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A modest freelance version of this approach is being essayed here in Britain by the newly-minted Quilliam Foundation, launched in April, which seeks to use former extremists to deradicalise young Anglo-Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Its prescriptions are far tougher than anything the British government has yet tried — including interdicting all Saudi funding of mosques and Islamic studies programmes.

Giving “hope” to potential jihadist recruits in foreign countries should assume tangible forms: installing fresh water systems or building schools, as well as substantial practical assistance for the victims of such natural disasters as earthquakes or the Asian tsunami, which the leading Islamist cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qara­dawi claimed was God’s punishment of materialistic Indonesians and Malaysians. The combination of aid from the West, rehabilitation schemes and more aggressive counter-terrorism forces explains why South East Asian jihadism is in disarray. A positive message from the West is far more important than insistence that other peoples should precisely replicate our democratic systems — in the virtual absence, certainly in the Arab Middle East, of the wider civic society that took several centuries to evolve in the West itself.

The application of military force and diligent police work is indispensable to defeating the insurgency. It resembles the game of “whack a mole”, not least in requiring resilience from the participants. Capturing or killing the leadership of al-Qa’eda is essential to stalling its momentum. Readers will recall that after a bloody military conflict that resulted in the deaths of 70,000 Peruvian peasants, a small team of detectives in 1992 captured the Sendero Luminoso leader, Abimael Guzman, after they tracked couriers bearing an ointment he needed to treat his psoriasis. The movement further fractured when his successor Oscar Ramirez was picked up in 1999.

So where is Osama bin Laden? He is believed to be sheltering in the Pashtun-dominated Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. According to the expert Steve Coll, he is in or around the Taleban stronghold of Miram Shah. Al-Qa’eda is seeking to establish a terri­torial base akin to the one it enjoyed under the Afghan Taleban. The August 2006 Waziristan Accords between Pervez Musharraf and the local tribal elders disastrously facilitated this regrouping. Some claim that the fractiousness of these tribes means that al-Qa’eda has to constantly focus on squaring some of them rather than mounting major international terrorist operations. The central organisation is also running short of money, judging by its reported dependence on robbing European banks to replenish its coffers, or jihadists who launder money through online gaming sites with the aid of stolen credit cards.

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July 5th, 2008
6:07 PM
What exactly are the cultural implications of sharia-compliant finance? Is it any different from other 'ethical' investment portfolios?! I agree with a large amount of what you say but this seems to be clutching at straws as sharia finance is about consicience (i.e. being a good muslim and not investing monies in the arms trade ect) and I do not believe it is comparable to sharia law being used alongside or instead of english law. In my opinion it is as harmless as halal meat!

June 14th, 2008
5:06 AM
"The Turkish ministry of religious affairs has boldly sought to conform the Hadith — the sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammed on which so much of Islam depends — to life in the 21st century." Sorry but this is just not true. Never has an event been as misreported as this one. Michael Burleigh would have done better to remember Turkey's secular middle class--millions of Muslims who want to live in the modern world in a modern way. Pity their experiences of the West have been so bad over the last two hundred years as to make them deeply distrustful of it. But given Whitehall's tenderness for Muslim hardliners, who can blame them?

John Kidd
June 9th, 2008
6:06 AM
Congratulations on the new magazine and its high standard of article as exemplified by this one on the extremist-moslem terrorism threat though I must say that I now fear nightmares after reading the lengthy commentary of Robert Callow above.

Robert Callow
June 7th, 2008
8:06 AM
Let no one underestimate how Islam controls those who take the word and the way of this religion seriously: Besides the Koran giving a written guarantee of paradise for the faithful Muslims "who are slain in the cause of Allah" (see chapter 47), this book also warns that if any able Muslim male will not be prepared to kill and die for the sake of Islam then he will be condemned to abide forever in the fire of hell: "Those that stayed at home were glad that they were left behind by Allah's apostle, for they had no wish to fight for the cause of Allah with their wealth and their persons. They said to each other: 'Do not go to war, the heat is fierce.' Say to them: 'More fierce is the heat of Hell-fire!' Would that they understood!" (chapter 9, verse 81). There are other verses in the Koran that clearly spell out this warning. The radical Muslim therefore, when he sees the need to fight for Islam's sake, will naturally go the way the father of Islam and the battle sites of 7th-century Arabia direct him. The Koranic warning of endless extreme torment in the fire of hell for those who ignore the call to arms, together with the promise of paradise to all Islamic martyrs, and the historic bloody battles fought in 7th-century Arabia that gave Muslims the victory in those days, will all be equally heeded by the devout and faithful Muslim of today. After Mohammed's death his devout followers, in their 'holy war' for an Islamic world, went on to conquer large parts of Asia, Africa and Europe (Under the clear direction of Mohammed, executions and slavery were also included in the Islamic way of conquest). Any continued violent opposition to Islamic rule would have been met with a violent response as soon as such action was considered worthwhile, and 9/11 was a clear warning of things to come. In 2005 Alastair Lawson for the BBC reported, "It is estimated that there are now around 20,000 madrassas in Pakistan, compared to around 137 at the time of partition. According to the Pakistani newspaper, The News, there are today around 1.7m students who attend such institutions, mainly from poor rural families." The primary aim of these institutions is to teach in great depth, the Koran and the way of Mohammed. How far then has radical Islam reached into Pakistan, a now largely moderate Muslim country already armed with nuclear weapons? If the disruptive and the destructive power of radical Islam continues to grow in that country which is already rife with corruption, so also will Pakistan's newly elected coalition government of liberal and pro-western 'Muslims' who are already clearly and deeply divided in their loyalties, continue to look more vulnerable to the rule of a more united radical Islam: History shows that through the corruption, division and weakness of others did a united militant Islam spread most swiftly. We must therefore ask again in this time of global Islamic revival, how many believers in the Koran, who faithfully follow the way of their 'prophet' (or potential radical believers in Islam) work or are preparing to work in nuclear technology? How many work in security? How many serve in the armed forces? It would be naive in the extreme to assume that the present leader(s) of the same uncompromising Islam that first spread across Arabia, (when the inhabitants of the land that Mohammed surveyed were eventually given the choice of living in submission to Islamic rule or facing death) are not already planning and working to acquire weapons of mass destruction for Islam's defence and expansion. It would be equally naive to think that faithful and devout followers of Mohammed are not already planning how to smuggle those weapons into the cities of their enemies who seek to put an end to the ordered and chosen way of the radical Muslim. The radical Shiite clerics of Iran look as though they may also very soon have control over nuclear weapons, and with the power to destroy cities comes the power to bring to ruin a degenerate and hated West that grows more corrupt by the day and now fights an open bloody war to put an end to Islam as it was in the days of Mohammed. The more violence used against radical Muslims, which often causes suffering and great offence to many moderate or restrained Muslims, by contemptible governments and corrupt societies, so the more hateful and vengeful do many Muslims become. But it is equally true: If unknown networks of Islamic terrorists or any other such hateful and deluded enemies of the West start causing mass destruction and high radioactive fallout over our capital cities and major financial centers, then millions of key workers in the global economy will abandon their threatened cities and surrounding areas in panic, leaving them also dead to wealth production. Many will then fear that a new and most terrifying offensive has been launched by unknown terrorists who see the violent overthrow of corrupt western governments as a God ordered duty they must not ignore. The great wealth producing cities upon which the world banking system is dependent will then suddenly become staggering liabilities, and with no means to honour the vast debts owed to banks, the great banks of the global economy will be rendered bankrupt. The world banking system of greed and growing debt, the lifeblood of modern western power, will then suddenly cease to function. Once this system stops working, our so called free and democratic society which needs this system in order to exist will begin to spiral into anarchy. All world philosophies and doctrines will then become proven failures when hundreds of millions of paranoid souls suddenly find only worthless bank accounts and useless money to live on. Driven by a growing starvation, terror, anger and hatred, they shall begin to seek food and survival by the only way they see, with every weapon available. Add to this our inability to halt our worsening rape of our natural environment and it looks increasingly like we are entering the prophesied hell on earth and Judgement Day. When will the blind see then, now or in hell?

Bruce Mauleverer
June 5th, 2008
5:06 PM
There should be no place for appeasement of terrorists in the UK. Michael Burleigh's article is punchy, highly relevant and correct in its argument.

David B. Fisher
June 2nd, 2008
6:06 PM
You give the terrorists far too much credit by calling them 'jihadists.' There is a positive connotation in the term which these characters do not deserve. Instead of being PC, brand them what they are, terrorists, whose activities reflect positively on nothing whatsoever.

June 2nd, 2008
5:06 PM
The author forgot one aspect: psychological operations. The best way to avert the Muslims from joining the jihadists is to humiliate the jihadists. Put the dead jihadists into the pig's dung or skins and let the video clips do the rest.

Brian H
June 1st, 2008
8:06 AM
What a novel point of view! Britain not inexorably fated to become an Islamist slum? Well, seeing will be believing.

Peter Hutchkopf
May 31st, 2008
6:05 PM
Great article, great magazine. Long needed.

Manolo Gee
May 31st, 2008
2:05 PM
Spot on! We have a government of 'head in the sand' idiots who are more intent on allowing preachers of hate, rogue mosques, fifth column 2nd or 3rd generation 'immigrants' to spew out their hate, death threats and murders as 7/7, via demos, placards & in the vrious muslim blogs, than demanding this community accepts British law and behave accordingly or simply go to a country they will feel more comfortable in. The government allows proven preachers of racist-hate to come in to encourage violence amongst the muslim community, like al-Quaradawi; it has allowed the hate-infested MCB (hatred of British culture, purvayors of anti-Semitic propoganda) to persue its destabalising strategy unhinded; it does not seem capable of knowing who the baddies from the goodies, appointing MCB affiliates as government advisers. John Howard, the previous Australian PM, got it spot on when he told the Aussie muslims that if they didn't like what was on offer they were free to leave(he put it more 'Strine than that). When will Brown's excuse of a government open it's eyes, hear what the people are saying, feel the pain....and act accordingly?

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