East London Muslims Reflect on Latest Round of Terror Arrests

August 23, 2006

Source: The New York Times


On August 23, 2006 The New York Times reported, "Hanif Qadir feels that he has fallen short, tragically. Mr. Qadir runs a community foundation in East London that tries to steer young people, most of them British-born Muslims, away from drugs, violent gangs and religious extremism. He knows 5 of the 22 suspects being held by the British authorities in what has been described as a plot to blow up airliners on trans-Atlantic routes, including 2 of the men who were charged Monday. Since learning about the charges, Mr. Qadir said he was convinced that he and others should have been doing far more to shield the younger generation of Muslims from propagandists and recruiters for radical Islamic groups who have gained a foothold in neighborhoods like his. He derided such groups as 'evil minded' and said 'they don’t represent any faith.' 'This goes to show you how the community has failed to protect our young,' Mr. Qadir said in an interview on Tuesday. 'It makes me feel sick. I thought that I knew who the extremists were and where they were coming from.' In the area of East London where several of the suspects lived, news of the charges elicited a wide array of emotions, including disbelief and anger with both the government and Islamic extremists. It also led to reflections on how Islam is perceived and whether Muslims can do more to integrate into British society without compromising their faith."