Links to two news articles occur adjacent to each other on the blog tracking site Memorandum today (See here and here), that seem to tell two completely different stories about the roots of the terror threat in Britain.
From the Washington Post:
Young Muslim Rage Takes Root in Britain
Unemployment, Foreign Policy Fuel Extremism
“…Britain has become an incubator for violent Islamic extremism, fueled by disenchantment at home and growing rage about events abroad, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
In one of Europe’s largest Muslim communities, young men face a lack of jobs, poor educational achievement and discrimination in a highly class-oriented culture. Prime Minister Tony Blair is the most outspoken ally of President Bush, and their policies in Iraq and Afghanistan are seen by many Muslims as aimed at Islam.
But from the UK Telegraph, contrast the article headlined “University students at centre of terror plots“:
The recruitment of Muslim students at British universities to take part in terrorist attacks is at the heart of the alleged plot to blow up passenger jets, it is feared.
A dossier of extremist Islamic literature has been uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph on the campus of a north London university, one of whose students has suspected links to the alleged terrorist attack.
Waheed Zaman, 22, a bio-chemistry student and the president of the Islamic Society at London Metropolitan University, was one of 24 people arrested last week. Material found at two portable buildings used by the society includes documents advocating jihad and a pamphlet on how to deal with approaches from the security services.
Extremist Muslim groups had been detected at more than 20 institutions, both former polytechnics and long-established universities, over the past 15 years, Prof Glees said.
According to security sources, “several” of the 23 people still in custody over the alleged plot last week are suspected of links to universities, appearing to confirm growing fears that campuses are providing Britain’s biggest security threat.
So if The Washington Post is correct, that unemployment and rage at foreign policy cause extremism, how many Britons who are unemployed, against British foreign policy, and non-Muslim have been found to have plotted to blow up airliners? Perhaps the common denominator here is not employment status or objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And if the rage is being fueled by unemployment and lack of education, why are so many of the plotters tied to British universities?
The view from the Post looks like nothing more than a rehash of the old left-wing “poverty causes crime” canard, re-tooled as the “poverty causes jihad” canard.