Remember him? Former terrorist recruiter turned model British citizen after the London bombings triggered some sort of Pauline conversion in him … or so he says. I was skeptical when “60 Minutes” profiled him in March, but read his op-ed in today’s Observer and see if you’re not convinced he’s for real. One thing about him, for good and/or ill, he’s obviously an intelligent guy. The excerpt that follows doesn’t do justice to his piece, which is a thoughtful essay on how to reinterpret Koranic dictates to encourage Muslim assimilation in the west, but it’s the sort of red meat that might lead people to read the whole thing.
When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.
By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology…
For example, yesterday on Radio 4’s Today programme, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: ‘What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.’
He then refused to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and said that the Muslim Brotherhood and those who give a religious mandate to suicide bombings in Palestine were genuinely representative of Islam.
I left the BJN in February 2006, but if I were still fighting for their cause, I’d be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July bombings, and I were both part of the BJN – I met him on two occasions – and though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world.
Now read the whole thing. Emphasis on “whole” — the most important stuff doesn’t come until the end.