Anti Fascism

Hizb ut Tahrir and the Muslim Council of Britain

Shiraz Maher is a former member of the clerical fascist group, Hizb ut Tahrir, who now actively speaks out against the cultish racist organisation.

As a result, he has been subjected to a campaign of vilification by the group, which has included the posting of his parents’ home address and telephone number on chat rooms. In addition, comments which support the Hizb ut Tahrir line are posted to threads where the politics of that group are being discussed. Here is one example of the technique in action. And here is the acknowledgment that the poster has impersonated the genuine Shiraz Maher.

You can see Hizb trying to knife Shiraz Maher, by use of the same technique, on this thread on CiF. Appropriately enough, the subject of the thread is the closeness of supposedly “mainstream” groups, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, to clerical fascist groups, such as Hizb ut Tahrir. Sunny concludes:

What I would like to see is so-called “community leaders”, from all faiths, accepting the impact of religious extremists within their midst and taking on their arguments openly. And yet, Inayat Bungalwala seems a tad reticent on this prospect. Could it be because he has claimed, live on Pakistani TV while next to a member of HuT, that it should be the duty of every Muslim to be in favour of a Khilafah (Caliphate)? In other words, he might disagree with some of their methods but not with their aims.

More than just tackling violent extremism, however, taking on the arguments and ideals of such racists is a vital part of furthering social cohesion. But why should any sane Jew, Hindu or Sikh group take the MCB seriously if they make no effort to distance themselves from such groups?

They present themselves more as a barrier to social cohesion, by showing British Muslims in a bad light, than as an ally.

Bunglawala, various other MCB sidelicks, and assorted Hizbies, then appear in the thread, and slag off Sunny..

What is the reason for these desperate tactics?

The answer, I think, is that Hizb ut Tahrir is a busted flush. These days, most people in public life are well aware of the politics of this group. They’re well known to be millenialist bigots, with extreme clerical fascist politics.

A similar fate awaits the Muslim Council of Britain, and they know it. The present government is through with courting them. The response of Inayat Bungalwala is to hit out at the political commentators and blogs which he thinks have queered the MCB’s pitch. His latest piece constituted an attack on Mubarak’s anti-democratic “reforms”, aimed at the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, which concluded with the following comment:

Not a squeak is to be heard from Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen,Harry’s Place and Co. Somewhat ironically, they have all been busy denouncing the left for having abandoned its principles.

That was easily refuted. My response was as follows:

We had an article on Harry’s Place saying essentially what Inayat said in his article three days ago.

Our concluding paragraph read:

“It appears President Bush’s genuinely stirring second inaugural address (“All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you”) is now null and void– at least when it comes to putative allies.”

A brief search of our blog will show that we are regular and consistent critics of Mubarak.

That is because we favour democratic change in the Middle East: not simply for the clerical fascist Muslim Brotherhod, but for Egyptians of all political persuasions.

What struck me as odd about the piece was not Bunglawala’s enthusiasm for the Muslim Brotherhood – which is unremarkable – but that the target of the piece was a couple of journalists and this blog.

What the Islamist far right don’t seem to understand is that their failure isn’t the result of chat in the blogosphere. Rather, it is a product of the things they themselves have said and done. They have unmasked themselves.

Going for bloggers, ex-members, and journalists won’t help them. Rather, it will makes them look petty and weird.

Petty and weird is just about excusable if you’re a blogger: because blogging just consists of people speaking their minds. It is fatal if you’re a serious organisation trying to play mainstream politics, however.