Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
While all of us are deeply extremely concerned at the news of ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s desperate push of returning to the United Kingdom, none of us unfortunately are really showing any concern seeing the whole of Europe and a number of the Western countries gradually witnessing the rise of radical Islam and Sharia. In Britain alone, the percentage of Muslims turning radicalized or enforcing Sharia in their personal lives is no meager at all. If the immigration authorities in Europe and United Kingdom will look into the record, they will turn greatly surprised seeing the alarming rise in the number of Muslim men and women, who had turned into radical Muslim just within the span of past ten years. Last night, as I was on a phone call with someone living in London, to my utter dismay I observed her making frantic bids in convincing about importance of performing Islamic prayers and putting on burqa for the sake of ‘getting place in Muslim heaven’. She even told me that in London, a Muslim woman cannot go to the street without burqa as the members of the community condemn those who do not impose strict Sharia rule in their personal lives. Islamic community centers and mosques in Europe have already turned into breeding grounds of radical Islam. But it seems to me, no one really is bothering about this serious matter.
Let me make a point clear. If we (and we actually should) oppose Shamima Begum’s return to the United Kingdom or other ISIS members to various nations in the West, we definitely need to put the entire Muslim community in the Western nations under strict surveillance. Otherwise, as they already are becoming radicalized, ultimately they would turn into jihadists and lone wolves, thus posing grave threat to national security of those countries.
In 2017, we heard about the European Union setting up a new institution to deal with the changing face of jihadism. Radicalization has already become an European issue while experts say, the member states of the European Union are relatively new to the fight against Jihadism (radical Islam as well). There are a lot of holes in the terms of information policy, intelligence services and the coordination of police and border control.
For the most part, the fight against radical Islam, Jihadism and terrorism continues to fall to individual countries, but as the problem evolves, so does the role of the EU. According to statistics available with the Europol, 135 people died in 2016 in 13 jihadist attacks across the continent and 718 suspects were arrested, almost five times as many as four years ago.
Radical Islam is no longer being flourished and nurtured within closed doors in seedy safe houses. Rather it is flourishing like a virus through Islamic community centers, mosques, madrassas and of course the social media. Jihadist groups are successfully radicalizing hundreds of Muslims of different ages through the social media and social video sharing sites. If the authorities can initiate an immediate survey within the Muslim-dominated areas in the European Union as well as Britain, they will realize how fast the members of the Muslim communities are becoming radicalized. These Muslim, most of whom are immigrants, consider the West and the non-Muslims as evils and ‘enemies of Allah’ and they not only start practicing radical Islam and Sharia in their personal lives, but they also become patrons and donors of various Jihadist outfits including ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Who are the European extremists? Oliver Roy, one of Europe’s most distinguished experts on the matter, believes that jihadism is the result of the Islamization of radical behavior that lies latent in any society. In his book, Jihad and Death, he explained an extremist will typically be second-generation youth, usually well integrated, who becomes radicalized in prison after committing a minor crime and would go to reject his parent’s authority and their understanding of Islam, ultimately becoming involved in an attack and dying at the hands of police for getting into Muslim heaven with the reward of 72 virgins.
Here I will rather disagree with Oliver Roy, as it seems his understanding the situation has certain degree of lapses. In today’s Europe and the West, it is not only those ‘second generation’ turning radicalized ‘defying’ their parents. Rather, they get inspiration from their parents for embracing ‘real Islam’ which means radical Islam and support Jihad. Those parents infect their children with the culture of hatred and extreme anti-Semitism. Most of the Muslims in the West though are making better income than their own countries do strongly believe, non-Muslims, particularly Jews and Christians are ‘enemies of Allah’ and it is ‘sacred duty’ of every Muslim of ‘establishing Islamic rule’ in the West.
The situation will turn even worst in the years to come. The only remedy here is to immediately identify those radicalized Muslims in the West and by snapping their immigration status; these Sharia-practicing Muslims should be sent back to their home countries. My suggestions may sound a bit crude, but this is the only option of saving the West from being overtaken by radical Islam.
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz. Follow him on Twitter @Salah_Shoaib