This is a rather uninformative piece about yet another Islamic group, this one called Tablighi Jamaat, which is ‘believed by western intelligence agencies to be used as a fertile recruiting ground by extremists.’ It looks as if the reporter, not surprisingly, wasn’t able to find out much. But one thing he did find out he doesn’t really seem to have noticed; at least, he doesn’t comment on it. It jumps right out at me.

Thousands of young Muslim men are attending meetings in east London every week run by a fundamentalist Islamic movement…On Thursday evening, the Guardian witnessed around 3,000 men from as far afield as Great Yarmouth and the Isle of Wight stream through the backstreets of Stratford to the meeting. There, at the gates of a seemingly derelict industrial site, men in fluorescent jackets waved those who are known to the Tablighi Jamaat hierarchy under a security barrier…Seconds later, the main man stood next to his red van in Islamic dress and a smart blue waistcoat as hundreds of men, many carrying suitcases and sleeping bags, filed past him…The English-speaking room heaved as a sea of faces, white, black and Asian, spilled into the hallway. Most were teenagers and men in their 20s and 30s dressed in Islamic dress, caps and beards. Some came in suits and ties, others in jeans and hoodies. There were old men too, who weaved slowly through to the front of the room, and a few young boys.

Well there’s part of your problem right there. Frankly it’s very difficult not to think that a lot of this just boils down to stupid guy stuff. To men segregating themselves and then egging each other on to do stupider and stupider guy stuff. It’s so difficult that I won’t even bother to try.

The Times also tells us a little about Tablighi Jamaat.

Some suspects, including Mr Sarwar, 25, joined Tablighi Jamaat, an international missionary sect encouraging followers to live like the Prophet, growing beards and praying five times a day. Volunteers are sent around Britain from mosque to mosque, bringing only a sleeping bag and provisions. By day they tour Muslim communities, knocking on doors to discuss faith with the men of the house and inviting them to evening gatherings.

To discuss ‘faith’ with the men of the house. See? Women aren’t even on the map, aren’t on the radar, aren’t anything to do with anything. They’re just furniture, cattle, household appliances. Well, that’s part of your problem right there.

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