Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Brother The Bomber

Mohammad Sidique Khan was the organizer of the London Tube Bombings of July 7, 2005 in which 52 innocent commuters were killed and 700 wounded, many grievously, when he and three others detonated their home-made bombs in the subway and on a bus. Shiv Malik dug deep into the background of Khan, even talking to Khan's cabbie brother, to write an article in Prospect magazine called "My Brother The Bomber." It's a long piece that's well worth reading.

Khan's story is one of alienation and frustration, where guys like him feel neither British nor Pakistani. It begins in a suburb of Leeds called Beeston, one of the poorest places in England, a Pakistani ghetto. The immigrants there had a strong sense of community until the drug dealers took over ten years ago. Now it's a fragmented community. This is where Khan walked out of his home one day, leaving his wife and child behind, to kill himself and as many infidels as he possibly could.

The older immigrants, illiterate and lost in their new land, had no clue what to do about the drug dealers. Some of the second generation did. About a dozen and a half of them formed themselves into a gang called the "Mullah Boys" who kidnapped addicts and held them until they kicked their habit, cold turkey. The Mullah Boys grew more religious and righteous as they went. Khan was one of their leaders. He went Wahhabi in his Islam about that time.

Marriage became another factor in the alienation of the young from the old. Malik explains that many of the immigrants in Beeston carry tradtions from the old country:

"Almost every family is ultimately from a rural part of Pakistani Kashmir called Mirpur, where the rules of tradition are strict and unforgiving. In Mirpur, as in many poor parts of the world, the basic structures of life—justice, security and social support—are organised by the local tribe and not by a central state. One consequence is that people can't just marry whom they want. If they did, then over time tribal lands would be broken up by the rules of inheritance, and the economic base of the tribe, or baraderi (brotherhood), would be destroyed. This is one reason children in rural Pakistan are often treated as the property of their elders and encouraged, or forced, to marry within the baraderi.

Families that allow children to marry for love are considered to have lost their izzat, or honour. In most circumstances, the only way for the family to regain it is to kill the offending boy or girl. Pakistan has the highest number of honour killings in the world."
However, the radical Muslims differ from the traditional Muslims on marriage:

"... traditional communities often inadvertently push their young into the arms of the radicals. Attitudes to jobs, dress, schooling and socialising all play their part in driving youngsters away from their parents' generation. But one of the biggest factors that has helped the growth of British Islamic radicalism is marriage.Islamism's most important tenet is that Muslims should not be divided by race or nationalism—that all Muslims are one. It therefore can offer an Islamic route out of having to marry your cousin.

[Islamist recruiter Hassan] Butt knows this because it happened to him. When, instead of marrying his cousin, Butt tried to marry his sweetheart, he found himself deploying the arguments of his Islamist recruiter against his own father—that compulsion in marriage is un-Islamic and that forced marriages were a cultural import from Hindu India. And when the forces of traditionalism refused to give consent, Butt, like many of his friends, ended up a pariah within his own community.

"When you're cut off from your family," Butt explained, "the jihadi network then becomes your family. It becomes your backbone and support." He added that when you join it becomes impossible to leave because there is nowhere else to go. The network starts operating like a cult."
Khan's alienation was exascerbated by falling in love with a fellow student at Leeds Metropolitan University, Hasina Patel. She was a Deobandi Muslim, a Wahhabi affiliated sect. He refused a traditional arranged marriage and married for love.

The traditional Muslims are also at a disadvantage economically due to the differing ways they and the Islamists fund their mosques:

"Since most of traditional Sunni Islam is devoid of an organised establishment, the money for running a mosque normally comes directly from the local Muslim community. In Britain, this means that in order to maintain community harmony, the teachings remain bland and the imam will avoid theological controversy. It also means that once there is enough money to run the mosque, there is no incentive to find new believers.

On the other side, British fundamentalists and Islamists are centrally funded. It is estimated that over the last two decades, Saudi Arabia has set aside $2-3bn a year to promote Wahhabism in other countries. It is not known how much of that money has come to Wahhabi groups in Britain, but one major recipient has been the Leeds Grand Mosque."
Where ever extremist Muslims perpetrate terror, there is a link to Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabi missionaries sent out from the darkest heart of Islam there exploit the alienation of the lost Muslim immigrants in the West to give them the strident radical identity which appeals to them.

Kahn left behind a martyrdom tape to taunt we infidels, we kuffars, from the grave. The part that pleases leftist sensibilities, where Khan condemns British foreign policy, has had a lot of play in the media. The majority of Khan's rant is about religion, a supremacist rant that has not been played:

"Our so-called scholars today are content with their Toyotas and semi-detached houses. They seem to think that their responsibilities lie in pleasing the kufr instead of Allah. So they tell us ludicrous things, like you must obey the law of the land. Praise be God! How did we ever conquer lands in the past if we were to obey this law?… By Allah these scholars will be brought to account, and if they fear the British government more than they fear Allah then they must desist in giving talks, lectures and passing fatwas, and they need to sit at home and leave the job to the real men, the true inheritors of the prophets."
It's not about the foreign policy. It's about the religion.


irving said...

What a great in-depth piece. You never, never see this on US television. Thank you.

Ya Haqq!

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