On a cloudy May afternoon, terror struck in the UK. Justifying his barbaric act of murdering a British soldier, the British born Nigerian Michael Adebolajo, one of two men suspected of carrying out the attack, spat these words to an eyewitness filming on a mobile phone. “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth.”
People from all walks of life belonging to every community were horrified by the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London. British Muslims in particular were left in shock as well as with growing fear of being attacked by anti Islam extremists groups. British Prime Minister David Cameron in his furious reaction said that it was an attack on entire Britain and the killers have betrayed the British Muslims and Islam. While condemning the killing of a soldier, Muslim community leaders, politicians and academics blatantly denounced the barbaric act but at the same time, strongly urged the community for introspection.
Khalid Mehmood is a member of House of Commons from Birmingham, the Asian dominated city which has witnessed the most terrorism related arrests in the past few years. On the growing radicalisation of British Muslim youth, he says there is no real reconciliation of the religious meetings that take place within the mosques and madrassa teachings. Currently, what happens in mosques in the UK is predominantly that you have 50 to 60 children being taught by one teacher who has very little understanding of English so basically teaching in Arabic where children don’t get to learn the true meaning of Islamic teachings, says Mr Mehmood.