Vigilance Is Price of an Open Society
Byline: Paul ROUTLEDGE
JOHN Reid, the Iraq war boaster, may not have been the right man to say it and an East London Islamic centre may not have been the right place to say it.
But it still had to be said - even at the risk of upsetting Muslims.
There is a threat to the public from home-grown Islamic fundamentalists and British Muslims have a duty to monitor their own community for signs of incipient terrorists.
They know better than anyone if young Ali is going off the rails, or has come under the ideological spell of a fundamentalist cleric.
They see the signs better than a whole station full of coppers.
They have a responsibility to take whatever action seems right, including informing the authorities, if someone they know seems to be on the brink of violent jihadism against fellow Britons.
That includes parents, siblings, friends, clerics, youth workers and elders of the Muslim community.
I'm sorry, but as Dr Reid admitted, there is no easy way of saying this.
Silence, however, would be more culpable than speaking out.
Just imagine if this habit of mind had been the norm before July 7 last year: the young Muslim bombers might have been apprehended before they set out on their deadly mission to London.
The 52 victims, some of them Muslims, might have lived. …