In "But he was good to his mother: Murdering for militant Islam," I reviewed the common pattern whereby family and friends of those accused of Islamist murder invariably respond with astonishment and praise the accused. I looked in some detail at Sajid Badat, called by one admirer "a walking angel" and "the bright star of our mosque," as well as seven other cases.
This is not a topic I have added to and updated, simply because the examples are so numerous and repetitious. But a quote today, about one of the four accused London bombers, prompts me to open a blog about techniques Islamist killers use to avoid suspicion.
Shehzad Tanweer, 22, Shazzy to his friends, scion of a family of model Pakistani immigrants, was universally said to be sports mad and indifferent to politics. The Daily Mail quotes his uncle, Bashir Ahmed, calling his nephew "a very kind and calm person," "respected by everyone," and "proud to be British." Richard Ford of the Australian quotes two of his friends, Mohamed Ansaar Riaz and Azzy Mohamed, bestowing the usual high praise on Tanweer: "the best lad you could ever meet," "a sweet guy who gets on with everyone," "had a fantastic sense of humour and could make you laugh," "never drank and I never heard him swear."
But then comes the kicker: "He is the kind of guy who would always condemn extremism, like any good Muslim should. I have heard him many times in the past say such things."
Comment: The task of rooting out potential Islamist murderers gets ever more difficult if they ostensibly condemn the very ideology that motivates them. This has the tragic implication of raising doubts about condemnations by even sincere Muslims. (July 14, 2005)