Gaza er en faktor i britisk innenrikspolitikk. Statsråd for minoritetene, Hazel Blears, frykter at radikale elementer vil kunne rekruttere på frustrasjonen og sinnet over Gaza. Justisminister Shahid Malik er klar over følelsene og er nøye på å vise at Storbritannia arbeider for våpenhvile.
Utenrikspolitikk ser ut til å ha blitt innenrikspolitikk i Storbritannia. Statsrådene må vise hensyn til det muslimske mindretallet. Tony Blair tok Storbritannia inn i Irak, men engasjementet døde hen.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said she was «very concerned» that the conflict could help extremists, and justice minister Shahid Malik warned it was having a «profoundly acute and unhealthy» effect on Muslim communities here.
«I am very concerned indeed that the events in Gaza could well be used by those people who want to peddle pernicious extremist views to draw particularly vulnerable young people into that kind of extremism,» Blears told the BBC.
«That’s why its doubly important for us now to get the facts across about what our government has done, leading the fight at the UN to get a resolution» calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, she added.
Blears is a key figure in the government’s drive to improve relations between Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims and non-Muslims which were strained after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and those in London in 2005.
Malik er Storbritannias første muslimske statsråd. Han ordlegger seg på en måte så man skulle tro at regjeringen bør tilpasses den muslimske minoriteten. Hva hvis britiske interesser kolliderer med muslimske? Og hva er de muslimske? Det er spesielt at en justisminister evaluerer politikken i 2006 opp mot dagens:
But Malik, Britain’s first Muslim minister, said he feared many people had failed to draw a distinction between current policy and the government’s failure to condemn Israel in the war with Lebanon in 2006.
«I was extremely concerned that many British Muslims had failed to distinguish between the UK’s current response and the response in 2006 during the Lebanon crisis,» he said in an interview with the Guardian website.
«People have become so disillusioned that they almost appear to have stopped listening to politicians.»
He added: «There is a real feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness among Britain’s Muslims in the context of Gaza and the sense of grievance and injustice is both profoundly acute and obviously profoundly unhealthy.»
Gaza radikaliserer, men spørsmålet er: er det noe å gjøre med? Kan det unngås? I så fall kan man ende opp med å gi en minoritet vetorett over utenrikspolitikken.
De offisielle talsmenn for muslimene har en tendens til å si: nå vet vi ikke om vi kan kontrollere de unge lenger. Det kan minne om utpressing.
Last week, the head of Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5 director general Jonathan Evans, predicted Israel’s action would see «extremists try to radicalise individuals for their own purposes».
In a string of newspaper interviews, he said there was «no single path» to violent extremism but «social, foreign policy, economic and personal factors all lead people to throw their lot in with extremists».
On Thursday, representatives of Muslim organisations who have been active in tackling extremism in Britain warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a letter that anger over the Israeli campaign in Gaza has reached «acute levels».
«The Israeli government’s use of disproportionate force … has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict,» said the letter.