Paris attacks: 'It's lazy to say France's terrorist attacks nothing to do with Islam', says Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

The Government has ruled out the introduction of airport-style security at rail and underground stations in the wake of the French attacks

People who claim that the recent spate of terrorist attacks in France have nothing to do with Islam are both “lazy” and “wrong”, the Culture Secretary has said.

Sajid Javid, a Muslim, called on Britain’s Islamic community to contact the police if they suspect someone they know has been radicalised or may be vulnerable to the influence of hate preachers.

“The people carrying out these acts – what we have seen just horrifically this week in Paris, what has happened in London, in Madrid, in Peshawar – these people, they call themselves Muslims,” he told the BBC on Sunday.

“The lazy answer I think from people out there would be to say, ‘Look, this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims’, and that should be the end of that part of the debate.”

He added: “It would be wrong, because you can’t get away from the fact that these people are using Islam, they are taking a great religion, a very peaceful religion adhered to by more than a billion people around the world, and using it as their tool to carry out their horrible activities.”

The Conservative MP added that people should report anyone they fear may have been radicalised. “It is important for anyone in Britain, whatever background they are from, of any faith or none, if they know anything, if they think someone might be radicalised or is being tempted, they should report that to the authorities without delay,” he said.

The Government has ruled out the introduction of airport-style security at rail and underground stations in the wake of the French attacks, the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, but travellers may notice an increased police presence at stations.

 

Lord West, the former head of the Royal Navy, said that Britons should “step back and be calm” rather than seek a knee-jerk reaction, but added that there was a case for tighter ammunition controls and increasing the amount of money given to the security services.

Meanwhile, it emerged over the weekend that a Muslim cleric who has previously been jailed for calling for the killing of British troops in Iraq gave a lecture shortly after the events in Paris in which he described the UK as “the enemy of Islam”.

The Sunday Mirror reported that Mizanur Rahman, who is currently on police bail having been arrested last year on suspicion of terrorism offences, also defended the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, accusing its cartoonists of “insulting Islam” and saying that those who do “can’t expect a different result”.

“Clearly what happened in France is a war. These cartoons is part of their own war, is part of the pyschological warfare,” he said in the lecture streamed live over the internet on Friday evening. “You can’t have that attitude. You know what happens when you insult Muhammad.”

In 2007 Rahman was jailed for six years for calling for the killing of UK troops, but his sentence was reduced to four on appeal. Counter-extremism group Stand For Peace said such rhetoric could prove to be the “driving force” behind future killings and that authorities “should not treat him as just another Islamist preacher”.

It has also emerged that the wife of an al-Qaeda recruiter who reportedly mentored the Charlie Hebdo gunmen is appealing against her terror-related conviction on human rights grounds. Sylvie Beghal, whose husband Djamel Beghal is said to have helped to radicalise the Kouachi brothers and is currently in prison in France, was prosecuted after refusing to be questioned under anti-terrorism legislation at a British airport in January 2011.

She lost her attempt to have her conviction quashed High Court, but has now taken her case to the Supreme Court where it will be decided by Britain’s most senior judges.