Tablighi Jamaat, an organization accused by the FBI of working with al-Qaeda, proposed a plan to build the continent’s largest mosque next to London’s Olympic stadium.
Despite opposition, even from other British Muslims, the British government has not pulled the plug on the project.
It appears that Muslim extremists in Britain want to send a clear message to the visiting athletes, spectators, journalists, and dignitaries who will descend on London for the Summer Olympics in 2012.
British journalist and author Melanie Phillips mentioned this development during a lecture in New York City on Thursday evening.
The event, held at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in Manhattan, was sponsored by the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and attracted more than 200 people.
Her lecture before the CAMERA audience focused on the themes in her latest book, Londonistan, in which she argues that Islamist terrorists and their sympathizers are using Britain’s liberal and multicultural values to destroy it from within – and the British government is appeasing them in the process.
The book states that European security agencies have nicknamed Britain’s capital city “Londonistan” because of its status as Europe’s headquarters of recruitment, incitement, and funding for Islamist terrorism.
Phillips said British authorities have readily appeased radical Muslim elements in the country because they are afraid of being branded racists. She mentioned the case of Mustaf Jama, a Somali national wanted in Britain in connection with the murder of a policewoman, as one example.
Jama managed to evade capture in late December by boarding an international flight at Heathrow Airport disguised as a veiled Muslim woman.
Jama used his sister’s passport and slipped past Heathrow security checks because screeners there are afraid to require Muslim women passengers to remove their veils for identity confirmation.
Phillips revealed that even British publishing companies would not publish Londonistan because they were frightened of possible responses to the book. After two years of searching, she found a small American publisher, Encounter Books, which agreed to print it in the US and Britain.
Brits blame Israel, US for Islamic extremismThe journalist said the popular British response to Islamist terrorism has been to accept a worldview blaming Israel and the US for the threat, instead of acknowledging the existence of a global jihad movement.
“The argument is that Muslim rage is fueled by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and America has made the situation worse by supporting Israel,” she said.
“It is impossible to describe the degree to which hatred of Israel and America” has taken hold in the British mainstream. Of British attitudes toward Israel in particular, Phillips noted, “On both the left and right, Israel is demonized and presented as the regional bully and aggressor in the Middle East.”
Prime Minister Tony Blair’s backing of the US and Israel is what forced him to announce he will soon step down, said Phillips, and the opposing Conservative Party, in an effort to curry votes in the next election, is courting the anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment.
'Battleground of ideas'
For example, during last summer’s war with Hizbullah, the Conservative leader, David Cameron, and shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, made statements labeling Israel’s response “disproportionate.” Also, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Cameron delivered a speech to the British-American Partnership in London saying, “I am a liberal Conservative, not a neo-conservative” and calling for a “rebalanced special relationship” between Britain and the US.
British Jewry, which numbers about 280,000 people out of 60 million, is a “polarized” community, said Phillips, and therefore cannot respond effectively. Phillips, who is Jewish, said many British Jews on the left are “at the forefront of demonizing Israel and working with Israeli leftists and revisionists.”
Others support Israel and fear the growing influence of radical Islam in Britain, but are uncomfortable expressing their views publicly and are often accused of having dual loyalties. She said the discomfort felt by this group is one reason the number of British immigrants to Israel rose by 45 percent in 2006.
A third portion of the British-Jewish community, said Phillips, is “confused and uninformed” about Israel because of the Jewish state’s portrayal in the British media.
At the end of her lecture, Phillips told the audience, “The most urgent battleground, something the West’s enemies have understood for a long time, is the battleground of ideas. It’s up to you to spread these ideas and inform the public about the dangers we face.” A Londonistan book signing followed her presentation.
CAMERA is sponsoring another Phillips lecture and book signing on Jan. 25 at Temple Sinai in Atlanta.