Article excerpt

Byline: Terrorism expert BY KEVIN TOOLIS

IF the Islamic fanatics who bombed London ever achieved their aims and took power, Britain would become an Iranian-style Islamic Republic.

All contact between the sexes would be banned. Discos, bars, public swimming pools, youth clubs - anywhere women and men could meet - would be closed down. Sunbathing, beach holidays and all forms of female sport would be outlawed. Fashion magazines such as Vogue could only be published if all images of female flesh were blacked out.

It would be a crime for a woman to walk with her hair uncovered in public. Instead, all women, even girls as young as four, would be forced to wear hijab - an all-encompassing headscarf and baggy clothes to disguise her body shape even in the height of summer.

Bikinis, skimpy clothes, any garment revealing a women's curves would be suppressed.

The only men a British woman would be allowed to meet would be her immediate male relatives - although men would be allowed to marry up to four wives.

Education would be rigidly segregated and all forms of mixed entertainment banned.

The streets of every British city would be patrolled by special religious police who would enforce this Islamic dress code and arrest any suspected "courting couples".

Anyone suspected of committing adultery would be hanged or stoned to death in public at the new Wembley stadium. Britain would be ruled by a special council of Islamic Guardians who would oversee all laws and determine who could stand for Parliament.

The only people allowed to become MPs would be those deemed by these Islamic clerics to have the right attitude to the rule of Islam and the British Islamic Republic.

The Royal family would be killed or driven into exile. An Islamic Britain would declare war on the United States.

Every aspect of life - from family barbecues, to who sat next to whom in restaurants - would be determined by a strict Islamic code.

All other religious groups, from Christians to Jews, would be expected to adopt the same sort of rules. The Koran, not a constitution or a legal system, would be regarded as the only source of authority or justice.

Those who blasphemed or criticised it - such as author Salman Rushdie - would be executed. To normal people, the idea of Britain ever becoming an Islamic Republic seems insane.

But to the fanatics behind the Tube bombings, taking power in a major Western European state is just part of their holy jihad against the West.

At the root of the Islamic philosophy of Osama bin Laden and his followers is the belief that America and its allies, such as Britain, are occupying Muslim lands and waging a modern-day Christian crusade against Islam.

Osama bin Laden wants to turn the historical clock back to the 13th century when the Islamic empire of the Ottomans stretched from the deserts of China to Spain and to the gates of Vienna in Austria. These fanatics believe that the presence of US and British troops in Iraq and Saudi Arabia is just part of the United States' plan to dominate the world and control the world's oil supplies. …