If the Internet is Islamism’s ‘biggest recruiter’, it can’t be that far ahead of the UK’s universities, mosques and prisons. However, these MPs have said that the influence of these institutions (in the UK) on Muslims has been exaggerated when compared to the influence of the Internet; which is not to say that universities, mosques and prisons don’t breed extreme Islamists at all.
Of course Internet radicalisation is almost bound to be a case of what the Select Committee called ‘self-radicalisation’. MPs have said that ‘Sheikh Google’, as it were, is the most dangerous sheik on the planet, especially considering how many ‘hits’ he will get every single day.
The police also supports these findings. The Association of Chief Police Officers told MPs that ‘the Internet does seem to feature in most, if not all, of the routes of radicalisation’.
It should now be added that there is even a Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, which was created by the Home Office. This institution has received over 2,025 ‘referrals’, about 10% of which have actually led to websites being taken off the Internet.
As you may guess, the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA)has said that it would be impracticable, if not impossible, to police the vast amounts of material which can be found on the Internet. Not only that. ISPA has also said that it is ‘undesirable given the implications for freedom of expression’. This is a bogus argument because paedophile websites are often closed down and deemed illegal even if they are indeed difficult to police. Similarly, say a website offered information about the precise whereabouts and times that the Prime Minister, in a non-public/official role, was at Place X - along with instructions about the best weapons to use to kill him. Such a website would be taken down immediately. But that’s, admittedly, only if the website were discovered in the first place.
It has been said, by MPs, that Twitter should be used by ‘moderate’ Muslim leaders to challenge extremists and thus take away some of their influence and power. But as most people already know, it is notoriously difficult to get Muslims, ‘moderate’ or otherwise, to challenge or monitor their fellow Muslims in any shape or form - no matter how extreme or radical such Muslims are. The same is true of protesting against extremist Muslims or even demonstrating against terrorist attacks, such as New York’s 9/11 and London’s 7/7.
You see, even if these extremist Muslims are seen as extreme by other Muslims, they are still, well, Muslims. They are still fellow Muslims. And do these ‘moderate’ Muslims want to do ‘the kuffar favours’ or speak out against Muslima on the ‘kuffar’s behalf’? As Inayat Buglawala (‘media secretary’ of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB))
asked about Ed Husain’s book The Islamist:
should Husain ‘be washing [Muslim or Islam’s] dirty washing in public’? That is, no matter how extreme Hizb ut-Tahrir or, the Muslim Brotherhood, or even Abu Qatada is, as a Muslim, Ed Husain should still have refrained from washing that ‘dirty washing’ in front of the faces of non-Muslim ‘unbelievers’. That’s what Inayat Buglawala thinks, anyway.