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WikiLeaks: British Outreach to Muslim Community Fails
by Ryan Mauro
According to one of the cables released by WikiLeaks, the U.S. believes that the British have made "little progress" in winning over its Muslim community. The author is right to be alarmed but shouldn't be surprised. The U.K., like the U.S., has been courting extremists in moderate clothing as part of its outreach and has failed to stop Islamist trends in the country as a result.
The August 2006 document says that although the British government invested "considerable time and resources" into reaching out to the Muslim community after the terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005, a productive relationship has not been established. As an example, the cable mentioned "The Muslim community's reaction to the arrests of 24 of its own sons—a kneejerk reaction blaming [the government]—shows that its leaders too have far to go." It complained about how Muslim leaders attributed homegrown extremism to British foreign policy, using the problem to vindicate their political views.
The cable correctly points out that the British Muslim community has not waged an ideological offensive against Islamic extremists, instead denying that an ideological motivation is even the cause. The British government is also at fault, as its ignorance of who it embraces has sidelined moderates and empowered those with the views it seeks to combat.
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