Counter-Terrorism: July 28, 2005

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The July 7th Islamic terrorist bombings in Britain, and the failed bombing attempts on the 21st, have focused counter-terrorism efforts on how to deal with local Moslem populations. Most of the terrorists involved in these attacks appear to have been born in Britain, of parents who had migrated from Moslem countries. There are some twenty million Moslems in Europe, over a million in Britain. How many of these are likely to get involved in Islamic terrorism? A recent opinion survey by a British newspaper (The Daily Telegraph), among British Moslems, provided some interesting insights. The vast majority of British Moslems (88 percent) were either hostile to the Islamic terrorists, or unsympathetic to them. But 24 percent had some sympathy for the motives of the terrorists. And six percent felt that the attacks were justified. Over half (56 percent) say that they can understand why these young Moslems would do what they did. When asked where their loyalties lay, some 18 percent of British Moslems felt little, or no, loyalty towards Britain. What this comes down to is about six percent of British Moslems (largely males, and younger ones) are in favor of the attacks. Thats over 100,000 people. This percentage is similar to estimates in France and Germany, about how many of their Moslem citizens would support Islamic terrorism. 

While Britain has long accepted and absorbed foreigners, this process has not always gone smoothly. It never does, not even in the United States, the land of immigrants. What this means is that it takes several generations for some families to stop producing youngsters who feel like outsiders, are hostile to the dominant culture, and are willing to resort to violence to express these angry attitudes. The worldwide Islamic radical movement has presented these angry young British (and French and German, and Spanish) Moslems with a cause to channel their anger. The only antidote for this is time, and establishing a network of loyal Moslems in Moslem communities who will alert the police to terrorist activity. Efforts to speed up the assimilation of the angry young Moslems is less successful. The countries with Moslem migrants are always trying to eliminate the educational and social problems that leave the young Moslems unemployed and unhappy. But these efforts are not as effective as time. But once these Moslems start killing their fellow Britons, its no longer a long term social problem, but a very short term police and public safety problem.

 


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