LONDON Ñ Britain has been urged to prevent Al Qaida sympathizers
from access to mosques in the country.
A British institute said in a publication that the government must
prevent Muslims who preach jihad, or holy war, from working in British
mosques. The think tank warned that Al Qaida supporters have taken control
of Britain's 1.5 million-member Muslim community.
"It seems to be extremely difficult for most moderate Muslims to take up
any public positions against those of the ideological Islamists and to
retain credibility within their own communities," Civitas, the institute,
said in a report. "There is a grave risk of a backlash against peaceable
Muslims in response to the terrorist activities of some Islamists."
The report, entitled "The West, Islam and Islamism," said Muslims in the
West must accept its values as other religious and ethnic minorities have
done. The study warned that British Muslims must avow what was termed
"The distinction depends in practice on moderate Muslims being more
forthright in distinguishing themselves from their ideological
co-religionists," the report said.
Britain has ensured freedom of religion for clerics, including for
mosque preachers. This includes the the right of clerics to work without a
The report, authored by Lady Cox, a prominent human rights campaigner,
and John Marks, director of the Education Research Trust, called for
restriction of British immigration to "prevent a further influx of Islamist
ideologues." The study said previous efforts to examine the issue of Islamic
extremism in Britain have been hampered by critics who charge that all
Muslims have been targeted.