As I noted in this post there are encouraging signs that the political impetus that drives radical Islamism is being taken more seriously by the mainstream media. That can only be a good thing. You can’t engage with something if you are clueless about it. Progress towards understanding the phenomenon is still patchy though.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the Independent still seems to think the Jihadis are operating in an ideological vacuum however:
With no politics, no aim, no dreams, no noble imperative, for these Islamicists and their ideological masters, the means is the end. They are at once satanic abusers of our faith and social misfits unloved by all except their own reject band of brothers.
No politics? No aims? Sayyid Qutb must be spinning in his grave. Osama Bin Laden should sack his marketing man and Hamas must be wondering why it bothered to spend so long drafting its Charter.
Still, at least Ms Alibhai-Brown recognises a terrorist incident when she sees one, which is more than some can claim.
Here’s someone whose reaction to the Glasgow bomb isn’t going to do his future credibility any good:
Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, said he was also keeping “optimistic” that the men were not terrorists, and said he would be “astounded” if the facts proved otherwise.
While one shouldn’t neccessarily prejudge any event without the full story being in, the fact that the thwarted airport firestarters were driving a flaming truck full of explosives towards a terminal full of innocent travellers might be considered reason enough not to rule out the possibility of terrorism – or expose your own ideological position quite so clearly.
David T adds:
Marcus has prepublished me on the subject of Osama Saeed’s “shocked and stunned” reaction to the arrival of what now looks almost certainly to be jihadist terrorism in Scotland.
Here he is in The Times:
Osama Saeed, the Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Great Britain, said that there was a general sense of despondency in the community at the damage the attack in Glasgow could cause. “Personally, I am seething with anger,” he said. “Thank God no lives were lost, but this kind of attack is aiming for indiscriminate slaughter.
“As a community not only are we just as likely to be victims as anyone else, but we are also looked to in order to provide direction and in some respects take responsibility for this. We are sick of being defined as a community by terrorism.”
And here he is in the Daily Record:
Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Great Britain says there has “not been a peep of extremism in Scotland to date”.
And here he is on his blog:
The grim reality of today’s events have left most people I’ve been speaking to extremely depressed. For me though, it’s more about anger.
I am seething. From my information from the police, this, along with the incidents in London are serious events. Let’s not have any conspiratorialising
Perhaps Osama Saeed has suddenly become an opponent of the targeted murder of civilians, after the reality of jihadism landed on his doorstep.
Because the Osama Saeed who I’ve been following for the last few years is the spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, the UK branch of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas: an outfit whose politics is characterised by the deliberate, targeted “indiscriminate slaughter” of civilians. Indeed, his blog is filled with enthusiastic jottings in support of his Hamas brothers.
In fact, in November of last year, Osama Saeed was telling muslims to boycott the Scottish police:
DUNDEE’S MUSLIM community was last night urged not to co-operate with Tayside Police’s Special Branch community contact unit.
Osama Saeed of the Muslim Association of Britain told a packed meeting at Dundee University last night that members of the Muslim community should not interact with officers from the SBCCU.
The unit, formed by Tayside Police last year, has come in for heavy criticism for its methods of obtaining information predominantly about Muslims.
Mr Saeed said, “What Special Branch are doing is isolating the Muslim community. There is no extremism in Dundee—they are barking up the wrong tree.
“My message to the police is ‘lay off,’ but my message to the Muslim community is we have got to be stronger in our defiance of this.”
He continued, “There can be no excuse for being scared of the police. If we look at the history of our faith, what else is there other than the Prophet’s example to stand up to tyranny and stand up to oppression.”
He added, “The police are doing their jobs and their job is to push the boat out and push the limits they can push. Our job is to resist that, and resist that we must.”
And the November before that, he was in the Guardian, enthusing about the creation of a Caliphate.
So, it is nice to see that Osama has finally decided that the best form of political expression isn’t the deliberate slaughter of civilians, and that extremism isn’t for him.
Perhaps now we’ll see articles by Osama, denouncing his previous dreams of a Caliphate, condemning jihadist slaughter outside Scotland, and encouraging full co-operation with the police.
That would be nice.