The mayor of Manchester, England, has declared that the Muslim terrorist responsible for Monday’s attack at Manchester Arena — which killed 22 people and wounded approximately 59 more — is “not a Muslim.”
Mayor Andy Burnham’s decree contradicts the overwhelming evidence that suicide-terrorist Salman Abedi was a devout Muslim and an active member of his mosque in Britain.
On Wednesday, the mayor appeared on Britain's LBC talk program to make his case.
“The message that I would want to get over — and this is how the vast majority of people feel — this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim,” Burnham said. “The worst thing that can happen is that people use this to blame an entire community, the Muslim community.”
"In my view, the man who committed this atrocity no more represents the Muslim community than the individual who murdered my friend Jo Cox represents the white, Christian community,” he added.
It is unclear how Burnham, a Roman Catholic, has come to the conclusion that Salman Abedi is “not a Muslim.”
Abedi was a student of the Quran, according to The New York Times, and was described by neighbors as “devout.” Moreover, his family was heavily involved in the Islamic community in Manchester. The alleged terrorist frequently attended the city’s Didsbury Mosque, and his father sometimes issued the call to prayer there.
Mayor Burnham, like many British politicians, has prioritized raising awareness about so-called “Islamophobia” over counterterrorism programs designed to keep the U.K. safe.
Burnham has committed far worse actions than simply scrubbing Abedi’s true motives. Before becoming mayor of Greater Manchester, Burnham demanded an end to “toxic” counterterrorism programs on Islamic extremism. In fact, it was a centerpiece of his campaign as the Labour Party’s candidate for the mayoral slot.
The programs to combat Islamic extremism in Britain created “a feeling in the Muslim community that it is being spied upon and unfairly targeted,” Burnham said in June 2016, demanding an end to the surveillance of radicals. “My fear is that [the] Prevent [program] is so toxic now that it will need to be scrapped."
Later that year, Burnham continued to propose even more dangerous ideas. In September 2016, he argued that Muslims should be allowed to bypass police when reporting hate crimes. “In the midst of all these figures we’ve seen, we know that it is Islamophobia that is absolutely the most virulent strand of this hate that is coming forward,” Burnham said.
He added: “There’s a lot of people in this country not necessarily at risk from ‘Islamic extremism’ but it’s far-right extremism."
In his efforts to shut down counterterror programs, Burnham worked side by side with fringe Islamist groups to advance his agenda.
Andy Burnham was elected Manchester’s mayor on May 5. Less than three weeks later, his city has suffered a massive Islamic terror attack that killed scores of innocent teenage girls. All indications appear to say that Burnham will continue to engage in willful blindness and coddle radical Islamists, much to the detriment and safety of his citizens.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.
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