by Stephen Schwartz
THE ANNOUNCEMENT LAST WEEK that British authorities had arrested 14 people in an inquiry centered on terror training at an Islamic school and adjoining property in the idyllic landscape of Rotherfield, East Sussex, was good news. Then came the bad news: the Jameah Islamiyah school had been used 15 times by U.K. law enforcement for diversity and sensitivity training of its officers.
A friendly proximity of government officials and our terrorist adversaries is nothing new either in the United Kingdom or the United States. Still, how is it that a headquarters for radical Islamist indoctrination could be repeatedly used for training of British officers without anybody noticing something wrong in the school environment? Sussex county police responded with typical bureaucratic inertia, stating: "We are not embarrassed by our involvement with the school but, inevitably, this will have to be reviewed in the light of the weekend's events."
Media reports indicate that suspects in the school inquiry include 42-year-old Abu Abdullah, a former associate of Egyptian-born radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri. Al-Masri is a supporter of al Qaeda whose hands were blown off and replaced by hooks and is serving a sentence of seven years in a British prison for incitement of racial hate and murder. (The United States unsuccessfully sought his extradition for attempting to set up a terror training camp in Oregon.)
Even more unsettling is that the Yemeni ambassador warned British authorities in 1999 that the Jameah Islamiyah school was used for terror training. Government investigators concluded then that evidence for the accusation was lacking and that no laws had been violated.
THE IMPULSES TOWARD political correctness, diversity, and sensitivity which led to the Sussex police's current embarrassment have been felt in the States, too. On August 14, Salam al-Marayati of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) held a press conference to praise a British Muslim tipster involved in the recent, transatlantic airline terror conspiracy. The event allowed al-Marayati the opportunity to publicly rub elbows with the local British consul general and representatives from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Los Angeles. Sheriff's Department.
But it is not clear that American law enforcement should want to appear with Al-Marayati. On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, al-Marayati told L.A. radio station KCRW (as noted in the New York Times of October 22, 2001), "If we're going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."
Nevertheless, MPAC is frequently promoted by official Los Angeles. The organization's "senior adviser," Maher Hathout, will be honored on October 5 by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations for his service to the cause of "human relations." In 1998 Hathout condemned U.S. retaliation in Afghanistan, after the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as "illegal, immoral, unhuman, unacceptable, stupid, and un-American."
A half-decade after September 11, it's now time that the diversity racket which brings Western authorities together with terrorist apologists be broken up--on both sides of the pond.