Lord Nazir Ahmed, the first Muslim life peer of the British House of Lords, has offered a bounty of £10 million (about $16 million) for the capture of President Barack Obama, as well as that of former President George W. Bush, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), citing the Pakistani press.
Lord Ahmed is originally from Pakistani Kashmir, a region in which terrorists have pressed Pakistani territorial claims.
The bounty was Lord Ahmed’s response to the U.S. government’s recent offer of a $10 million reward for the capture of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, founder of the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out the deadly Mumbai attacks of November 2008.
Lord Ahmed’s call for an attack on the U.S. head of state is the first by a Member of Parliament since the War of 1812, the last time the U.S. and Britain were at war.
Aside from a serious breach of international protocol, as well as a possible violation of British laws against terror and incitement, Lord Ahmed’s statements reflect a broader European trend in the appeasement of radical Islam. Rather than discouraging such extremism, appeasement–through the elevation of self-appointed spokespersons like Lord Ahmed–has encouraged some Muslims to take even bolder anti-western stances.
Whatever the legitimacy (or otherwise) of Pakistani claims in Kashmir, the pursuit of such claims through bloody terrorism and murderous antisemitism ought to be beyond the pale for any politician, in the west or beyond. That support for Lashkar-e-Taiba has come from a member of Britain’s upper parliamentary chamber is a sign of how deeply extremists have been allowed to infiltrate Europe’s core democratic institutions.