20 December 2010
Last Wednesday, following the news that the Stockholm suicide bomber was likely radicalised in the UK, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons that:
“I think if we’re frank on both sides of the House [of Commons], we have not done enough to deal with the promotion of extremist Islamism in our own country … we’ve also got to ask why it is that so many young men in our own country get radicalised in this completely unacceptable way.”
For the last two and half years, Quilliam has been at the forefront of asking why such radicalization occurs and what can be done to prevent it, producing ground-breaking reports on extremism in prisons, radicalization at universities and pro-jihadist websites.
Quilliam has also sought to raise wider understanding of the radicalization process. In the last week alone, Quilliam staff have given almost thirty interviews to British, European, US and Arabic radio, TV and print media explaining how the radicalization of the Stockholm bomber occurred. For instance Noman Benotman, a former jihadist and now senior analyst at Quilliam, has appeared repeatedly on al-Arabiya, the most watched Arabic news channel, throughout the last week to explain why individuals adopt such extremist ideologies, why al-Qaeda carries out such operations and why such terrorism is both against Islam and against the interests of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Despite this valuable work, as a not-for-profit relying on grants and donations, Quilliam needs your financial support in order to continue.
Quilliam was originally funded by a non-governmental Middle Eastern source. This funding was withdrawn because Quilliam criticised suicide bombings inside Israel and criticised existing fatwas supporting such attacks by Islamist clerics. Quilliam was then partly supported by a UK Home Office grant. In the last full financial year this grant was for around £387,000 per year. This UK Home Office grant, though set to continue, has however been reduced significantly. Quilliam has a number of donor sources lined up for later in 2011, but until we reach that period we need your financial support.
We would therefore like to appeal to all of our supporters to donate directly to Quilliam within the next week so that we can continue our work. In particular, over the next few months Quilliam will be:
• Working with British universities and relevant civil society bodies to tackle campus radicalisation
• Helping western governments shape their ‘Prevent’ strategies for countering extremism
• Bringing together a broad range of civil society groups to build a Muslim identity that is at home in the West
• Assisting Somali youth organisations and community leaders in the US and the UK to generate a stronger and more resilient Somali civil society
• Building on the success of Khudi, Quilliam’s Pakistani partner organisation, a grassroots pro-democracy movement that is effectively challenging extremism across Pakistan and promoting democracy and pluralism in its place.
• Identifying future terrorist threats. For instance, Quilliam’s 2009 report on prisons correctly identified by name Mahmoud Abu Rideh as being more likely to become involved in terrorism as result of his experiences in British prisons. Abu Rideh’s death in Afghanistan alongside active jihadists was confirmed at the end of last week.
Unless Quilliam receives donations this important work will not be able to continue at the same level. Donations can be made through our website here or through sending a cheque to Quilliam at Quilliam, PO Box 60380, London, WC1A 9AZ.
For further information, please contact us at [email protected] or (+44)207-182-7277.