I’d like to heartily recommend a really excellent article by Shiraz Maher, ‘A new face of British Islam is rising. It needs your help’, a really nuanced and judicious analysis of the issues at stake. I’ll just pick out two sections. The first is a caution to choose one’s allies with care.
There is a case for Jewish leaders to make common cause with Muslims in confronting these new reactionaries — but they should also proceed with caution.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, by all accounts an erudite man, provoked serious criticism two years ago when he participated in an interfaith event with members of the East London Mosque, which is notorious for its extremist views.
A campaign has been under way within the Muslim community for years now to isolate these robed rogues. It is a delicate, non-linear process that gives grounds for cautious optimism.
The second is a defence of Tell MAMA.
In recent weeks, a Muslim group called Tell Mama has come in for severe and unfair criticism. Modelled on CST, Tell Mama has been assisted by it in setting up to monitor anti-Muslim sentiment. The group was subjected to a ferocious and unfounded assault by the Sunday Telegraph who accused it of “scaremongering” and artificially inflating the level of hostility directed towards Muslims following Rigby’s murder.
The article is, I assume, intended partly as a response to Douglas Murray’s very different take on roughly the same issues. I don’t really want to dwell on Murray’s uncongenial essay – you can read a critique on Soupy One’s blog.