The truth is that Britain has created a breeding ground for religious terrorists. I have a number of Muslim friends in Nigeria who have expressed fears that their sons, who are studying at British universities, might be caught up in Islamic fundamentalism. They are worried about the company they are keeping and by changes in their attitudes.
Their children are becoming intolerant of other religions, developing a kind of holier-than-thou stance even towards their fellow Muslims. Holier, or purer, than thou — that sums up the mental conditioning. It is the beginning of a religious psychopathy that ends in bombs in underpants. One friend with a son at university in the northeast of England has not — yet — pulled his son out but he is certainly keeping a watchful eye on him. He has reason to be worried.
Where are these students developing these attitudes? Mostly off-campus in local mosques. There are so-called schools of Islamic teaching attached to mosques in certain British cities. These ghetto schools, which are often situated in innocuous places, are a real problem in Britain. You have them in many of your northern cities; you have them in London. They are not mainstream Islamic schools.
What their mullahs recruit are impressionable youths who have been extracted from the regular Islamic schools and mosques and taken for special grooming for a narrower, more fundamentalist view of Islam. I do not know how many such schools there are but I have met the products of these schools in Britain.
Wole Soyinka, 75, was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1986. His plays are written in English but they incorporate the music, dance and words of traditional African festivals.
Born near Abeokuta, in Nigeria, Soyinka grew up in an Anglican mission compound. He came to Britain to study drama at Leeds University and later worked at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
His work has openly criticised the Nigerian government. In the 1960s he was imprisoned for two years during the Nigerian civil war and spent much of that time in solitary confinement. He was later exiled for speaking out against General Sani Abacha.
Soyinka has published plays, novels and several volumes of poetry, including Poems from Prison, A Shuttle in the Crypt and Mandela’s Earth and Other Poems. He now lives in America.
Professor Wole Soyinka won the Nobel prize for literature in 1986