Extraordinary obfuscation and whataboutery from Moazzam Begg

A couple of days ago Begg accused Cameron of not engaging ‘with the only people able to stop the IS narrative’.

In 2010, when street-vendor Tarek Bouazizi self-immolated on a Tunis street protesting his abuse by police he couldn’t have known that he had ignited the “Arab spring”, which would remove the old dictators and, ultimately, lead to the rise of IS, that in turn would direct attacks on tourists in his homeland.

Having explained why the rise of IS is all the fault of the West, he goes on:

Arguably the most credible voices against IS have been Islamic clerics traditionally associated with Al-Qaeda. These include Jordanian scholars Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and Abu Qatada. Cameron’s government fought very hard to deport the latter from Britain where he had been imprisoned on the basis of secret evidence, without charge, for over a decade.

In the end, Abu Qatada opted to return to Jordan, of his own accord, where he was acquitted of terrorism charges against him. During and after his imprisonment in the UK and Jordan Abu Qatada made repeated calls for the release of British aid workers and journalists held by militant groups – including IS. He declared their consequent murders unlawful and subsequently issued scathing fatwa [religious edicts] denouncing IS:

“This group [IS] does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration [the caliphate] applies to no-one but themselves. Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group.”

As one commenter put it:

Oh I understand

The only people able to stop the IS narrative are the people who say almost exactly the same thing as IS, and want to do almost exactly the same thing as IS, but who aren’t IS.

Organisations like Al Qaeda. People like Abu Qatada. Or people like Moazzam Begg.

Thank you very much. This is very reassuring.

Here’s a reminder of some of Abu Qatada’s views:

In one religious opinion that year, he said it was Islamically lawful to kill the wives and children of “apostates” – those who have rejected Islam – in order to stop oppression in Algeria.

The practical effect was that armed Islamists in the country used his ruling to justify their attacks against civilians on the basis that anyone who wasn’t with them was against them.

Here are a few more lowlights:

In October 1999, the Appellant made a speech at the Four Feathers mosque in which he effectively issued a fatwa authorising the killing of Jews, including Jewish children.  He told the congregation that Americans should be attacked wherever they were, that in his view they were no better than Jews and that there was no difference between English, Jews and Americans

In a sermon given by the Appellant, apparently in the UK in 2002, he stated that if a Muslim killed a non-believer for the sake of Islam, it was not a sin and Allah looked well upon it.  In response to a question about suicide bombings, the Appellant said that they were legitimate if undertaken for the benefit of Islam, causing damage to an enemy.

Although Begg opposes IS, he seems to oppose the West rather more, judging from the warped logic on display in this recent tweet, now deleted.

We might cross-reference this trivialisation of the horrors experienced by women at the hands of IS with yet another reminder of the views of Qatada, the man Begg thinks should be seen as an ally:

In September 1998, the Appellant expressed the view that it was legitimate for GIA followers to break Western laws, to steal and cheat “kaffirs” (unbelievers or infidels), and to take their women for sex or sale, but as they were living in a predominantly “kaffir” society, they had to be careful to conceal their activities to avoid a backlash, and should wait one month from the seizure of women before having sex with them.

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