The recent attack targeting Muslims at the Finsbury Park mosque in London has triggered heated debates about the worrying level of Islamophobia in the UK. Many are accusing Prime Minister Theresa May of paying disproportionate attention to the threat from “Islamic extremism” while failing to notice the rise in far-right terrorism. Press TV has talked to Syed Mohsin Abbas, a TV journalist, as well as Richard Millet, a journalist and political commentator, to get their opinions on this issue.
Syed Mohsin Abbas deemed British Prime Minister Theresa May “culpable” for the consecutive terror incidents in London, because her counterterrorism strategies have “totally failed.”
“Once you have had 20 years of an incessant campaign in vilifying, stereotyping and targeting one specific community -- i.e. the Muslim community here in this country… you can see that there are going to be people who have got psychological issues as well as racial prejudicial issues who are going to be very encouraged if you are not going to give them some kind of deterrent,” he stated.
Abbas also expressed doubt about whether British security services are really acting in favor of the public, suggesting that they are complicit in the terror incidents by failing to prevent them from happening.
The analyst further emphasized that the UK policies of waging war and supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East are now backfiring, with both Muslims and non-Muslims suffering the “blowback.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the analyst argued that even though the attack on Muslims who were leaving a London mosque was carried out by a “white supremacist, racist, Islamophobic” individual, mainstream media have been “very reluctant” to use the word “terrorism.”
He also opined that terrorism has no religion, asserting that the term “Islamist” is being used deliberately to affect the minds of the mainstream Western public.
Abbas also maintained that the British government’s counterterrorism policies are “categorically geared towards Muslims,” and that Muslims end up being labeled as terrorists in such incidents.
The other guest on the show, Richard Millet, denounced the terror attack on the London mosque as “absolutely horrific” and obviously a terrorist attack.
The media have been pretty quick in labeling the incident as terrorism, he said, arguing that it is “unfair” to say they have not done so.
The commentator noted that attacks as such -- whether they are perpetrated by a “far-right British nationalist” or an “Islamic extremist” -- must be labeled as terrorism.
“There is a minority of Muslim population that takes the religion to the extremes and interprets it in a very, very ideological hardcore manner on one side. On the other side, there is the opposite reaction: far-right ideology that also sees the right to carry out its objectives through slaughter, murder, attacks,” he stated.