- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Excellent article from the Spectator:
Kens mega-mosque will encourage extremism
Irfan al-Alawi & S. Schwartz
In 2007 Britain will almost certainly be the chief testing ground of the attempt by radical Muslims to gain more power and influence in Western society.
The United States, too, is threatened by militant Islam not least by the prospect of terrorist attacks on its own territory but the problem in the United Kingdom is much greater. In America, radical Islamists have used civil rights legislation and the habits of multicultural courtesy to gain advantages that might not be available to them in Europe. At any rate there has been no debate there about niqab or face-covering. Britain, however, gives the impression of a society approaching a fork in its historical road: either towards more Islamisation of the broader society or towards a powerful backlash as Britons grow increasingly troubled by the apparent forcible dilution of the majority culture.
The fork in the road could be reached later this year if the go-ahead is given for the building of the massive, intrusive and bizarre Sunni mosque complex to sit alongside the 2012 London Olympics centre. All the indications are that the go-ahead will be given.
The mosque is designed to be the largest religious structure in Britain. It will accommodate 70,000 people, of whom 40,000 can pray at any given time. According to the latest estimates, it will cost as much as £300 million to build. The complex will be known as the Markaz mosque, markaz being the Arabic word for centre.
Among non-Muslims, the erection of so large a mosque will arouse resentment. But it is provoking unease among Muslims, too. The mosque will have no minarets Sunni fundamentalists hate minarets but, rather, a system of wind turbines that will make it look like the set of a science-fiction film. More controversially, however, the project has the backing of the Islamic separatist movement known as Tabligh-i-Jamaat or Call of the Community.
Tabligh is a missionary Sunni sect that came under serious scrutiny after the atrocities of 9/11. It is not mainstream in its interpretation of Islam. Rather, it is, according to its own claims, reformist like the Saudi-financed Wahabi movement, the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the Jamaatis in Pakistan.
Tabligh representatives insist that their movement is non-violent, but a number of terrorists have passed through its ranks: John Walker Lindh, the American Taleban combatant, was one; Richard Reid, the British shoe bomber, was another. The Tabligh centre in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, which is the movements European headquarters, was often visited by Mohammed Siddique Khan, head of the 7/7 London bomb attack, and by Shehzad Tanweer, one of his accomplices. Tablighis were also under investigation in the alleged Heathrow conspiracy to blow up transatlantic passenger jets last summer.
Although Tabligh followers may not constitute an active jihadist army, their doctrines are unquestionably hostile to other religions and to non-Muslim societies and governments.