Islamic Leaders Seek Cancellation Of U.K. Video
By DAVID BEDEIN, ILAN DANIEL AND ANNA FREY, The Bulletin
An Islamic insurgency is now taking place simultaneously in more than 40 nations around the globe. The Bulletin now provides its readers with exclusive daily news stories on the subject, with the help of David Bedein from Jerusalem, Israel, Anna Frey from Stockholm, Sweden and Ilan Daniel from Bombay, India.
Islamic leaders in Great Britain have called upon Channel 4 to cancel a film about a British girl who is driven to become the U.K.’s first female suicide bomber.
The film which was to be broadcast yesterday, tells the fictional story of a British-born Muslim who becomes part of a terror cell that sets out to slaughter hundreds of people.
Several of the characters are portrayed as associates of the real perpetrators of the July 2005 London bombings, in which 52 people died.
The film has also attracted criticism for labeling the police racist bullies after would-be suicide bomber Nasima, played by Manjinder Virk, is force-fed a ham sandwich by an officer.
On Sunday, Kurshid Ahmed, chairman of the British Muslim Forum, said: “A film which attempts to glamorize or rationalize the actions of suicide bombers has no place on our TV screens.
“Channel 4 should be working with us to defeat terrorism and extremism, not sowing hate and division in our communities.”
Channel 4 says that the film, entitled “Britz” is an attempt to understand what could lead second-generation Muslims to turn against the country of their birth.
It blames Labour’s “draconian” anti-terror laws and foreign policy for alienating the Muslim community.
Director Peter Kosminsky denied radicalised Muslims would feel vindicated by the film.
“I hope that nobody who sees it would think there is anything triumphant or joyful about Nasima’s journey.
“The point of the piece was to make non-Muslims know what it feels like to be Muslims in Britain today.”
Six years after Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf joined the U.S.-led war on terror, pro-Taliban militants are gaining sway across a swath of the country’s northwest near Afghanistan.
Maulana Fazlullah is the radical cleric whose mission to spread fundamentalist Islam who has provoked a bloody showdown with Pakistan’s government.
Fazlullah has earned the nickname “Mullah Radio” for his pirate FM broadcasts urging followers to wage holy war against America and its allies
Fazlullah’s followers killed 13 captives – six security personnel and seven civilians – in apparent retaliation for an assault on Fazlullah’s stronghold, where security forces backed by helicopters and militants traded fire using rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and other weapons.
Jehangir Khan, a local resident, said he saw six beheaded bodies, with notes attached reading: “It is the fate of an American agent. Whoever works for America will face the same fate.”
“The civilians were killed to terrorize the people. They say they were either informers or were supporting the government side,” Badshah Gul Wazir, the top security official of North West Frontier Province, told the AP by telephone from Peshawar, the provincial capital.
While scores of militants lurked outside the seminary, the concrete complex near the village of Imam Dheri was largely empty Saturday.
Fragments of rockets and shells that had been fired by security forces were displayed outside the complex, which appeared undamaged. Security forces were still posted on overlooking hilltops.
In a back room, Fazlullah’s spokesman, Sirajuddin, was cagey about his leader’s whereabouts. “He is here and we are in contact,” Sirajuddin told an AP reporter and two local journalists. He was constantly interrupted by calls on two cell phones.
After the government deployed 2,500 paramilitary troops in Swat, once famed as a tourist resort, a suicide bomber hit a truck carrying soldiers Thursday in the district’s main town, killing 20.
The gray-bearded Sirajuddin, who goes by only one name, denied his movement’s involvement in the bombing, and claimed that local villagers sympathetic to the militants had executed the abducted men whose bodies were found Saturday. Still, he threatened that militants could resort to such tactics in response to government action.
“If a military operation starts against us there will be suicide attacks as well as a guerrilla war,” he said.
Sirajuddin laid out Fazlullah’s demands: hostilities would cease if Shariah, or Islamic law, was adopted and the government released Sufi Muhammad, Fazlullah’s father-in-law who was jailed in 2002 for having sent thousands of volunteers to Afghanistan during the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
Muhammad had been head of the banned pro-Taliban group Tehrik Nifaz-e-Sharia Mohammedi – or Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law. After his arrest Fazlullah became the new chief. The group has re-emerged this year in Swat and Malakand, another impoverished conservative region near the Afghan border.
The seminary has yet to open for religious studies but often draws thousands of worshippers at Friday prayers, residents say. Sirajuddin claimed some 80,000 devotees had gathered for prayers Fazlullah led during the recent religious holiday of Eid ul-Fitr.
As well as marshaling armed militants and enforcing Islamic law, Fazlullah has used his FM station to urge schoolgirls to wear all-covering burqas and has forced several development organizations to close their offices, accusing them of spreading immorality for using female staff, residents say.
That has irked authorities, but Sirajuddin said tensions in Swat had risen in the wake of the Pakistani army raid on the pro-Taliban Red Mosque in Islamabad – which had launched a freelance, Islamic anti-vice campaign similar to Fazlullah’s own efforts to dispense Islamic justice. More than 100 people died in the July assault on the mosque and neighboring girls’ seminary.
“The situation in the whole country, particularly here, has changed because of Lal Masjid,” Sirajuddin said, referring to the Red Mosque. “This situation is the reaction to Lal Masjid.”