Tag Archive: British Muslim

THE ENEMY WITHIN: Sayeeda Warsi explores the tale of a Muslim Britain

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Being a British Muslim for the past decade or so has been a brutal affair. How did this state of affairs come to pass? What are the lessons and challenges for the future - and how will the tale of Muslim Britain develop?

Sayeeda Warsi draws on her own unique position in British life, as the child of Pakistani immigrants, an outsider, who became an insider.

She became the UK's first Muslim Cabinet minister, to explore questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of 'British values'.

Looking at changing attitudes and policy, especially over the last fifteen years, ‘The Enemy Within’ examines in close focus whether our counter terrorism strategy has been effective or counterproductive and what Britain's Muslim communities might have become had the war on terror not happened.

Britain has often found groups within its borders whom it does not trust, whom it feels have a belief, culture, practice or agenda which runs contrary to those of the majority.

From Catholics to Jews, miners to trade unionists , Marxists to liberals and even homosexuals, all have at times been viewed, described and treated as 'the enemy within'. Muslims are the latest in a long line of 'others' to be given this label.

Uncompromising and outspoken, filled with arguments, real-life experience, necessary truths and possible ways forward for Muslims, politicians and the rest of us, this is a timely and urgent book.

Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's first Muslim Cabinet minister, is also a lawyer, businesswoman and racial justice campaigner. Appointed a life peer at the age of thirty-six, she served as Chairman of the Conservative Party, in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as Minister for Faith and Communities. In the summer of 2014 she resigned from government, citing its 'morally indefensible' policy on Gaza.

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Prison for Prince Harry death threats

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A British Muslim convert who told police he wanted to kill Prince Harry was jailed for three years last week after pleading guilty to threatening murder.

Ashraf Islam, 31, was told by the judge who sentenced him at Isleworth Crown Court that his plan had been ‘vague and unlikely to succeed’, but he nevertheless posed a danger to the public.
Ashraf Islam

Police said Islam, who was born Mark David Townley and changed his name around 2010 after converting to Islam, walked into a police station in Hounslow, West London, and openly confessed to officers his intentions to endanger the life of the 28-year-old member of the Royal Family.

Police searched the hotel room, where he had just checked in after flying into London from Thailand, and seized his laptop. They found no weapon. Islam, originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland, had no fixed abode at the time.

Media reported that Islam had said he felt he had a ‘moral right to judge’ Prince Harry, a captain in the British army, because he disagreed with the actions of the military.

Prince Harry, grandson to Queen Elizabeth and fourth in line to the throne, has carried out two tours of duty in Afghanistan, the most recent as an attack helicopter pilot.

prince harry
Islam's defence lawyer told the court he had a personality disorder, according to media reports.

Islam made the threat on the day after soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in broad daylight by two British Muslim converts on a busy street in southeast London close to an army barracks.

News of the killing and its aftermath dominated British media headlines for days. The killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were convicted of murder on 19th December and will be sentenced on Thursday 20th February.

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Islamic Relief head to Number 10

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As news reports the suspected murder, torture and mutilation of 11,000 detainees by the Syrian regime, British Muslim students and Islamic Relief and community representatives have delivered a UK-wide call for action signed by thousands to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday the 21st January.

This was followed by an address from Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, in which she set out a £2m grant for Islamic Relief’s work supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan with education, shelter and cash assistance.

“I think we could be seeing the start of a significant change in the way ordinary Muslims are engaging and campaigning with the government,” says Islamic Relief’s UK Director Jehangir Malik.

“Mosques, students and community members increasingly want to do more than just give money when they see suffering or injustice.

“They are now demanding political solutions and taking peaceful direct action. Islamic Relief’s Stand up for Syria petition reflects the compassion and passion of our supporters, and sends a strong message to the Prime Minister on the eve of the Geneva peace talks.”

islamic relief downing street
Liverpool psychology student Raisah Chowdhury added: “My local community has worked hard to collect signatures for the petition. Doing this has made me feel that we are at last doing something proactive to help and that our concerns will be heard.” Nadia is one of four students to hand in last week’s petition.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The UK has been a leading voice on the Syria conflict. We have pledged £600 million, our largest ever response to a crisis, and have been clear that others must step up with the funding and the political will required to get aid through.

“I welcome the chance to hear from Islamic Relief’s supporters and to look at how we can work together to reach even more people in need.”

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