Inayat Bunglawala and I had been exchanging emails all this week on the subject of ‘How can we defeat violent extremism?‘. Comment is Free has just posted the exchange here. But there’s a final reply I wanted to post (I forgot we initially agreed on 5 responses each).
I asked you for your theory and your views on a particular topic, not anyone else’s. I wanted to know your views on whether extremist literature and propaganda by certain groups plays a part but you have not only refused to answer my questions but, hilariously, accused me of closing my ears.
I already pointed out earlier there are several factors so for you to accuse me of not having a “simple minded approach” is bizarre. It’s just that you haven’t actually expanded on your own nuanced approach except keep parroting the belief that the war in Iraq caused and exacerbated violent extremism.
You admit propaganda literature may play a part but refuse to expand on this or talk about it. This all rather amusing since the MCB constantly complains about racism and Islamophobia (a problem, I accept) in the media and how it is leading to increased attacks on Muslims. Why not apply that same logic with regards to propaganda disseminated by extremist groups and extremist imams?
A brilliant example of your dishonest approach is done by contrasting the MCB press release issued prior to the recent Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, followed by your contradictory piece on CIF where you admitted Saudi funding may be a problem. I can only assume the government has ditched working with the MCB because you haven’t demonstrated an honest understanding of all the problems.
The only positive note I can end on is be glad of the fact that the government is now engaging with many more Muslim groups than simply the MCB.
Update: Lastly, Inayat Bunglawala says, “Yes, I have to admit it was a bit tedious [debating with Sunny]…“, in the comments below the CIF article, which is amusing given he came over to talk to me when we recently attended an event and wanted to invite me on his show on the Islam Channel. Heh.
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