Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Day Bomber Invited 'Jihad' Cleric to Address British Students

From the Daily Mail (UK):
The Christmas Day airline bomber invited a radical cleric who has advocated dying while 'fighting jihad' to address British students.

While president of the Islamic Society at University College London, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab helped arrange for Abdur Raheem Green to speak.

The cleric, who converted to Islam from Roman Catholicism, has written that conflict between Islam and the West is 'ordered in the Koran', and that Muslims and Westerners ' cannot live peaceably together'.

He has also claimed: 'Dying while fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise and Allah's good pleasure'.

In 2005, shortly before Abdulmutallab arranged for him to address UCL, Green was barred from entering Australia after opposition leader Kim Beazley accused him of 'spreading hate'.

The revelation adds weight to the belief that Abdulmutallab was radicalised during his time studying in London, where he read mechanical engineering and business at UCL between 2005 and 2008.

The 23-year-old spent most of his spare time with the university's Islamic Society, for which he served as president between 2006 and 2007.

He organised a week-long conference under the banner War on Terror Week in January 2007 with advertised speakers including former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Security sources are concerned that the picture emerging of his undergraduate years suggests that he was recruited by Al Qaeda in London. They added that Islamic radicalisation was rife on university campuses, especially in London.

But Qasim Rafiq, a close friend who was president of the UCL Islamic Society the year before Abdulmutallab, insists his radicalisation did not happen until after he left university.

'There was nothing to suggest he would do what he has done when I knew him,' said Mr Rafiq. 'He was not quick to anger and didn't discuss politics. It came as a complete shock to me when I heard what he had done.'

He added: 'He was very religious. He prayed regularly, usually five times a day, and didn't have a girlfriend, drink or go to nightclubs.'

Mr Rafiq, who is now studying for a PhD, said Abdulmutallab, the son of a millionaire Nigerian banker, never spoke about his family background while at university. After university Abdulmutallab' 'vanished'.

Green, 44, was born Anthony Green, the son of a colonial administrator in Tanzania. He was brought up a Roman Catholic but converted to Islam in 1987.

He works at the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre as the Visits and English Dawa Co-ordinator.

In 2005, Green was prevented from boarding a flight with a stopover in Brisbane because he appeared on an Australian government ' movement alert list' due to his inflammatory comments.

In an interview with Australian radio afterwards, Green said he had long renounced the extremist views, adding that he has consistently condemned terrorist acts and the killing of women and children.
With thanks to Women Against Sharia

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