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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
What you've said
Hizb ut Tahrir's conference in Indonesia
Panorama: Mondays at 2030 BST on BBC One

Thank you for sending us your views on How I became a Muslim extremist.

We have published a selection of your comments below.

Another Islamophobic programme - you guys have an obsession with Islamism, blaming it for all the ills in the world. Classic deflection tactics from the real issue - British foreign policy. It's possible to be a practising, politically-engaged Muslim without wanting to kill innocent people. The bombs in London aren't going to stop if HT is banned or if Muslims denounce extremism. But they might if the British stop invading Muslim countries and stop supporting Muslim dictatorships. Why don't you surprise us with a programme about a westernised Muslim who saw the error of his ways and became a non-violent Islamist, campaigning against the injustices perpetrated by Britain in the Muslim world. That person would be far easier to find than the unrepresentative likes of Shiraz Maher or Maajid Nawaz et al.
Roshan Muhammed Salih, London, UK

I want to thank Shiraz Maher, Ed Hussein and Panorama for their courage to show the general public how easy it is for young, educated Muslims to become extremists. Four years ago, a friend studying at the University of East London challenged the right of Muslim radicals to have a stand immediately outside the Learning Resource Centre which peddled hatred. Unfortunately, she was told in no uncertain terms that all students had the freedom of expression. Universities have not understood the latent problems which surface when impressionable young people are radicalised by biased and bigoted racism spread by these undoubtedly terror organisations.
Jill Seltzer, Ilford, Essex

It was interesting to learn about the current ongoings of such organisations from a personal perspective. However the timing of the programme probably wasn't encouraging to the muslims who are currently fasting in the month of Ramadan to feel the hunger of the poor, and then give 2.5% of their wealth to charity during this month. These people are human after all, and the majority believe it or not are simple trying to get on with life, abiding by British law beacuse that's what the religion encourages and practise their faith at the same time. It wouldn't hurt to teach the general public about something positive about the religion for a change and discuss importance of Ramadan maybe?
Sabina, Birmingham, UK

It took incredible courage and bravery for Mahar and Hussein to not only leave but to speak out against Hizb ut-Tahrir. The way that they have been treated by this group is no different to many that reject the path of extremist religion around the world, but I do feel that the British Government is not giving them the support that they need. It is understandable that the young disenfranchised Muslims in Britain have little to feel nationalistic about and this group is exploiting this fact to great effect. Unless we encourage and support educated and moderate Muslims like Shiraz Maher it will continue to be the case that the less educated and weak minded that are tangled up in HT will have little reason to reject a group that seemingly supports them.
Alex Riboni, Monterey, California, USA

I was quite disheartened at your reporting, I generally tend to have respect for the undercover stories Panorama aires. I'm no sympathiser for HT, whilst at University I saw them as a single minded group who where more interested in foisting their ideas than any real dialogue. However, at the end of the programme, by making the statement made by HT sound like it was coming from a stereotypically, uneducated, middle-eastern individual who probably has links with al Qaeda, was in my opinion a little pathetic. Considering Panorama has done research on HT, I'm sure you are aware that members and especially people higher up in the organisation tend to a tad bit more educated and speak rather like a middle class indigenous white individual. Panorama by depicting HT as incoherent Arabs are feeding to sad stereotypes of Muslims in the world. Bad editing choice, Panorama should be ashamed of having "spin" over substance. In addition there where no views aired by real Muslims, just! non Muslim so called "experts". I don't believe every Jew in Tel Aviv should be blown up, I don't believe that an Islamic state should be foisted upon people, but hey, if a country wants to follow that sharia and votes for it, well that's democracy. Democracy isn't when you vote Republican, Conservative or Labour, it's the process of governing by methods chosen by the masses. With regards to the Israeli-Palestinian issues mentioned in the programme, I'm not so stupid so as to appreciate that the creation of Israel was rather "dubious" to say the least and I refuse to be apologetic about that belief. In my opinion, all Palestinians should be allowed to return to the homes they where kicked out of and then they should have democratic elections. Parties such as Likud, wouldn't stay in power very long and democracy will have served the people of the region.
Mohammed, Birmingham

Your condemnation of Hizb ut-Tahrir by using an 'ex-extremist', appears to have had one purpose: to denigrate an organization which was founded after the Jewish state was created on the destruction and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Like an increasing number of Jews, Hizb ut-Tahrir denounce the brutal illegal occupation of Palestine and recognize the legitimate right of the Palestinians to defend themselves against the Zionist Jews who invaded and colonized their native land and wiped its name off the map, aided and abetted by the West. 'Israel' (yes the inverted commas are deliberate) is a threat to its indigenous inhabitants, the Palestinians, and to all those who dare oppose it, as it is a military power with the latest WMD. They have never hesitated to attack the neighbouring countries until they became docile (e.g. Jordan and Egypt); Hizbollah/Lebanon, Syria and Iran are of course 'evil' as they condemn Zionism and campaign for a free Palestine where its indigenous people would recover their stolen towns and villages and vote on the future of their country. If the BBC is as fair as it claims to be, Panorama should now show a programme using an 'ex-Zionist' with a non-Zionist one, who could expose the crimes committed by 'Israel' while it pretends to 'defend itself'. The Jews suffered (with millions of others) under Nazism and should be ashamed of the Zionist crimes against humanity. I dare you to say it, even if you risk becoming 'an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier' which is of course 'a crime'.
Mrs C Cameron, Martlesham Heath/Ipswich, UK

How I became a Muslim extremist
28 Sep 07 |  Panorama

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