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PAGE 10A Public meeting called by Hizb utoTahrir at All Saints Parish the "radicalization" of Muslims. By Dinah A. Spritzer This is Part 1 in aJTAseries: "Identity Crisis: Muslims in Europe." BRADFORD, England 0TA)--Ishtiaq Ahmed, who works as a spokesman for the Bradford Council for Mosques, lives with three generations of his family in a luxurious Brit- ish home built by his father, a successful Pakistani-born businessman. After the July 7, 2005 public transit bombings in London, which killed 52 people, Ahmed woke up, looked around his neighborhood and was troubled by what he saw. Three of the four bombers were from nearby Leeds and, like him, they had Pakistani backgrounds. "There is a growing section of Muslim young people 16 to 25 who are increasingly becoming alienated, disil- lusioned and angry about a host of issues, such as unem- ployment, racism and British foreign policy," Ahmed said. Many of these young peo- ple, he said, feel that the British government is against them. "They see the government is willing to spend millions of dollars fighting Muslims in Iraq, but not help them B'nai 3 titzvah 00/00ana JCarr Eliana Simcha Karr, daughter of Rosanne and Philip Karr of Winter Springs, Fla., will be called to the Torah as a bat mitz- vah on March 7, 2009 at Temple Israel in Winter Springs. Eliana is in the sixth- grade gifted program at In- dian Trails Middle School where she is active in the chorus, Beta Club and track. Her hobbies and interests include making jewelry, all things artistic, writing and making movies, playing piano and violin, riding ripstik and running. She also is a member of Kadima. Sharing in the family's simchawill be Eliana's brother, Aaron; grandparents, Sara and David Danziger of Winter Park, Fla., and Stanley and Shirley Karr of Fort Lauder- dale, Fla.; and aunts, uncles, cousins and friends from Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona, Texas and California. van 00TCo/zin Evan Kotzin, son of Stephen and Robin Kotzin of Maitland, Fla., will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Congre- gation Ohev Shalom. Evan is in the seventh grade at Maitland Middle School where he is a member of the symphonic band, the jazz band and is on the honor roll. His in- terests include music and basketball and is a member of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando's junior varsity basketball team. Sharing in the family's simcha will be brothers Daniel and Jason, sister and brother-in-law Shira and Scott Smith of Orlando, grandfather Gordon Kotzin of Orlando, and friends and family from Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, North Carolina and California. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 The making of Islamic terrorists Fotdmike/Creative Commons Church in Bedford discusses with their problems at home," Ahmed said. That can make them ripe for recruitment by Islamic extremists. "People with a pan-Islamic agenda tell these young people: All your problems are because you are Mus- lim"--Iiving in a non-Muslim country--"so we should all unite and assert ourselves and restore the glory of Islam," he said. Even if only an estimated 3 percent to 4 percent of Muslim youth become extremists, Ahrned said, "that is still far, far too many." The London bombings, like the Madrid train bombings in March 2004 and foiled terror- ist plots elsewhere in Europe since, have forced Europe to focus on homegrown Islamic radicalism. Beyond imple- menting security measures needed to prevent terrorist attacks, Europe is trying to understand the sense of fury and alienation many Muslims feel and that, in a few rare cases, might lead them to try to murder their neighbors. "The number of individuals in Europe who have joined violent jihadi movements has increased," said Alexan- der Ritzmann, an expert on Islamic terrorism from the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy and a former member of Germany's parliament. Based on terrorist incidents and intelligence dossiers, he said, "there has been an increase of planned attacks over the last five years." To be sure, the number of European Muslims engaged in terrorism is minuscule compared with their overall numbers. Of the roughly 17 million Muslims living in the 27-country European Union, a total of 242 were charged with terrorism-related crimes from 2001 to 2006, according to a study by the Netherlands Institute for International Relations. But support for terrorist attacks appears to be far more widespread. Roughly one in seven Muslims in France, Spain and Britain believe suicide bombings against civilian targets can be justified at times to defend Islam against its enemies, a 2006 Pew Re- search Center survey showed. And with the Iraq war, the Afghanistan campaign and Israel's recent war in Gaza, experts say al-Qaida's notion that Islam is under attack by the West is gaining currency among Muslims in Europe. Terrorist groups like al- Qaida and militant Islamists have tried to tap into Muslim fury in Europe, with some success. Foreign policy often is cited as a key motivating factor by terrorists. One of the 2005 London suicide bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, left behind a video in which he justified his attack, saying, "Your democratically elected gov- ernments continually per- petrate atrocities against my people all over the world. Your support makes you directly responsible." The 29 bombers who car- ried out the 2004 Madrid attacks were inspired by al- Qaida's 2003 call for action against countries supportive of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, court documents show. But the picture of Muslim fury is complicated, and it is easy to confuse the anger of European Muslims over their treatment as a disenfran- chised minority in Europe-- such as the riots that rocked Paris' heavily Muslim immi- grant suburbs in the autumn of 2005--with sympathy for anti-Western terrorism. In the 1960s and'70s, Euro- pean governments recruited manual laborers from poor, rural, mostly Muslim coun- tries such as Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria without paying much attention to how they might fit into European societies. Governments as- sumed these workers even- tually would return to their countries of origin. Instead they remained, struggling against prob- lems such as discrimination and poverty. Many lived in substandard housing, fre- quently were denied jobs and homes due to their ethnic background, and scored con- siderably lower than native Europeans on school tests. After the terrorist attacks this decade, European gov- ernments finally woke up and began promoting integration and equal opportunities. But the measures are so recent, it will be years before their impact can be gauged and, in some cases, felt. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to attribute sup- port for Islamic terrorism to Europe's failure to integrate Muslim immigrants. Nearly half the convicted terrorists in the study by the Netherlands Institute hailed from middle- class families that appeared to be successful models of integration. So were the men who committed the London bombings in 2005. Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicaliza- tion and Political Violence at King's College in London, says an identity crisis is atthe crux of sympathy for and involve- ment in Islamic terrorism. "European Muslims feel torn between the culture of their parents they do not identify with and Western culture that does not really accept them," he said. "This is true for all immigrants, but the key difference is that there is no ideology for Hindus, for instance, saying that the West is at war with your religion and that there are Zionists and crusaders who want to kill you." What emerges from inter- views with former Islamic extremists is that years of alienation can give rise to radicalism, even among the middle class. Maajid Nawaz, a former British Islamistwho now runs one of Europe's leading coun- ter-radicalism organizations, the Quilliam Foundation, talked to the U.S. Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs last July about how as a young man he felt torn, like so many second-generation Pakistani immigrants, be- tween British culture and that of his parents. "Despite my liberal British upbringing, I was subject to an appalling level ofracistvio- lence by aminority of thugs," he said. "Many of my white friends were stabbed before my eyes simply for associating with me." "Whilst such a crisis of identity initially concerned only racial and ethnic dimensions, the tragic slaughter of white Muslims thatwas to eventually play out in Bosnia-Herzegovina brought to the fore of my mind Europe's Muslim question," he told the committee. "Through this rude awakening, and for the first time in my life, I became critically aware of a Muslim identity." Beware the caliphate The path to violent extrem- ism can be found in political Islam, which views Islam not just as a religion but as a political system under which all Muslims one day will be united, Nawaz says. A1-Qaida and its offshoots preach vio- lence as a means to this goal, while more moderate groups believe political Islam should be achieved through nonvio- lent means. Britain's most successful Islamist organization, Hizb ut- Tahrir, known by the acronym HT and whose name means Party of Liberation, is banned in the Middle East and in Ger- many. HT holds that Muslims, if convinced by ideology, will rise up and engage in peaceful coup d'etats in Muslim coun- tries to restore the Islamic caliphate the group claims was destroyed when Turkey became secular a century ago. HT's biennial meetings in Britain draw an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people. Officially, HT condemns terrorism and maintains it opposes violence of any kind in the name of Islam. "In the West, Hizb ut-Tahrir works to cultivate a Muslim community that lives by Islam in thought and deed, whereby adhering to the rules of Is- lam and preserving a strong Islamic identity," says the movement's Web site. "The party does not work in the West to change the system of government, but works to project a positive image of Islam to Western society and engages in dialogue with Western thinkers, policymak- ers and academics." HT officials did not return JTA's calls seeking comment. Ishtiaq Hussain, a former member of HT who now works with the Quilliam Founda- tion, says the key to successful recruitment of radicals is ex- ploiting whatever grievances extremists can find among young Muslims. "Recruiters will say that the war in Iraq shows that Ameri- cans want to kill Muslims and we have to unite against this," Hussain said. "They will basically take any problem you have and turn it into a Muslims vs. the West issue." HT recruits primarily at universities, where its leaders run prayer services and other events but do not necessarily identify themselves as HT members. Recruiters keep their eyes out for those who seem most receptive to their message, befriending and encouraging them to attend more and more events. A former recruiter him- self, Hussain recalls luring students away from more moderate Muslim groups by discrediting them as govern- ment stooges and enforcing the idea that only HT repre- sents true Islam. "All the books you read, the people you talk to," are HT, Hussain said. They "tell you not to listen to your friends or family." Like any other cult--or, perhaps, college fraternity-- HT gives members a sense of empowerment through belonging to a tight-knit, elite group. But unlike a fraternity, HT also sometimes encour- ages recruits to turn against those closest to them. "There was that feeling of being on the cusp of a new world order which would revive the glory days of Is- lam," wrote another former HT member and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, Ed Hussein, in Britain's Independent newspaper last April. "For a 17-year-old who felt out of place in the U.K., it was very attractive. Every- where we went, we were the brothers to be respected. It was intoxicating." Moderate Muslims say groups such as HT distort true Islam in recruiting young people to the cause of extremism. While HT does not promote terrorism, Hussain describes it as a conveyor belt to violence. "They never tell you to go blow yourself up, but they do not condemn it either; they leave it up to the individual," he said. "And we believe their kind of thinking can lead some people to violent acts." An engineer and doctor who tried to blow up the Scottish airport in Glasgow in 2007 attended HT meetings. So did Omar Sharif, a Briton who tried but failed to blow himself up in Tel Aviv in 2003. To be sure, there is no sure recipe for transforming an alienated Muslim into a terrorist. Across Europe, there has been a resurgence in religios- ity among Muslims since the launch of the so-called war on terror. Many have turned to faith in the face of anti- Muslim sentiment, and devout Muslims insist Islam is a force for good, not ill. Activists like IshtiaqAhmed say Muslim leaders must make a greater effort to convey to young people that being a politically involved British citizen is compatible with be- ing a religious Muslim. "Islamic faith institutions have a duty to protect the young Muslim population from dangerous and violent propaganda," he said. "We can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend this is not a problem."