Sunday, January 21, 2007

The War Within -- CNN Investigative Report by Christiane Amanpour

Hanif Qadir (a Youth Worker) holds pool tournaments between
Muslim youths and British police officers.

I just watched most of the premier broadcast of Christiane Amanpour's investigative report on how radical and moderate Muslims are battling for young English minds. It is very well done. Click here for more information and schedule for future broadcasts

The UK was rocked by the attacks of July 7, 2005 and the attempted attacks that failed two weeks later. Since then, Britons have many questions about the role of the Muslim community.

Amanpour says: "What struck us most was how deeply the Iraq war has radicalized today's generation of young Muslims in Britain. Whether extreme or mainstream, they are angry about the war, angry that their country so devotedly follows U.S. foreign policy, angry at what they see as a worldwide war against Muslims and Islam."

"In our investigation, we found shocking evidence of the bigotry, intolerance and hatred preached by some Muslim fundamentalists in the UK. We met men like Anjem Choudary of the now-banned Al-Mahajiroon extremist group, who denounces democracy and predicts Britain will be ruled by Sharia, Islamic law. He publicly distances himself from suicide bombings here in the UK, mindful of Britain's tough new anti-terrorism laws, yet we filmed him openly condoning violent Jihad abroad."

"We found a deep sense of Islamophobia on the rise here in Britain and across Europe. The European Monitoring Center, which tracks religious and ethnic bias, says Muslims regularly face abuse, threats, attacks and misunderstanding."

Hanif Qadir "who runs a youth center in a London neighborhood with a large Muslim population said the message of extremism preys on many kids who see no way out of their ethnic ghettos. There are incredibly brave Muslims who've been forced to become unofficial activists for tolerance and integration. In Walthamstow -- where two dozen young Muslim men were arrested last summer for allegedly plotting to blow up U.S.-bound planes with liquid explosives -- Qadir, the youth worker, has reached out to teenagers. His youth center now tries to lead the disaffected and alienated along a different path, urging them to watch out for extremist preachers in their mosques and arranging pool tournaments with the beat cops as one way to forge a closer community bond.

In Birmingham, home to Britain's second-largest Muslim community, a Muslim artist nicknamed "Aerosol Arabic" is trying to be a role model to students and the angry young people in his community. Along with a priest he is doing cross-cultural art projects that build a sense of acceptance and togetherness.

While some Muslim women in the UK are feeling the intense pressure of a chorus of ministerial calls to remove their niqabs, a veil that covers most of the face, we meet one Muslim woman, a comedian, who is trying to promote tolerance through a unique brand of comedy-club humor.

As a small band of Muslim extremists try to promote their agenda at a campus debate at prestigious Trinity College, we traveled to Ireland to hear mainstream Muslims try to win back the public podium. One young Muslim calls the violence and intolerance some extremists promote a mental illness, not an ideology."


At 7:08 AM, Blogger purpleXed said...

The media has a clear choice when
venturing to inform viewers on
delicate but important matters.

Is there really a need to give a platform on news and documentary programs to elements driven by either xenophobia or zealotry? Does certain sections of media purposely seek rant-bites to attract viewers' attention?

It is the media that retains the rants on the oxygen mask of publicity without which the rantagogues are more weak than a fish without water.

If opinions are not solicited by the networks for a few weeks those loudmouths who survive on soundbites with no following will be reduced to their actual size - negligible.
Hence, there is no wisdom in bringing people on the CNN who are unwilling and unable to offer a way out of dilemmas that we encounter and the consequences that we face?

By giving undue coverage to extremist expression, we will make the real issues hostage to militancy and mulishness.

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Amanpour,

My name is Maureen O'Carroll and my address is 1575 Third Avenue, Apartment 3C, New York, New York, NY10128, tel: 646-244-5977, I think my story does need telling for the sake of my children and our safety, and what we have had to go through in a most horrible smear campaign started by an abusive ex and snowballed into modern day terrorisim against his own/my children and I - in which our lives got turned upside down, as I their mother has been painted and labelled as a terrorist and no one has bothered to look into my background, but we have had James only six and a half accused of writing a sucide note in his school and the school, his teacher at Public School 158, at East 77th Street and his teacher Ms. Dietch call security as I tried to leave the school with James and the note to prove that he did not write it. I could go on and tell you more of what we've been through, as I mentioned I have all the paperwork to prove what's has happened to us and would be grateful for any suggestions a frightend mother would turn to.

Many thanks.

My children are James Russo dob June 25, 2000, Gabriella Russo dob June 18, 2001 and Sophia Russo dob October 1st, 2003, all citizens of United States born in Mt. Sinai Hospital, delivered by Dr. Austin Abramson's practice also based in Manhattan, New York.

Many many thanks.

Maureen O'Carroll


Post a Comment

<< Home