Kassam After NY Attack: ‘To Deal With Radical Islam We Need to be Big, Grown Up, Have Difficult Conversations’

OLIVER JJ LANE

Western democracies need to stop handling Islam with “kid gloves” and the religion is in need of a reformation if there is to be hope of ending the deadly terror attacks carried out by radical Islamists, Breitbart London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam has said in the wake of the New York attack that killed eight.

Speaking with Fox News@Night host Shannon Bream Tuesday night as news broke of a terror attack that saw a radicalised migrant drive a hire truck into cyclists in central New York, Kassam rejected the label of “lone wolf” as applied to Muslim terrorists, saying these individuals were rarely-self radicalised.

Kassam added that the phrase “lone wolf” was a “cop-out” that allows governments in America and Europe to wash their hands of responsibility of having to deal with the root causes of terrorism, and said it was necessary to look closer at the background of the radicalisation of terror suspects and the imams preaching in “Saudi funded mosques”.

He remarked: “Whether that’s attending a mosque, speaking to a local imam, being referred to a particular interpretation of the Quran or the Hadith, these people don’t find that themselves; we have to start looking at where this person went to the mosque, what this person was affiliated with, who his friends were, what they were asking of him.”

When challenged that looking at sermons delivered by imams or investigating mosques could be a “volatile” offence against the freedom of religion in the United States, Kassam replied: “Islam isn’t just a religion — it is also a political philosophy, a political ideology, and it doesn’t offend to ask these questions. I was raised in a Muslim family, and it doesn’t offend me and nor does it offend anyone I grew up with to ask those questions.

“What we are actually doing by not asking those questions is helping the fundamentalists and the literalists who target people — moderates — in the Muslim communities around the Western world who don’t want to live by sharia law.”

He remarked that by not asking sensitive questions of Islam and handling the religion with “kid gloves”, the West was enabling and encouraging fundamentalists.

Speaking on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Kassam said that Islam, too, was in need of reform: “These questions are relatively easily dealt with — they are dealt with by saying Islam needs a reformation, it needs a reformation much like Christianity had a one… But we haven’t done that with Islam, it’s like we deal with it with kid gloves.”

“If we are going to deal with this issue, we need to be big, grown up, and strong about it, and have difficult conversations.”

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