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Welsh Muslims Vow to Fight Extremism

Published: 10/02/2012 05:20:38 PM GMT
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CARDIFF - The conviction of two radicals for plotting attacks in UK has triggered calls from a Welsh Muslim think-tank to the Muslim community to play (more)

CARDIFF - The conviction of two radicals for plotting attacks in UK has triggered calls from a Welsh Muslim think-tank to the Muslim community to play a greater role in uprooting extremist ideas from their largely peaceful community.

"We have to welcome the increasingly robust way in which both the police and local authorities are taking action to disrupt the activities of radicalizers who provide the mood music for violent extremists and often seek to justify or condone their actions," Dr Masood Yousef, a director of the Wales Institute for Muslim Affairs, told BBC on Friday, February 10.

"Alongside this, there have been some notable efforts by Muslim communities in Wales to refute the arguments of such people, but we can and will do more," he added.

Over the past weeks, the peaceful Muslim community was shocked by the news that a group of radicals plotted to attack the London Stock Exchange as part of a campaign of attacks across Britain.

The plot included plans to post bombs to the United States Embassy and the home of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Police foiled the plot at an early stage before firm dates were agreed or explosive devices assembled.

The defendants were all British nationals with Bangladeshi or Pakistani backgrounds.

Two Muslims from Cardiff; Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, were among nine men jailed on Thursday for the plot.

Cardiff councilor Mohammed-Sarul Islam said he believed the plotters were radicalized by extremists while in prison.

"I believe they've been brainwashed, most of these boys have been brainwashed inside of the prison," he told BBC Wales.

"When they came out they became self-made clerics,” he added.

"They came to the community, they tried to tell the community their philosophy and their beliefs which is totally different from what we've been believing for thousands of years."

Muslim Role

Following extremists' sentencing, director of the Wales Institute for Muslim Affairs said everyone could play a role to ensure Wales remained safe and secure.

“I think communities across Wales can have confidence in the ability of the police to identify and arrest terrorist plotters, but more needs to be done to prevent young men and women getting drawn into this in the first place,” Swansea-based Mr Yousef, 35, told BBC.

"We all have a role to play in ensuring that Wales remains a safe and secure place and that no-one living in Wales is allowed to threaten the safety of others either here, in other parts of the UK or globally."

South Wales Police said they recognized the trial may have raised concerns about extremism in Cardiff.

“We are only too aware that our efforts do not end here with today's sentence,” Matt Jukes, South Wales Police assistant chief constable, said.  

Britain is home to a Muslim minority of nearly 2.3 million.

Last September, 12,000 of British Muslims gathered at Wembley Arena to attend a global peace conference to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks,

Announced during the ‘Peace for Humanity Conference 2011,' the peace declaration was called by Britain-based Muslim scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri who issued a fatwa last May condemning suicide bombings as a brazen violation of peaceful Islamic tenets.

Known for his unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, Sheikh Qadri has issued several fatwas against suicide bombings and violence against innocent people.

He is famous for his emphasis on promoting integration and interfaith dialogue to tackle Islamophobia in the West.

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