A PLAID Cymru councillor says he is ‘shocked and horrified’ that an intimidating letter posted to him by apparent Muslim extremists snubbed the Welsh language.
The letter accused Cardiff councillor Mohammed Islam, who is Muslim, of being anti Islamic after he had been quoted in relation to some minor incident involving an alleged extremist group in the capital.
It said he ‘instigated, plotted and planned against the Muslim community’ and that he is an ‘enemy’ of the faith.
“The scholars of Islam are unanimously agreed that whoever supports the kaafirs against the Muslims and helps them in any way is a kaafir like them,” it continued.
But the councillor said he was stunned that the two page unsigned letter had been printed in both Arabic and English script, but not Welsh.
He raged: “The letter was all English and Arabic. The Welsh Language Board shouldn’t allow them to get away with such a poor service.
“The whole episode demonstrates, once again, the need for a comprehensive Welsh language law which gives people the right to use Welsh in their everyday lives.
“It’s shocking and horrific to me to think that in this day and age any organisation operating in Wales would think it’s acceptable to send out a letter without thinking to use the Welsh language.”
Cllr Islam denied that his demands were unreasonable: “Nobody is saying every extremist group operating in Wales should have to issue every fatwah or antagonistic statement in Welsh, but I don’t think it’s too great a demand to ask that these organisations are able to offer written communication to members of the public in the language of their choice.”
Chief executive of the Welsh Language Board, Meirion Prys Jones, said the body is willing to work with any group in Wales keen to enhance its provision of Welsh language services and that Cllr Islam should contact the group that sent him the letter to voice his displeasure: “There is a complaints process individuals should follow in such cases. First of all, they should make their complaints about the lack of a Welsh language service known to the organisation, and if they are not satisfied with the organisation’s response, they can contact us.”
A spokesman for al-Qaeda in Europe said it was disappointed the group – which may be – or more likely is not – affiliated to it had failed to respect cultural sensitivities when issuing threats in Wales.
The spokesman said: “We are proud to keep the tradition of the Welsh language as a focal point in our communities and have many jihadists and martyrs that speak and write Welsh in addition to encouraging our mujahideen to attend our in-house Welsh language training classes which were started in September 2008.
“More than 100 have completed varying levels of Welsh language training and received certificates and passed the WJEC beginners’ exam. We recognise their efforts every year during our internal awards ceremony.”
The Welsh Defence League, which ISN’T anti-Muslim, and ‘counts many of them’ as friends, was unavailable for comment. However a member of the English Defence League, which is just as open minded as its Welsh counterpart, said something incoherent: “The Muslamic Infadel, they’re trying to get their law over our country. In London you’ve got Iraqi law.”