Great Britain, a Crusade in Reverse
by Jeremy Taylor | October 3, 2006
It is more than likely that old Enoch Powell was right. The apparently mad MP, ex-brigadier and egg-head looked and sounded like an Old Testament prophet but in his middle-age he foresaw ‘rivers of blood’ running in Britain as a result of unlimited immigration – especially from Pakistan – in the Sixties and Seventies of the last century. He was boycotted by all liberals and ‘free-thinkers’ as a racist xenophobe, and spent his last years writing impassioned letters to the Times that caused much merriment, especially among senior members of both Conservative and Labour administrations. They guffawed, ‘old Enoch is at it again!’
Seventy-two hours before Thursday 10 August, a message was intercepted from the headquarters of a radical Islamist terror group in Pakistan. The message was simple; it ordered an immediate attack on Britain and the United States, on a scale that would have made even the Twin Towers horror look mild. Terrorist cells operating within Britain for years had organised groups of young men fired with their religion to blow themselves up in around ten airliners heading for centres in the US. But the plan (that plan anyway) was foiled because of the vigilance of the British police and MI5 working together for once.
One of the first in Britain to be arrested was Rashid Rauf. Once he began to sing it was not long before a massive round-up was in action. It seems that Al-Qaeda is heavily involved. Pakistan herself (in the form of a spokesman) rapidly blurted that Rashid Rauf was one of the key persons involved in the plot to blow up these civilian flights virtually at once, as they neared their destinations in the States. Quickly, his 22-year old brother Tayib, resident in Birmingham, was arrested too.
MI5 has been on a twenty-four hour alert since the Underground attack known as ‘7-J’. Everything they had learnt came to a head on Wednesday, 9 August, when their discoveries led them to believe a massive attack was about to ignite. Blair had already spoken to George Bush on the Sunday before, mentioning the imminent danger. Then he went off to the Barbados on holiday. By then many young persons had got their airline tickets and their deadly hand luggage ready. Groups of four and five were each told to board the chosen aircraft with the bombs in their hands, plus the necessary tools to activate them – the flash of a digital camera, for instance, or an apparently harmless device for listening to music; the usual devil’s work. The usual joke at the expense of the security arrangements at British airports – where you cannot move without being watched by policemen armed to the teeth and a slavering Alsatian.
One of the arrested would-be terrorists is one Don Stewart-Whyte (21). His father used to be a Tory MP, but died when Don was fourteen. This middle-class British boy was born in England, to parents of Pakistani origin. The ‘well-mannered, good-looking young man’ is studying fine arts. He was educated at the Challoner School (private). Just over a year ago, in secret, Don converted to Islam, and the neighbours began to notice changes in him. Once open and frank, he became taciturn and uncommunicative. He insisted on being addressed as Abdul Waheed. Don’s mother, a teacher at primary school, member of the Methodist Church, was on holiday when the police took away her son.
Oliver Savant (26) is just one more of those promptly arrested. He prefers to be called Ibrahim. His wife Atika is pregnant. Ibrahim works for a small recording company, supports Arsenal F.C. and the English national soccer team. Everything about him, except his newly adopted religion, seems normal, like our third subject, Valentine Sarwar, now known as Amjad, who describes himself on his own website as ‘normal’. Another is a student of bio-chemistry called Waheed Zaman (22), described by his girl friend as ‘a fish and chips lover’ and Liverpool supporter. His activities as a leader of Islamic societies at the Metropolitan University of London had already attracted the attention of the police, who ‘had him on the list’. He is now under arrest.
All these, and many other young British men, have one thing in common. They have all become converts to Islam, and have spent much time in local mosques and libraries. Their average age is 24 – one of the arrested is 17, and another 35. They are all described in the press as university-educated; some attend classical music classes, and all of them have regularly sent Christmas cards to their families. One of the police officers said, “suddenly they left off their studies, grew beards and started wearing a chilaba. In every case their parents have been desperately worried, but helpless. All their friends dress the same and have the same attitude.”
Meanwhile, the Islamic organisations in the UK have added their voice to the general clamour. Thirty-eight organisations, three MPs and a few members of the House of Lords delivered a letter to Tony Blair that says: “As British Muslims, we believe that the actual British foreign policy places ordinary British citizens in danger, both here (in Britain) and abroad. The Iraq debacle, and the failure to stop warlike attacks on civilians in the Middle East (the Lebanon, for example) will not only multiply the number of deaths among innocent people, but become an ideal weapon for those extremists who now attack our country”. Thus the signers reprove Mr Blair’s labour government for unintentionally aggravating potential terrorists, “as in the case of the aborted plan to explode transatlantic aircraft in mid-flight”. Mr Blair will not need to be reminded that there are more than two million citizens in the UK, especially in electoral hotspots, of Muslim persuasion. Politics, especially electoral politics, as the man once said, are never very far away in modern times. Blair also has to ponder the example of Spain, where one Party’s foreign policy and ‘special relationship’ with the United States, brought it crashing down against all expectation in a General Election, immediately after a perfectly-timed Al-Qaeda bomb attack on civilian workers. Al-Qaeda announced on is puppet TV programmes then, that they had shown they were more than capable of ‘regime change’ themselves. They proved it in Spain. Now the scene changes to Britain, which may now be considered ‘in the front line’, as many newspapers called it, or indeed, another Crusade, this time in reverse.
(Photo: Police and dogs at one of London’s major airports/efe)