Saturday, December 1, 2007

Of Islamist Foxes and British Chickens

One could analogize the utter insanity in Britain this week to putting the foxes in charge of the hen house, but that comparison falls far short of reality. The only danger of that fact pattern is that the farmer is out a few chickens. One needs instead to analogize to a fact pattern where the foxes radicalize the chickens and establish a heniphate on the entire farm.

The background to this story is that Britain has the most radicalized Muslim population west of the Danube. The reasons for that are fourfold. The UK is being innundated with Wahhabi Salafi Islam via countless sources; Britain's multicultural ethic forestalls any reasoned criticism of Islam; Britain has made criticism of Islam potentially criminal by passage of the Hate Speech laws; and, Britain's permissive immigration laws have allowed "radical" Islamists into the country. Polls taken last year show that “nearly 25% of British Muslims said the July 7, 2005, terror bombings in London, which killed 52 innocent commuters, were justified. Another 30% said they would prefer to live under strict Islamic Sharia law rather than England's democratic system.”

In a country that has a Muslim population of almost two million and growing, that is a real problem. There needs to be reform. But things break down right there for Labour. What will they reform? The multicultural ethos will not allow the chattering classes to analyze the problems presented by Islam and make critical judgments. Labour assumes that the problem cannot be systemic to Islam – because by default the culture itself must be equal to Western culture - and therefore must be the result of some anamoly. Thus unable to identify why their population is becoming increasingly radicalized, Labour has acted out of sheer, suicidal ignorance.

What I am refering to is yesterday's launch in Britain of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB). This highly influential group created by the government is supposed to help Labour get a handle on its Mosques. Specifically, MINAB is tasked with advising the government on the “suitability of Imams and scholars coming from abroad for employment in the UK” and producing the Islamic religious educational “standards.”

So who does Labour appoint to lead MINAB?

Two of the four organizations appointed to the MINAB are the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). They are the Islamic foxes just set down amongst the British chickens.

The MAB was founded by Dr Kamal Helbawy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood – itself a “Salafi jihadist organization” and the precursor to al Qaeda. The differences between the Brotherhood and al Qaeda are not in philosophy, goals, or objectives, but rather just methods (Walid Phares, Future Jihad, p. 64-65). Dr. Helbway is one of many Islamists Britain has welcomed with open arms whom the U.S. will not allow to enter the country. As to the leader of the MAB today, it is Dr Azzam Tamini. He is an equally qualified person to preside over all of Islam in Britain. He is a proponent of Hamas who has praised suicide bombings.

The MCB is no better. It is run by Dr. Mohammed Bari, a man about whom I have blogged recently for his outrageous remarks in an interview published in the Telegraph. His organization actively seeks to keep Muslims from integrating into British society and he is a proponent of implementing Sharia law in Britain, to include outlawing the public sale of alcohol and the stoning of adulterers. Moreover Dr. Bari and the leadership of the Muslim Council are linked to conservative Islamist movements in the Muslim world and in particular Pakistan's Jamaat-i-Islami, a radical party committed to the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan ruled by sharia law. Jamaat-I-Islami is itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood (Phares, Future Jihad, p. 65).

And these are the people that Labour has just put in charge of the nation’s Muslims in an attempt to stop the process of radicalization? The sheer insanity of this is mind boggling. The only way to make the MINAB more of a radicaling force would be to add bin Laden to the board.

What the Labour government is missing is that there is no such thing as a “moderate” Muslim. The issues that are "radicalizing" a substantial minority of the British Muslim population are systemic to the dominant forms of Islam. They are not anamolies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali talked about this recently, and it is perhaps the most critical point our leadership on both sides of the pond needs to understand. When asked about “moderate” Muslims in a recent interview, she said:

‘I find the word “moderate” very misleading.’ There’s a touch of steel in Hirsi Ali’s voice. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as “moderate Islam”. I think it’s better to talk about degrees of belief and degrees of practice. The Koran is quite clear that it should control every area of life. If a Muslim chooses to obey only some of the Prophet’s commandments, he is only a partial Muslim. If he is a good Muslim, he will wish to establish Sharia law.’

Read the interview. I believe that is true, at least in as much as her observations pertain to Salafi Islam and Khomeinist Shia'ism. If you talk to "moderate" Muslims - the people you want as your friends and neighbors - they invariably talk about the "essence" of Islam as being both good and positive. I believe them completely. But it is clear that they are looking to the generalities and ignoring many of the orthodox interpretations. The black letter of the Koran and methods of interpretation of Salafi Islam go beyond this "essence" and lead directly back to 7th century Arabia. As I have written extensively here, if the systemic issues are ever to be addressesd, Islam must evolve and go through its period of Enlightenment.

Assuming the polls are accurate, the good news for Britain at the moment is that a majority of her Muslims fall into that category of “partial Muslims.” But putting the MAB and MCB in a position to influence Britain’s Muslim population is a sure guarantee that there will be no evolution of Islam in Britain, but there will be an ever growing population of “good Muslims.”

There are Muslims in the world today like Tawfiq Hamid and Zuhdi Jasser, voices in the wilderness at the moment, who are trying to evolve their faith. They need our full support. And they need to be the people who are appointed to MINAB. What Labour has just done is compound its problems with Islam exponentially. A few more decisions like that and, well, it may be time to get sized for that burkah.

Update: Robert Spencer makes a point similar to Ayaan Hirsi Ali in this article.

Update: And Ed Husain, a former member of Jamaat-i-Islami and friend of terrorist spiritual leader Omar Bakri, makes a similar point in an essay written in the Guardian stating:

. . . in Muslim scripture there are some unpalatable references. But these are to be seen in the context of their time. What remain valid are the eternal truths that Shatibi, Locke and others enunciated. Our humanity must transcend adherence to scriptural literalism, especially if it leads to mayhem and loss of innocent lives. . .

Read the article here. I do not know if Husain's suggetion of just ignoring parts of the Koran is workable, altough that is precisely what the "partial" or "moderate" Muslims do today. Those who seek a true evolution of their religion seek to do it through a formal process of ijtihad.

Update: And here is yet another article speaking to the problem of Koranic interpretation. This from the Washington Post about a young cleric in Egypt who is challenging the traditional interpretation of the Koran:

Masoud advocates adherence to prayer five times a day, peace toward all and abstinence from alcohol, sex outside of marriage and violence. Beyond those principles, he said, Islam is suffering from a "crisis of interpretation."

Read the article.

1 comment:

MathewK said...

Yes Islam does need to evolve and reform itself, but i fear it cannot be done easily and especially with leftist apologists constantly forcing the rest of us to accept it as an equal religion and culture.