There are those who confront, head on, the reality that a vicious and dangerous political and sometimes terrorist movement has managed to insinuate itself within the British muslim community, where it has disguised itself – by echoing the themes of mainstream islam and the concerns of ordinary muslims – either as piety, or as a mere response to injustices suffered by muslims.
Then there are those who, knowing full well the nature of that political movement, nevertheless deliberately side step the issue, deny the nature of the politics at stake, and – worse – seek to fool others into ignoring them. These people are, to put it bluntly, Quislings and traitors. They are deliberate fellow travellers of theocratic fascist politics and they know it. We should state it clearly, and we should fight them as we fight fascism itself.
Milne is a key example of such a fellow traveller:
“We can’t of course be sure of the exact balance of motivations that drove four young suicide bombers to strike last Thursday, but we can be certain that the bloodbath unleashed by Bush and Blair in Iraq – where a 7/7 takes place every day – was at the very least one of them. What they did was not “home grown”, but driven by a worldwide anger at US-led domination and occupation of Muslim countries”
Then there are those within the muslim community who, because of their own politics, find themselves ignoring the nature of that political ideology and root causing terrorism– either because they are somehow blinded to the reality of the jihadists’ theocratic, fascist ideology, or because they are are playing to a constituency who they know will not want to hear the message that there are theocratic fascists in their community, or who are themselves sympathisers with theocratic fascism.
It is tragic that they include Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain who- having been handed on this morning’s Today programme the golden opportunity to declare terrorism and the murder of innocents as an unconditional evil, wherever it takes place – found himself incapable of condemning the murder of Israeli civilians by suicide bomings in similar terms to such murders anywhere else in the world.
I do understand, of course, that there are internal politics within the Muslim Council of Britain which have to be handled carefully, particularly when your members include proponents of civilian-targetting terrorism, such as the Muslim Association of Britain. But listen to the way the Bunglawala tries to side step a simple request to condemn, in terms, terrorism targeted at Israeli civilians by talking instead about the murderous actions of the Israeli state, and quoting Jenny Tonge and Cherie Blair to boslter his evasion. Certainly, injustices againt Palestinians should not be eclipsed the the issue of Hamas terrorism, but Bunglawala isn’t simply being political. He could have said, for example, that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza was illegal, immoral, and could be resisted even by attacks on military targets: but that the murder of civilians was to be condemned. But he didn’t. Instead, knowing the “innocent” is a flexible term, he chose only to condemn the murder, generically, of “innocents”. This, therefore, is where he stands.
British Muslims are failed by him.
Then there are those in the middle who are simply unprepared and ill-briefed, and are incapable of properly judging the ideology of the most extreme of political groups. Caroline Quinn was able to put the right questions to the Inayat Bunglawala: but when confronted by Hizb’ut Tahrir, an extreme manifestation of political Islam which seeks to subject muslims to a theocratic and totalitarian state, she was insufficiently well informed to ask the proper questions which would have cut through Hizb’ut Tahrir’s weasel words and circuitous answers, and exposed them for the scum they are.
One of the tasks ahead for us it to ensure that ordinary people, including relatively unpolitical muslims, have as clear an understanding of the totalitarian and fascist nature of the extreme Islamist and jihadist political ideologies which are parasitic on Islam, as they have of the true politics of the British Nationalist Party.
Fighting the non-muslim fellow travellers is part of that task. That is primarily our job.
The other part of the task was put clearly by Shahid Malik MP in Parliament on Tuesday:
“Condemnation is not enough and British Muslims must, and I believe are prepared to, confront the voices of evil head on”
A first step towards “confronting the voices of evil head on” is recognising the indivisible nature of Islamist terror against civilians anywhere in the world.
Condemning terrorist attacks directed against civilians wherever they are located is an essential part of recognising extremism within the Muslim comunity. It is central, not simply because it recognises a universal human rights standard, but because acceptance of such murders as “understandable” or even “justified” is itself a part of the mindset which facilitates the journey of nice lads from Yorkshire into the hands of the salafi jihadists, who tell them that they too will be a hero to their friends, their family, and the whole Muslim people.
Furthermore, if understanding of, or applause for, of the murderers of civilians abroad becomes your mindset, you will be surprised again and again when your neighbour, who you thought had just become a bit more pious, turns out to be an ideologically driven mass murderer. You did not spot him then, and you wil not spot him next time.
The Muslim Council of Britain must, for its sake, for the sake of British Muslims, and for the sake of the country as a whole, state unequivocally that it condemns the murder of civilians by terrorists in Israel.