Baroness Cox: Britain has 'been deeply infiltrated by radical Islam'
Baroness Caroline Cox, former deputy speaker of the House of Lords for 20 years, and author of " The West, Islam, and Islamism, " and Dr. John Marks, co-author of the book, are in Israel as guests of the Jerusalem Summit for a BESA Center conference on radical Islam being held at Bar-Ilan University.
Cox added that the possibility of another terrorist attack on Britain was a constant looming shadow. "Terrorists only have to get it right once. It's difficult to have a fail proof way to stop them," she said.
"Britain has become a base for training and teaching militant Islam," Cox declared, adding that moderate Muslims who opposed extremism faced threats and a harsh campaign to silence them. Dr Marks warned that "radical groups are multiplying and continuing to recruit ."
Arguing that "Britain has been deeply infiltrated," Cox cited the case of Salah Idris, who owned a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory destroyed by the US in the late 1990s after it was linked with al-Qaeda activity. Idris is also a shareholder in two high-tech security firms that provide security for the British parliament, UK military bases, and 11 nuclear installations.
"When we brought this matter to the attention of the authorities, we were told there was no cause for concern," Cox said, adding that Idris continued to be involved with the security firms.
Marks said Britain's Jewish community was also under threat. "I wish they would do more to inform the rest of society of the threat they face," he added.
"But in general, the threat is indiscriminate," Cox remarked.
Muslims schools in Britain 'like Hamas schools'
Textbooks being used in Saudi-funded Muslim schools in Britain contained the "same anti-Semitic texts based on the Koran that you find in Palestinian Hamas schools," Marks noted.
Cox quoted a senior British bishop as saying that "most of our educational institutions have been infiltrated," and said university campuses were prime recruitment grounds for Islamist groups.
"They are using our institutions to recruit young people, and preventing any critical analysis of Islam. I recently visited a theology college in Wales. The first thing you see when you walk in is a giant plaque thanking a wealthy sheikh for his contribution. I thought, is there any way that a realistic assessment of Islam can take place at this college?" she said.
New battleground: Plans for a mega-mosque in London
"The feeling is that we are all the time putting out fires," Cox said. She discussed proposals to construct a gigantic mosque in east London which would house 70,000 people in prayer. "The symbolism of the mosque is clear, it dominates over its surroundings, which submit to it," Cox said.
"While the implications of having a mega-mosque are worrying, what's more worrying is the group sponsoring the project, Tabighi Jannat (Arabic for 'the Proselytizing Group'). They already have a huge mosque in Dewsbury (northern England), which is a cause for concern. This group is extremely secretive, and receives Saudi funding," she added.
"We need to wake up, draw a line in the sand, and say enough is enough," she said, adding that "Britain's cultural and spiritual heritage are under threat."
Asked whether a culture of political correctness was stifling a proper response to radical Islam in Britain, Cox agreed, but added that the London bombings on July 7, 2005 helped peel away fears of being labeled 'Islamaphobic.'
"Five to 10 years ago, the PC filter would have kicked in more. Now, there is deep anxiety about what to do. There's a lack of any ideas on how to respond," she said.