Muslims must do more to help police combat terrorism
With terrorist sympathisers amongst Muslims numbering several thousands, according to Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism chief Peter Clarke, the police are having a hard time keeping an eye on them all. They keep making arrests left, right and centre, but frequently seem to get it wrong since most of the people initially held after raids on various premises are neither charged nor convicted. Clearly, the police need our help.
Government ministers have repeatedly warned that it will take years to overcome the threat of terrorism in Britain, and Home Secretary John Reid told us that we must all be more vigilant and most likely will have to give up more of our freedoms in return for security. Muslim community leaders in particular should shoulder more of the responsibility to eradicate radicalisation and terrorist leanings amongst their midst.
As responsible citizens we must not ignore these calls for cooperation. We must assist in every way possible to make it easier for our security and law enforcement agencies as well as the general public to rid our society of the evil scourge of Islamist terrorism. I think I know how we can do so efficiently without stretching already scarce resources too far.
The key to combating terrorism, so we are told, is to have the right intelligence. It is difficult to figure out whether somebody is a terrorist, or sympathiser, by simply looking at them. When a Sikh with a turban got beaten up after 9/11 it was because his attackers mistook him for a Muslim. Then there are people like me, white European converts, whose number is increasing fast the more Islam keeps dominating the news. Again, it is very difficult to tell a Muslim and a non-Muslim apart in such cases. Even compulsory identity cards would not solve this problem.
We could all help by voluntarily wearing a yellow star and crescent clearly visible on our outer garments. This would restore public confidence. At airports special handling lanes could be set up to process those wearing a star and subject them to more thorough scrutiny, similar to the red and green customs lanes. Check-in delays could be reduced over night. When filling in job applications we could mark those clearly at the top as "I am a wearer of a yellow star" to prevent the difficulty of having to guess whether a foreign sounding name is Muslim or not. This could reduce the number of rejections for Polish applicants who should not have to suffer due to the Islamist activities in our society.
I am not suggesting that all those wearing the yellow star and crescent are potential terrorists, but this should not prevent us from doing our duty to Queen and country. Those who are innocent have nothing to fear and should be glad to assist the police with their enquiries. With such a gesture we would put an end to racial profiling and non-Muslim Brits of immigrant origin would thank us for it. This move could go a long way in repairing soured community relations. We could all proudly demonstrate that we are playing our part, instead of constantly having to apologise that we're not doing enough.
And who knows, in the long run it might even provide us with a group identity that has so long been denied to us by the race relations industry and those in power. Wear your yellow start with pride!