Muslim chief slams ‘police state’ Britain, compares to Nazi Germany
AFP, February 2, 2005
A Muslim leader has warned that Britain is moving towards a “police state,” comparing the situation to Nazi Germany after the anti-terror raids in the city of Birmingham this week.
But Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham’s Central Mosque, urged Muslims to show restraint following the raids, in which nine suspects were arrested over allegations of plotting an “Iraq-style” kidnapping and filmed beheading.
“The country is moving toward a police state. That’s not right. We have to change this,” he said inside the mosque, where some 2,000 Muslims gathered for weekly Friday prayers.
“We can change this for the better by coming together, not by coming apart. .. Remain calm, don’t get angry. Anger is a natural emotion, but Muslims should control it. We must never give way to anger,” he said.
Speaking outside the mosque shortly before the prayer session began, he compared the current situation, and anti-terrorism legislation introduced in Britain in recent years, to Nazi Germany.
“The German people were told the Jews were a threat. The same thing is happening here. The Muslims are now the bogey people,” he said. “It’s a small community. It’s easy to pick on them. That’s what’s being done.”
Tempers are high after the raids, which were accompanied by allegations that the suspects were planning to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier, and post a video of the execution on the Internet.
Police were on Thursday given more time to question the nine suspects, all of them said by neighbours to be Britons of Pakistani origin, and mostly family men with children.