't care if I can see how kids don't know any better. IT's about RIGHT, not about trying to understand how far more than what we're told of a certain community have sympathies with the jihadists or at least are too blind to stand against them.

For instance, what turned people against AQ in Saudi and insurgents/AQ in Iraq?----Killing other Muslims. Not killing innocents--just killing Muslims. BEFORE that, they could be down with it or understand it--but killing fellow Muslims was beyond the pale(not quite including the Shi'a/Sunni split because that animosity has been there)

Please take a statement and dissect it and tell me I'm wrong and how.

What is scary about truth? Should I be making all kinds of PC comments right now? Would I even be EXPECTED to hem and haw and equivocate with my speech if the people involved were pale-skinned, blonde, blue-eyed Christians?

My guess is the answer is "no."

Here's something---if this were an article about Cowboy fans and they were saying the same self-pitying BS that obscured or ignored the truth and rationality, what would YOU be saying?

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Originally posted by SkinsHokieFan

Short of actually killing other Muslims, I don't think it'll satisfy you guys.

There has been a loud voice against it, nobody is listening or wants to listen.

I don't really know what it'll take to prove that there is a 99 percent majority against it.

Is it just not getting media attention or what, because I don't hear it?

Why don't you see imans on the news denouncing terrorism?

I see and hear plenty speaking about how islam is going to take over the world, but never one saying blowing up innocent people is wrong.

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Originally posted by SkinsHokieFan

Short of actually killing other Muslims, I don't think it'll satisfy you guys.

There has been a loud voice against it, nobody is listening or wants to listen.

I don't really know what it'll take to prove that there is a 99 percent majority against it.

Iz

I think there are more against it in the places that have SEEN it than the Westernized Muslims(in Europe, America is a different story.)

These guys are ____ies and they're whiners and they are fertile ground for the local jihadi recruiter with their constant whining about self and about being a victim.

That said, don't group me with Sarge. I know there's a difference. But even 80 or 90 percent still leaves a hell of a lot that we have to convince of our righteousness and/or not to___ with us(by us, I mean pretty much everyone else in the world.) Then there are the other ___ percent that seem to be more interested in talking about being victims or how the entire world oppresses Islam rather than cut the heads off of the jihadists or condemn and excommunicate them so strongly they have to gather in renegade and easily isolated mosques, etc.

One question--and I don't want to take it at face value, but has there been one fatwa AGAINST Osama from a respected cleric? I WANT TO BELIEVE there has been one. I will immediately check out any link...just wanted to know.

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Ghost,

Tone down the rhetoric and stop painting with such a broad brush. You of all people should know better.

Would I even be EXPECTED to hem and haw and equivocate with my speech if the people involved were pale-skinned, blonde, blue-eyed Christians?

What's your point? That there is a double standard? Sure, so what. That doesn't justify or excuse you from acting like an ass. You are too bright of an individual to stoop down to such nonsense.

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Originally posted by luckydevil

Ghost,

Tone down the rhetoric and stop painting with such a broad brush. You of all people should know better.

What's your point? That there is a double standard? Sure, so what. That doesn't justify or excuse you from acting like an ass. You are too bright of an individual to stoop down to such nonsense.

Maybe you've never had a good friend who loved Michael Jordan as much as you did justify shooting down an Israeli air liner to you in high school (not even Arab, by the way)

"broad brush" implies that I'm generalizing beyond the point of reason. I very much understand that I'm generalizing.

But for the purposes of THIS article, I'm responding to THESE jackasses.

As for double standards, if one exists, then perhaps the standard itself is invalid or maybe it points to the fact that if we did not hold to similar ones during other existential struggles between 'something resembling liberty' and 'outright totalitarian tyranny' that couching our words is NOT the right thing to do.

I've done that enough. Tonight, I'm venting against these morons and anyone who sounds like them. Perhaps if we did more than just sit and try to make friends we'd actually LISTEN to what some people say and start to gain an understanding of how our enemy operates and how to win more allies AND isolate those who represent evil. Sensitivity, for all its decades of existence in this particular struggle, seems to have only emboldened those that are grappling with the West for control of the world.

In fact, it is the reluctance to thoroughly critique and judge Islamic cultureS that has given the jihadists cover to infiltrate and spread their viral memes and recruit the frustrated and alienated to their evil cause. Did Theo van Gogh paint with a broad brush or did he merely expose a terrible problem in Europe's backyard?

Did Bill Cosby paint with a broad brush when "speaking on it" this past year?

As for my rhetoric, it is indeed harsh, but I believe worse was employed when basically decent men fought each other in th Civil War and the war for Independence. I WISH we were engaged in a war with men of that caliber now.

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Originally posted by luckydevil

Ghost,

Tone down the rhetoric and stop painting with such a broad brush. You of all people should know better.

What's your point? That there is a double standard? Sure, so what. That doesn't justify or excuse you from acting like an ass. You are too bright of an individual to stoop down to such nonsense.

Agreed. Sarge inaugurated my ignore list a long time ago, but I thought you were a smarter and better person than that Ghost.

Here's the deal regarding Islamic extremism in the M.E. In post colonial times there has been a cyclical wind of different "isms" that has swept the Arab world. Socialism, Communism, Pan-Arabism etc. all were tried and were found lacking in liberating them from the scourge of the state of Israel and Western domination. Eventually Islamic extremism will run its course as well and they'll move on to something else. Perhaps this time it will be to the one thing that has a chance of working-getting used to the idea of Israel's existance, liberating and educating their women and just plain old moving on with their lives.

Until then, it will be more of the same.

The Islamic extremists will always be there just like the Christian right still exists here. What has neutralized them is widespread education and economic development. The same holds true for the M.E.

In the meantime, please try to remember that our hands (the West) aren't entirely clean of other people's blood.

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This is just a wild guess, but saying things like "scourge of the state of Israel " aint gonna make people like or have any sympathy for muslims. That might not be your goal, you might just want to make everyone hate jews but the way your going about it is making you look like the same monsters that attacked us. Im sure you have many points to back up that claim, but any racist has many claims that justify their hate.

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I care little for whether you or the rest of the world feels sorry for us. That happens to be my opinion and that of most of the Musliim world. However it just so happens that unlike many of them I have accepted Israel's existance as a fact of life. Now it's time to move on. Period. That was the point of my post.

And no, I don't really have a problem with individual Jews. As with anyone I do my best to evaluate them as individuals.

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The Islamic extremists will always be there just like the Christian right still exists here. What has neutralized them is widespread education and economic development.

Yousef brings up a great point, and it is something Ghost almost ALWAYS glosses over in analysis. There are NUMEROUS times he brings up the "leftist" movements and equates them to evil, which they are. . . BUT. . . he ALWAYS ignores the fact that the fasco-islamist movement imbeded into terrorism is an entire right movement and is almost directly along the ideology of the religious right here in the US.

Lets face it, they both want a government led and controlled society where religion is practiced as law. They both want an intermingling of religion nad state, and they want state law to be overridden by religious law.

There are FAR FAR more similarities between the neo-conservative death cult and the Islamic terrorist then there are to the "leftist" he so often loves to complain about.

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Originally posted by chomerics

There are FAR FAR more similarities between the neo-conservative death cult and the Islamic terrorist then there are to the "leftist" he so often loves to complain about.

The last time I checked, it wasn't militant Christians or Jews who were kidnapping people then sawing off their heads or filling buses and subway systems with explosive devices.

Nick

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I can't believe you all are lambasting Ghost like that. I don't think he's gone overboard at all. Granted, his emotions obviously came out in his initial post. However, some of you that disagree whole-heartedly with his opinions; Why don't you take his statements and attack them rather than calling him names?

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Originally posted by ntotoro

The last time I checked, it wasn't militant Christians or Jews who were kidnapping people then sawing off their heads or filling buses and subway systems with explosive devices.

Nick

:cheers:

That says it all right there. It's true that different groups of people are going to feel certain ways. However, Muslim extremists seem to be the only ones that regularly make their points with bloodshed.

That is a simple fact.

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Originally posted by Yusuf06

I care little for whether you or the rest of the world feels sorry for us. That happens to be my opinion and that of most of the Musliim world. However it just so happens that unlike many of them I have accepted Israel's existance as a fact of life. Now it's time to move on. Period. That was the point of my post.

And no, I don't really have a problem with individual Jews. As with anyone I do my best to evaluate them as individuals.

I don't believe dreamingwolf said anything about feeling sorry for you or any muslim. He said "sympathize", which is a huge difference. One day the M.E. will wake up and realize they are part of a larger world, and this resistence to the Western world will inevitably fail (granted, not all people in the M.E. feel this way, but it is what is generally preached not only by terrorists, but even in the Church).

My family comes from Lebanon and Syria. While many of my family members still travel to and from Lebanon, they no longer travel to Syria. They are seen as westerners now, and are not treated well half the time.

I believe that the powerful ones in a lot of these countries fear losing control of the masses. If they are given free will with no repercussions for changing their views, the Muslim extremists may lose their numbers and, inevitably, their power. They can continue to blame the West for anything that goes wrong. However, once the masses see that having the freedom to choose is a right and not a privilege, and start to receive unfiltered media, people like Bin Laden will lose their grip on their "sheep". I'd like to be more specific, but I'm at work and don't have time for details. I hope I didn't come across as making it seem as though people in the ME are unintelligent or naive, as that is not my intent. However, I did generalize greatly due to time constraints.

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Originally posted by Pardeetyme

To Chomeric or anyone who feels the way he does, one question. Have you ever been a christian or attended a christian church at any time in your life?

Yes, I'll expand on it.

I grew up in the RCC and I come from a STRONG Catholic backround. I was taught the fire and brimstone approach to the bible, and frankly I don't believe in it.

I was confirmed in the RCC and the last day I attended mass on my own was at my conformation. It was done for my family, not for myself.

I have come to detest the RCC for a number of problems they have caused society, the least of which is the homosexual priest scandals. There have been an estimate 100,000 young men who were raped by priests over the past 30 years, and this is NOT even counting for how long this has gone on since Constantine.

The RCC has been a haven for child molestors, and the mere fact that a "church" can promote the word of god, while their "leaders" are busy raping little boys in the back pew is sickening. The impossibility that the RCC KNEW about these sick individuals and did absolutely NOTHING to stop them, and in fact did everything in their power to hush things up is so far disgraceful, it should destroy the religion in anyones eyes.

The mere fact the the church chose to side with the vile scum of humanity these peodaphile priests were, instead of the innocent children who had their innocence stolen from them is enough for me. If there was a god, he would not let people do this in his name.

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Originally posted by ntotoro

The last time I checked, it wasn't militant Christians or Jews who were kidnapping people then sawing off their heads or filling buses and subway systems with explosive devices.

Nick

Nick, that's not the point. I was merely pointing out the fact that Ghost, in his analysis, almost ALWAYS uses the term "leftist" and associates this term with the gurillias in Central America or communists ala Stalin, or something like that. I was just making the observation, something which is NEVER said BTW, that the islamo-fascist movement of terrorsim is an extreme right viewpoint, and it is along the ideoloogy of the modern neo-conservatism.

You may agree with the neo-conservatism movement, and completely disagree with terrorism, but they both branch from the same right side of the geo-political scale, something Ghost doesn't acknowledge. I think this point should not be "glossed" over for the political sound bite of the day. Unfortunately, he constantly associates any "leftist" movement with communism and corrupt socialistic movements ala the Sandinistas while in the same breath ignoring the fact that the islamo-fascist movement of say the Taliban is entirely "rightist" in nature.

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Originally posted by TD_washingtonredskins

:cheers:

That says it all right there. It's true that different groups of people are going to feel certain ways. However, Muslim extremists seem to be the only ones that regularly make their points with bloodshed.

That is a simple fact.

TD, I could wipe out the word "Muslim" and replace it with a number of other religious denominations and it would fit. Hell, I could even replace the word with Christianity and it would still have meaning.

Does anyone rememner Timmothy McVeigh or David Koresch??? Lets not forget that ALL religious movements have a number of nutcases.

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