Gain trust to stop terrorism

“Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father warned authorities about him. It’s a good reminder of the best way to prevent terrorism”

Analysis of readers comments on the above Guardian Cif post by Inayat Bunglawala 21 January 2010 – See full post here

Guardian Cif readers think Mr Bunglawala’s suggestions for preventing terrorism by actual or former UK students fall short of what is required. 53% of commenters were critical of him and they got over 80% of Cif readers’ votes.

Sample chart

This is based on the first 50 of a total of 202 comments. The table below gives more details.

Readers Comments Votes for Comments
Number % Number %
Strongly Support 11 21.6 116 5.9
Support 2 3.9 25 1.3
Neutral 11 21.6 226 11.6
Critical 4 7.8 186 9.6
Strongly Critical 23 45.1 1390 71.5
Totals 51 100.0 1943 100.0

What people had to say is represented by the following extracts from a few of the most popular comments.

smellthecoffee – 105 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala said] [Rather than trying to demonise student Islamic societies for their supposed radicalism, our counter-terrorism efforts will surely bear greater fruit if they focused more on building genuine partnerships with local communities and gaining their trust.]

Trust is a two way process. Isn’t it about time that local communities (I assume you mean muslim communities) built partnerships with the greater population and tried to gain their trust?

StudRockman – 70 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala quoted] [All of Bristol should be grateful and recognise the contribution of the Muslim community to the investigation ? without a doubt they saved people from serious injuries if not worse, ..]

Indeed…but why do the actions of an individual compel us to thank an entire community? This whole “community” schtick is just sooo noughties…let it go Inayat…as long as you keep up this convenient myth about fictional communities, said communities are likely to be equally demonised when an individual does something rather less public spirited….

Waltz – 90 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala said] [What on earth is “radicalisation” supposed to mean in this context?]

Presumably it means exactly the same it does as when “the Muslim community” expresses concern about a particular individual – and you claim to approve of the latter so …

Sabraguy – 104 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala said] [The Telegraph mentions that the Islamic society at University College London …organised a series of lectures in 2007 on the “War on Terror”. Can you imagine that? Students organising lectures that are critical of US and UK foreign policy. Goodness, who would have thought it?]

Bungalawala is hiding his head in the sand again. They also invited extremists like Abdur Raheem (“Muslims and Westerners cannot live together”) Green, and Abu (“Kill gays”) Usmah of Undercover Mosque fame to speak.

Abdulmutallab is the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. Even the NUS is worried.

Scriptor – 94 votes
…. You know as well as I, Bunglawala, that Islamist terrorist recruiters operate in UK universities and are well-trained to spot those most likely to be easily manipulated and groomed. To admit that is not to demonise Muslim students as a body so why not admit it and tell us what you would want done about that?

ColinMaddison – 77 votes
Inayat, the theme of your article appears to be that the Police, the government, all of us non-muslims need to engender trust between us and your ‘community’. Trust is a two-way thing.

Where is the bridge building from the ‘community’ outwards to us infidels? It does seem to me the ‘community’ only wants trust on its terms. How can the community not expect a little suspicion with the events over the last 10 years? Most ordinary people are only too willing to try and trust, but it is getting more and more difficult with every new bomb plot uncovered in the name of Islam.

StephenHero – 72 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala said] [Rather than trying to demonise student Islamic societies for their supposed radicalism, our counter-terrorism efforts will surely bear greater fruit if they focused more on building genuine partnerships with local communities and gaining their trust.]

Translation; more funding for so-called community representatives, and grand scale denial of the massive problem of islamist terrorism.

1830 – 55 votes
Even by Mr Bungawala’s standards, this is an exceptionally poor apiece. Most of the article is padding. The one conclusion of note – that is it a good thing when friends and relatives inform on friends and associates when they are believed to be involved in terrorist operations – is so obvious that no rational person could possibly deny it. Its simply stating the obvious.

StephenHero – 30 votes
[BeautifulBurnout said][Why should all Muslims be vilified because of the actions of a comparative handful of lunatics?]

They most certainly should not; Most Muslims, like most people, are simply trying to get on with their lives, and I’ve met quite a few who deeply resent the likes of the MCB being presented as their “representatives”.

Buckenheimer – 47 votes
Too bad the “Muslim Community” didn`t bother to alert the proper authorities about Maj. Hasan — and others — before he slaughtered 13 men, women and children and wounded over 30 more before the coward was gunned down by a courageous police women.

Needless to say, I think your essay is utterly ridiculous.

VforVintage – 17 votes
…. Religions, especially were they are in a minority have a tendency to retreat fome society. Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses and Scientologists encourage their ‘flock’ to abstain from society, usually on the basis that the rest of us are the devils children.

It has the dual effect of making the believers feel superior as well as under threat and stops them having their beliefs challenged. Muslims have put themselves in a similar position, yet expect us to ‘trust’ them, when the evidence available is contrary to what we are being asked to do.

Gargoil – 18 votes
Good on the parents of Isa Irfan for informing on the police. I think it’s instructive, though, that the only other example you can find of British Muslims informing the police of suspicious behaviour was a recent convert with no strong ties to other Muslims.

My perception of Muslims, with honourable exceptions, is that they’re only interested in looking after themselves.

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