Since Woolwich all the focus has been on who in the Muslim community “radicalised” Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.
It’s as if all Muslims knew and were responsible for them.
Yet while we Muslims were being pilloried in the press it turned out that the people who did know him were the intelligence services.
If anyone radicalised him, it was them. It’s alleged they intimidated and harassed him to work for them. His friends say they and his family were also put under pressure.
It’s high time we asked the intelligence services about their role in radicalising people.
Muslims feel like they are being monitored “from cradle to grave”.
Muslims are recruited to monitor each other under the government’s Prevent strategy. We are constantly watched. People sit in mosques, and in youth and community centres, making notes.
If you make a comment, you can find yourself with an intelligence file for life. We can be reported from schools, universities and now the health sector.
None of it will work. They are not looking at what makes people angry—Britain’s foreign policy. People are stopped and questioned when they travel overseas.
They get worried they might end up in a secret prison like Moazzam Begg and Shaker Aamer.
Shaker is still in Guantanamo after 11 years. He has not been charged with anything.
He has been cleared for release since 2007. Now he is on hunger strike.
The fear is that Shaker will die before he gets the chance to be freed. He weighs under 100 pounds. He has sores and other medical issues.
Despite torture and horrific experiences the prisoners’ companionship has kept them alive. They have incredible spirit.
Many Muslims may have ideas in common with what socialists say about Britain’s foreign policy. But if we speak out we can be classed as an extremist, it is seen as “political” Islam.
That’s why it’s important for others to speak out too.
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