Written by Jamal Anderson
Friday, 06 June 2008
Over the past few months, UmmahPulse has been reporting on a number of "ex-extremists" (see here, here and here) who have been popping up all over the place.
Amazingly, all of them seem to have the answer on how to tackle extremism. People who once seemed delusional and psychotic all of a sudden seem to be calm, intellectual and worth hiring as government advisors.
One such slightly imbalanced individual is Hassan Butt.
Butt is a self-proclaimed reformist who has said that he has turned his back on his Al-Qaeda terrorist buddies. But, it has recently come to light that Butt has fabricated his claims about being an Al-Qaeda member.
Under normal circumstances, the last thing a Muslim should want is to be associated with an extremist group. In the current climate where even an ounce of tenuous information could get you locked up, these people are dying or, in Hassan Butt's case, literally bleeding to be considered as a one time member of Al-Qaeda.
It seems the source of Hassan et al's authority to speak on the matter of extremism and be in the media spot-light is dependent on the fact that they were once part of such dubious organisations.
Butt and others like him are set to make thousands from books and even films about their life-story. Butt had started a book with journalist Shiv Malik to describe his own account, dubbed "Leaving Al-Qaeda".
Not unsurprisingly, Butt's outlandish claims got him arrested as he was about to board a plane to Pakistan. He was detained for 12 days and was interviewed for hours by Greater Manchester Police. In an unprecedented step, Greater Manchester Police released transcripts of the interviews which contradict his claims of ties to extremist organisations.
The transcripts from Greater Manchester Police reported that Hassan Butt said:
"I've never met Osama bin Laden. I've never met anyone from Al-Qaeda, or anyone whose claimed to be from Al-Qaeda at all in my entire life. I just wanna make that clear, so but they did impress me."
When questioned about being attacked with a knife by extremists. This is what slightly-psycho boy had to say:
"I actually arranged for myself to be stabbed in the shoulder, sorry in my arm and in my back because I knew if I said I had been attacked Shiv was going to ask for some proof so basically I stabbed myself... you know, it was just part of the whole scam."
Butt's contact with the Tube bomber Siddique Khan was also concocted. He had claimed to have met and had tea with Siddique Khan but under arrest he confessed that he didn't even know Siddique Khan until it appeared in the news.
Now that Hassan Butt has been shown to be a sham, a liar, and slightly mental, will those who have presented him as an expert highlight this to the public?