* Abject Dhimmitude Alert: hold Israel responsible or watch the bombs go off in Londonistan:
London, Jan 8 : Amid a reported surge in anti-Jewish attacks in Europe, a group of leading moderate Muslims Thursday warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown that anger over Israel’s invasion of Gaza could spill over to the streets of Britain.
“…The anger within UK Muslim communities has reached acute levels of intensity,” said a letter to Brown from 14 British Muslims who are among the government’s leading counter-extremism advisers.
“The Israeli government’s use of disproportionate force… has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict. For Muslims in the UK and abroad, we run the risk of potentially creating a loss of faith in the political process,” they say.
* Get it over with, Brown-Nose: lie down and die!
* Ed Husain, “moderate Muslim:“Â How can this happen before our eyes?
* Mental flatliner James Brandon:Â “Reining in the preachers of hate” andÂ “Commentators who rail against Islam risk producing terrorists of their own. The right must speak out against its own extremists”
* Watch out: Islam is aboveÂ criticismÂ and we kill you to prove it!
Among the signatories are Usama Hasan, imam of Al-Tawhid mosque, London, Dilwar Hussain, head of the policy research centre at the Islamic Foundation, Zareen Roohi Ahmed from the British Muslim Forum and Ed Husain, co-director of the anti-extremism thinktank the Quilliam Foundation.Â
The letter urges the British government to distance itself from the outgoing Bush administration in the US and to “ensure the incoming Obama administration forges a more enlightened direction.”
The intervention follows a “testy” meeting Tuesday between junior foreign minister Bill Rammell and 30 representatives of Muslim organisations in Britain, the Guardian reported.
UK: Officials fear Gaza will “radicalise” British Muslims
Apparently the same wayÂ Iraq,Â dogs, andÂ underwear adsÂ tend to radicalize Muslims. If the latter are constantly crying “wolf” — that is, if everything “offends,” “enrages,” and “radicalizes” them, if “cartoons” lead toÂ riotsÂ andÂ deathsÂ — exactly when should the world take Muslim complaints seriously?
“Ministers voice fears Gaza will radicalise British Muslims,” fromÂ AFP, via JW
LONDON (AFP) â€” Government ministers expressed concern Monday that Israel’s military campaign in Gaza was radicalising Muslims in Britain.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said she was “very concerned” that the conflict could help extremists, and justice minister Shahid Malik warned it was having a “profoundly acute and unhealthy” effect on Muslim communities here.
“I am very concerned indeed that the events in Gaza could well be used by those people who want to peddle pernicious extremist views to draw particularly vulnerable young people into that kind of extremism,” Blears told the BBC.[…]
On Thursday, representatives of Muslim organisations who have been active in tackling extremism in Britain warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a letter that anger over the Israeli campaign in Gaza has reached “acute levels”.
“The Israeli government’s use of disproportionate force … has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict,” said the letter…
Reining in the preachers of hate
Commentators who rail against Islam risk producing terrorists of their own. The right must speak out against its own extremists
Hazel BlearsÂ spokeÂ about the need to tackle non-violent extremism in Britain’s Muslim community in December. She was correct to do so. The government and British Muslim communities need to work together to tackle not only those who directly advocate violence but also those who spread the intolerant ideologies that make such terrorism possible. However, the right must also confront its own non-violent extremists. Just as many Islamists see non-Muslims as an immoral and brutish mob, so many leading figures on the right have routinely demonised Muslims collectively, portrayed the most reactionary interpretations of Islam as being typical and depicted Muslims as a faceless, monolithic bloc whose very existence threatens the foundations of western society.
The most prominent of the right’s “non-violent extremists” is Mark Steyn, formerly a regular writer for the Telegraph and the Spectator. In his book America Alone, he compared Muslim immigration with an invasion, writing that “a fearless Muslim advance has penetrated far deeper into Europe than Abd al-Rahman” and dispensing entirely with an Islam/Islamism distinction to write that “the religion [of Islam] itself is a political project â€“ and in fact an imperial project”. For Steyn, the consequences of this are clear: a European Union that “will be well on its way to majority Muslim by 2035”. In summer 2008, Steyn spoke at a conference on “libel tourism”, organised by Douglas Murray (of whom more later), where he launched a fantastical diatribe against Muslims in which he compared himself with the heroes of the B-movie Tremors who are pursued by giant carnivorous worms. In the audience were journalists, professional lobbyists, politicians and other key opinion formers. Alarmingly, many were laughing at his “jokes”.
Another of the right’s prominent rabble-rousers isÂ Melanie Phillips, a writer for the Daily Mail and the Spectator. Although Phillips generally manages to differentiate Muslims from Islamists, this is usually obscured by her increasingly crazed rhetoric. For example, in one article she wrote of “the steadily rising number of Muslims coming to settle in Britain who, refusing to assimilate, are steadily changing its demographic, cultural, and political identities”. Elsewhere in the article, she warned of the “steady Islamisation of British public space”, telling her readers that a “war of Islamic conquest is being waged against the west”. Her paranoia knows few bounds. On one occasion, she predicted that Scotland’s 40,000 Muslims (less than 1% of the population) could create a “Caledonian Caliphate” that would amount to an “Islamised country on England’s border”. More recently, she has begun labouring under theÂ delusionÂ that any Muslims who do not unequivocally support Israel are closet anti-western Islamists.
Other icons of the right have similarly attacked Muslims collectively, dangerously blurring the lines between Muslims, Islam and Islamism. Rod Liddle, for example,wroteÂ that “Islam is largely to blame for the viciousness which is periodically unleashed upon us all in the form of bombings â€“ that it is the credo, rather than the individual, which is principally to blame”. On another occasion, heÂ saidÂ that “Islam is masochistic, homophobic and a totalitarian regime. It is a fascistic, bigoted and medieval religion.” If he is right, where does that leave those who believe that Islam can be a liberal, tolerant faith? Do they have any chance of succeeding? Or are they doomed to failure?
Finally, there is, of course, Douglas Murray, “Britain’s only neoconservative”, who has often failed to distinguish Islam from Islamism. In just one speech, for example, Murray referred to the “violence, intimidation and thuggery of Islam” and “the problem of Islam”. Like Steyn, Murray has also represented Muslims as a collective threat, referring ominously to the “demographic time-bomb which will soon see a number of our largest cities fall to Muslim majorities”. He concluded that “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board” â€“ a phrase that could easily be interpreted as a call for the collective punishment of Muslims.
At this point I must add that until recently I worked with Murray at his Centre for Social Cohesion, which I joined because, in mid-2007, few other thinktanks were willing to seriously address the problem of Islamism at all. My time there was a constant struggle to “de-radicalise” Murray and to ensure that the centre’s output targeted only Islamists â€“ and not Muslims as a whole. This October, however, I had finally had enough of this constant battle and resigned. To his credit, Murray has privately retracted many of his more noxious comments â€“ but he apparently lacks the courage to do so publicly.
There is more than political correctness at stake here. Failure to distinguish adequately between Islam and Islamism, and between Islamists and ordinary Muslims, has important consequences. It plays into the hands of Islamists by accepting their own narrative that their politicised understanding of Islam represents the “true” Islam. It can also lead non-Muslims to assume that all Muslims harbour â€“ perhaps secretly â€“ the totalitarian aspirations of Islamism. Even more troubling are the implications of Steyn’s argument that all Muslims â€“ by mere virtue of their existing and giving birth to other Muslims â€“ pose an existential threat to western civilisation. This risks encouraging other Britons to see all Muslims as the enemy â€“ regardless of their individual qualities. In the past, such blanket demonisation of entire peoples has ended in genocide.
The need for the right to rein in its extremists is growing urgent. There are increasing signs that such hate-preachers are close to inadvertently producing terrorists of their own â€“ just as Islamists have done for years. In recent months, alarming numbers of white British nationalists have been jailed for terrorism or put on trial for planning a bombing campaign against a mixed race couple. In December, a Grimsby man was foundÂ guiltyÂ of planning a violent campaign against a local Muslim man and his wife. In 2007, Robert Cottage wasÂ jailedÂ for stashing explosives in preparation for the racial war that he believed was imminent. Is it unreasonable to believe that such people have been influenced by the relentless paranoia offered by Phillips, Steyn and others? Just as resolving the present Arab-Israeli crisis means recognising wrongs committed by both sides, we can only build a successful multi-faith society on a basis of true equality and equal citizenship. And that means that the right must tackle its own extremists â€“ just as British Muslims are now standing up to the extremists in their communities.