Anti Muslim Bigotry,  Islamism

Heterogeneous Muslims

One of the problems with both left-wing critics of this website, and their right wing counterparts, is that they both paint a picture of Islam as a large monolithic block. This can occur because of ignorance of the wide differences of opinion held by Muslims, or because of an intellectually dishonest attempt (you know who you are) to paint any criticism of Islamists (in the case of the left wing) or any defence of a Muslims against bigotry (in the case of the right wing) as a statement about this illusory Islamic monolith. Harry’s Place has always attempted to make a distinction about those Muslim groups (such as the various Muslim Brotherhood off-shoots) who should be opposed for political reasons, and individual Muslims who can be subject to anti-Muslim bigotry. Visiting commentators at this site have accused bloggers here of supporting Muslim thugs or being “Dhimmis”, or accused them of being anti-Muslim – sometimes in the comments of one post.

Aside from the internal debate in the UK, this also impacts on the debate about foreign policy. For example, the Taliban are often glibly painted as representing Muslim opinion in Afghanistan, despite the vast majority of Muslims in Afghanistan taking part in elections and opposing the return of the Taliban. Nato intervention is presented as irresponsibly stirring a wasps’ nest with a stick because of “Muslim” opposition.

Readers of this blog may therefore be interested in Kenan Malik’s new series on Radio 4, starting today at 9.30am, Are Muslims all the same?