British society must share blame for creating ‘jihad generation’: Strategist
British society, its political class and community leaders must share the blame for the ‘jihad generation’ of young men and women joining the Islamic State terrorist organization, a former senior Muslim army officer has said.
Afzal Amin, who was chairman of the Armed Forces Muslim Association, a conflict strategist and a military adviser on winning ‘hearts and minds’ in Afghanistan, has said young Muslims in inner-city Britain have been left disenfranchised by politics and let down by imams and other community leaders.
Amin, 39, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Dudley North, also called for troops on the ground in Iraq to combat the escalating threat from Islamic State (IS), arguing that the British Army, with years of experience in counter-insurgency in the Middle East, has the capability to defeat them.
While his call does not chime with the government’s current strategy of offering non-military assistance in the Kurdistan region to repel IS forces, other figures in Westminster and the Armed Forces are advocating a tougher stance in Iraq. Amin said he agreed with defence secretary Philip Hammond that Britain should not ally with President Assad despite British IS militants kidnapping and beheading US journalist James Foley inside Syria.
Amin backed David Cameron and said: ‘When the time comes to deploy, I am sure he will not hesitate.’ He said he agreed with the prime minister that the threat from IS was real and British people should fear for their safety.