Ed Lines

ACCORDING to the BBC, ITV, Sky News and every daily paper in the country, Dewsbury was “a town in shock” on Monday, as word broke of 17-year-old Talha Asmal’s martyrdom in Iraq, courtesy of a car full of dynamite.

In shock? Were you in shock? I wasn’t. Not even mildly surprised.

If I was a Mirfield resident. I might have been furious – at the TV journalists outside the grammar school saying they were in Dewsbury. That’ll send the house prices tumbling, Doris. The MFG September sixth form intake might take a bit of a battering too. But shock? Nope.

Disappointed maybe.

Disappointed that professional gobsh*te Shahid Malik eked out a few more minutes in the media limelight as  ‘family friend and spokesman’ for the terrorists’ loved ones. Disappointed even more, that no-one spoke for the Asmals, Munshis, Savile Town or indeed Britain’s Muslim community, to apologise for the cold-blooded murder of the 10 people blown apart by this evil youth.

I’m always telling my teenage children to live their dream. Well, Talha Asmal lived – and died – his. What a stupid waste. What a stupid boy. What a stupid, medieval, barbaric ideology he came to worship.

It was also interesting – but not shocking – witnessing the outpouring of projected grief and sympathy directed towards the Asmal family, as if they were the victims; as if their son was an unwitting victim himself.

I’m sure it was a devastating blow to Peter Sutcliffe’s parents to find out they’d bred the Yorkshire Ripper, or for the family of Fred West to learn about the monster in their midst – but I don’t remember a media lovestorm wrapping up “the poor relatives” in tea and sympathy.

MP Paula Sherriff covered herself in mediocrity with her – yawn – appeal for the town, the community “to come together”. What are ‘we’ supposed to do Paula? ‘We’ are not welcome, if you hadn’t noticed. ‘We’ are not the problem here.

Quick to follow was the inevitable blame strategy: ‘It woz the internet wot dun it’ as The Sun headline writer might have put it.

Be careful online kids … you might think it’s only a Facebook chat with your pal Chantelle, but one wrong click and you’re blowing your limbs across half a mile of Syrian desert.

I don’t think so.

Talha Asmal and Hassan Munshi did not accidentally find a terrorist’s online forum one day, think “that sounds fun” and run away to jihad.

No more than Mohammed Siddique Khan tired of Mrs Khan’s chappatis, grabbed a rucksack of explosives and went off to blow up London.

These are long, indoctrinating processes. And even then, they require detailed, careful planning.

THE inescapable fact, and one which no-one in Savile Town seems willing to accept, is that those youths grew up in a closeted community, brainwashed with the Koran, with a fundamentalist Islamic doctrine that is central particularly to Savile Town’s major mosques – more so than many others in the area.

They were breastfed on the Prophet’s vision of a global Islamic caliphate, of a nation beholden to Sharia. That’s what defines Sheikh Yakub Munshi, the James Bond villain of the drama playing out this week. Somebody should buy him a white cat and a monocle.

How can I possibly say that or know that? Because the arrogant Islamic cleric simply does not care to say otherwise; to attempt to explain how his family could breed not one, but two teen terrorists nearly 10 years apart.

The Munshi family clearly didn’t learn many lessons after Hammaad was banged up for plotting bomb carnage, did it?

But maybe – just maybe – they didn’t bother trying. Just blame it on the t’interweb and get Malik to explain everything away.

We are told (via Malik) that the Asmal family are heartbroken, devastated.

I imagine any parents would be. It would be nice to be able to sympathise more, but unfortunately we have to take Malik’s word for it, because neither family has been falling over themselves to step up and condemn this barbarism in person.

A show of hands at the Zakaria mosque’s Friday prayers would be interesting.

I’d like to know how many of them believe Talha Asmal is a martyr; how many believe he is feasting with a harem of virgins in paradise. No hands up, or all hands up? What would your guess be...?

NEXT UP playing the blame game was our own professional ‘Dewsbury lass’ Sayeeda Warsi.

She and Malik are like the Colin Crompton and Bernard Manning of northern politics – except without the laughs.

For Warsi, it was the government – yes, the one that sacked her – to blame. Slap my thigh!

It seems they had been deliberately ‘disengaging’ (whatever that means) from Muslim communities.

I’ll tell you what it means – that the government stopped over-promoting shysters like Sayeeda Warsi, and that it stopped throwing money at dodgy ‘reformed’ Islamic extremists, suddenly thrusting themselves forward as the voice of moderate Muslims.

The state stopped writing blank cheques to organizations like Shahid Malik’s discredited Tell Mama.

Closer to home, thanks largely to the efforts of this newspaper, cynical cash cows like the Taleem Youth Forum and the host of fictitious groups using the cover of the Taleem Training and Community Centre to plunder public funds, were exposed and had the money tap turned off.

That’s Warsi’s beef. Britain wasn’t loving its Muslims enough – code for throwing enough money and influence at them.

What she didn’t unfortunately elaborate on, was how we break down the self-erected doors of mosques like the Markazi and the Zakaria where, being a woman, she’s not even welcome.

It seems that when Yakub Munshi was giving Warsi her sharia divorce, he didn’t mention being a bit worried about young Hassan…

‘Engagement’, Sayeeda, is a two-way deal. And do you know what? Most Britons have had enough of you fluttering your modest eyelashes from behind veils, or spouting divisive bile in the mosque to impressionable young men.

Teach your kids how lucky they are to enjoy the freedoms of this country, or bugger off to join Isis and don’t come back. Because actually, most of us don’t care.

Shocked? It’s time somebody was. And it’s not us.

ACCORDING to Tuesday’s Daily Mail, author and journalist Danny Lockwood has lived in Dewsbury “all his life”. Well, it’s close I suppose. Give or take 13 or 14 years in America, Australia and York.

My daughter was reading a ‘quote’ in the story attributed to me. “You don’t talk like that dad,” she said. “Not even when you’re on the telly.” Probably because I didn’t say that, darling. It isn’t even factually accurate, so I wouldn’t say it.

Journalists, eh?

SPEAKING of journalists however, I did a TV piece on Wednesday evening with possibly the most intelligent interviewer I’ve encountered in many years.

Shame that Alexander Khabarov works for the official Russian state TV and radio station. The BBC, who are a sight more left wing and propaganda-mad than the Russians, could take a leaf out of his book.

Alexander (among many national journalists this week) couldn’t believe how stonewalled they were, when trying to speak to local people in Savile Town.

“Only one young man spoke to us,” he said. “And that was to say they had been instructed in mosque not to talk to journalists.”

You don’t say...

I HAVE an idea by which the NHS could save a fortune.

They could just give patients with low blood pressure details of government spending to thus send it soaring without need of medicinal intervention. They might need scraping off the ceiling though.

Take Bangladesh. We’ve given them £30 million to help “public expenditure management”. Not to tackle poverty, educate children or fight disease, but how to use Microsoft Excel.

Fair enough. Bangladesh national debt is 39% of GDP, with a budget deficit of 3.6%. Except the UK’s figures are 93% and 4.1%. Quite apart from the fact that this money will just line already wealthy pockets, who should be helping whom, to balance the books?

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