Despite almost three times as many British Muslims serve in the ranks of ISIS than Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, the central government’s nation-wide plan to de-radicalize homegrown Islamic jihadists is “bursting at the seams” and apparently on the verge of falling apart. As reported by the Breitbart.com news portal and the Express newspaper (of London, Great Britain) both on Aug. 29, 2015, the island nation’s officially titled “Channel programme” is collapsing under its own weight.
Initially founded to counter British born and bred Muslims who embrace the call for violent jihad, the Channel programme is now foundering due to British police receiving nearly 100 tips per week of Islamists in our midst. With statistics surrendered by the government only after Freedom of Information laws were enforced did the news come to the surface of just how overloaded Britain’s anti-terrorist task forces really are.
For the entirety of 2014, only 1,681 tips were given to law enforcement. But during the first five months of 2015 alone, a whopping 2,015 cases were reported to police.
According to Haras Rafiq, Managing Director and Executive Board Member at the counter-extremism think tank, Quilliam, the figures are not a surprise. He explained: “I’m not surprised. Islamic State’s propaganda and social media strategy is second to none. The programme is bursting at the seams and it is going to get worse before it gets better. More mentors are needed urgently.”
Despite the London government seeking to fight jihad by way of mentoring, more than a few Brits have been calling on the government for something a bit more sure. Especially since the grisly 2013 public execution of Drummer Lee Rigby of the Royal Fusiliers at the hands of two self-avowed Islamic jihadists, many Britons have taken to the streets demanding government do something more concrete, such as the death penalty being reinstated or stripping their citizenship then deporting jihadists and those who support them.
Drummer Rigby was beheaded in broad daylight on the streets of London by the jihadists, only after they first hit him with their car. While the 25-year-old Squaddie was knocked to the ground in a daze, the duo took a knife and meat cleaver to the soldier to behead him in front of horrified Londoners.
With calls for a tougher stance essentially falling on deaf ears, critics of the government’s strategy for countering jihadists is nothing more than an exercise in double standards. Complaints that the government turns a blind eye to violent Muslims, but comes down especially hard on ethnic Britons for much lesser slights towards Islam.
Case in point would be the British press tagged “hate preachers” such as Anjem Choudary, who once publicly called for the execution of Pope Benedict XVI for “insulting” Mohammad. Also with multiple sources cited here, the government’s media watchdog, Oxfam, has wagged their finger at multiple examples of Islamic-centered media in the UK calling for bloodshed, only to be ignored.
Examples include that of an imam “telling viewers that those who disrespect the prophet Mohammed should be killed, and another broadcaster saying homosexuals should be beaten and tortured.” Other specifics cited by Ofcom include:
- An Islamic scholar who told viewers: “It is your duty … to kill those who insult Prophet Mohammed.”
- A preacher banned from coming to Britain who used the Islam Channel – which he co-owns – to say anyone who left Islam should be put to death.
- A phone-in presenter who advocated “eliminating” anyone who disrespected Mohammed.
However, there is a case for the government’s critics accusing the lawmakers of using two different sets of rules. As cited above, three Scotsmen were recently arrested and faced “an unlimited fine or as many as seven years in prison” for allegedly throwing bacon at a Edinburgh mosque.
Multiple sources also cited here note that the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter openly stated he is desirous of “the best possible talent” to join the British Army. But almost in the same breath, Sir Nicholas complained that Muslim representation in the British Army is “nowhere near where it needs to be.” As referenced, a mere 600 British Muslims serve in the UK’s military. In the meantime, British Member of Parliament Khalid Mahmood (Labour – Birmingham Perry Barr) estimates the number of British Muslims serving ISIS at roughly 2,000.