Sunday, August 05, 2007

former islamic radicals denounce violence

From Saudi Debate website:
'Former Islamist radicals denounce violence as British Muslims lead the way towards moderation'

The increasing readiness of former members of radical Islamic groups in Britain to speak out against extremism and denounce those who advocate violence, has brought with it a significant change in the political landscape in the UK. On 28 July several hundred Muslims marched through central London carrying banners denouncing extremism and the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Whether the tide is turning against the radicals - who not long ago could make claims to having mass appeal - it is perhaps too early to say.
"In his days as an activist in Hizb ut-Tahrir, British Muslim Shiraz Maher sported a long black bushy beard and wore flowing robes and a Muslim cap. TV footage from 2004 shows him at an anti-war demonstration outside Regent's Park mosque in London shaking his fist and roaring angry slogans. Today, his radical past behind him, he is a neatly-groomed bespectacled man in Western attire with a short clipped beard and his fiery rhetoric has been replaced by calmly-expressed warnings on the dangers of the Islamist ideology he once embraced. Maher is one of a small but growing number of British former Islamists who are publicly speaking out against Islamist groups, exposing their ideologies and methods. The former militants are constantly invited to appear in the media to give their views on causes of radicalism and its tipping over into terrorism. The stakes are high. The attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow at the end of June confirmed that Britain is a prime target of violent extremists including Al-Qaeda. The attacks came two years after the four suicide bombings in London on 7 July 2005 that killed 52 innocent people, and the failed copycat attempts two weeks later. In the interim, a succession of trials of young Muslims in British courts has resulted in lengthy convictions relating to major terror plots. .."
Article by Susannah Tarbush at:

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