Gaza invasion could spark extremism in Britain

Amid a reported surge in anti-Jewish attacks in Europe, a group of leading moderate Muslims Thursday warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown that anger over Israel’s invasion of Gaza could spill over to the streets of Britain. “…The anger within UK Muslim communities has reached acute levels of intensity,” said a letter to Brown from 14 British Muslims who are among the government’s leading counter-extremism advisers. “The Israeli government’s use of disproportionate force…has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict. For Muslims in the UK and abroad, we run the risk of potentially creating a loss of faith in the political process,” they say.

Among the signatories are Usama Hasan, imam of Al-Tawhid mosque, London, Dilwar Hussain, head of the policy research center at the Islamic Foundation, Zareen Roohi Ahmed from the British Muslim Forum and Ed Husain, co-director of the anti-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation.

The letter urges the British government to distance itself from the outgoing Bush administration in the US and to “ensure the incoming Obama administration forges a more enlightened direction.”

The intervention follows a “testy” meeting Tuesday between junior foreign minister Bill Rammell and 30 representatives of Muslim organizations in Britain, the Guardian reported.

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