The Islamist (again)


by Clairwil
15th June, 2007 at 1:37 am    

I have just finished reading a fine, if worrying book. The Islamist by Ed Husain is an autobiographical account of the author’s time as a radical Islamist and his subsequent rejection of political Islam. A quick Google search has brought to my attention some fairly hostile reviews and an attempt to discredit the author by noting the fact the Melanie Philips and other baddies have praised his book. For what it’s worth I regard his account as credible and worth investigation.

I do not tend to find myself in agreement with Melanie Phillips very often but I more or less agree with this part of her assessment of The Islamist;

“‘The Islamist’ should be sent to every politician at Westminster, put on the desk of every counter-intelligence officer and thrust under the supercilious nose of every journalist who maunders on about ‘Islamophobia’.”

Whilst it should be remembered that this is a personal account of the author’s experiences and as such treated with a degree of caution, it is a book worth reading. Ed Husain is clearly an intelligent, sensitive, spiritual and well brought up young man. The biggest religious influence on his life as a child is his grandfather, a tolerant,wise, spiritual and well respected man in the Muslim community. His primary school is racially mixed and with one or two exceptions the staff do a good job of creating an inclusive and productive atmosphere for their young charges.

Upon reaching secondary age the author is sent to a single sex school where his parents believe he will be less distracted and more focused on his studies and this is where things start to go wrong. Like many of us in our teens he feels alienated by his surroundings, curious about the world and looking for answers.

A rather serious young man, he has little time for his Bollywood obsessed classmates and is something of a loner until he befriends a fellow observant Muslim. Together they volunteer for extra religious education to the shock of the entire R.E department at this unprecedented event. At the time and at present the core textbook given to pupils studying Islam in schools was ‘Islam: Beliefs and Teachings’ by Gulam Sarwar. For those that don’t know Sarwar is not a religious scholar but an activist for the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamat-e-Islami. I must confess my jaw hit the floor at this point.

Is there any particular reason that U.K taxpayers are funding the provision of pro-Islamist propaganda in the nations schools? There is worse to come later but for me this is the first sign of the extent to which the British state, no doubt through ignorance rather than anything more sinister has underestimated the danger posed by Islamist ideology (as opposed to Islam).

There may well be a time and place for such thought but I would suggest that this is identity politics hiding behind faith and as such it has no place being presented uncritically in the study of religion. Furthermore I do not claim that this is the cause of the growth of Islamic fundamentalism but I do suspect it is a very minor contributory factor. In any case it is somewhat unwise for any society to assist the spread of ideas which advocate it’s destruction.

After a time the author’s new friend introduces him to the East London Mosque. His parents to say the least took a dim view of the East London Mosque which they regarded as a front for the political ambitions of Jamaat-e-Islami members. It is also where the author was introduced to radical, political Islam in the form of the Maududi influenced Young Muslim Organisation of which he became a prominent member.

The East London mosque has been a platform for Abdullah el-Faisal (now doing time for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder), according to the author it’s bookshop contains copies of works by Qutb and Maududi and one can purchase ‘full colour videos of Jamaat-e-Islami cadres engaged in pitched battles’. All fair enough, we do have free speech in this country. However I am at a total loss as to why state funds have been provided to expand this mosque. Unless a religious building is of some historical or architectural interest I see no reason why the tax payer should be expected to fund what should be a private matter. It should be noted that the East London Mosque deny the author’s allegations.

Later at college the author joins the thuggish Hizb -ut Tahir, an organisation he leaves following the murder of a black Christian student. An act he holds himself and other college Hizb ut-Tahir members responsible for. The latter part of the book details his time in the Middle East, his rejection of political Islam and is worth reading simply because it is a well written and fascinating account of a personal spiritual journey regardless of any wider significance it may or may not have.

Where I think the author is incorrect is in his failure to acknowledge the effect of foreign policy particularly in Iraq and Palestine. I do not for a second believe that the situation in these nations has caused the spread of hostile Islamist ideology or terrorism but I am convinced they have added fuel to the fire. The author neatly shows how Hizb ut-Tahir can link a dispute over the provision of a college prayer room to the position of Muslims in Bosnia and the need for Jihad. So why be dismissive of the notion that Iraq and Palestine do not have a similar effect when used to justify terrorism?

My own view having it read this book is that ignorance coupled with well-intentioned multiculturalism have brought about a situation where some pretty unpleasant groups are allowed to flourish unchecked in ways that would be unthinkable if it were far-right organisations as opposed to Islamist groups.

Whilst I am supportive of free-speech, allowing incitement to violence, whoever is responsible ends up creating an oppressive atmosphere for someone. It is not censorship for the state to refuse to fund the spread of these ideas. It is not censorship for college authorities to deny certain groups to virtually take over on campus.

The unofficial segregation of communities has helped create at atmosphere of mutual suspicion which is bound to lead to violence in some individuals, whether in the form of gang fights or terrorism. That Tony Blair can advocate more faith schools in the current climate beggars belief.

Like Yahya Birt and Sunny I hope this book will spark off a debate and if we could have a civilised one here without some bore using the phrase ‘religion of peace’ I’d be delighted.


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  1. Scottish Roundup » Blog Archive » Faith in People and Politicians

    [...] Also on the subject of Freedom of Speech versus Tolerance of Bigotry, Clairwil’s review of The Islamist by Ed Hussain is worth a read. The comments are busy there [...]


  2. A hero under threat « Shiraz Socialist

    [...] “The Islamist” (Penguin, £8.99). I haven’t done so, and apologise for that.  Here’s someone else’s review. The gist of it is that Hizb ut-Tahir (of which Husain is an ex-member) is an avowedly extreme [...]




  1. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:34 am  

    Clairwil,

    I agree completely, particularily with this bit:

    That Tony Blair can advocate more faith schools in the current climate beggars belief.

    You and I both come from a community that knows how nonsensical that idea actually is. It is a recipe for division, and it is incredibly stupid. Whoever thought politicians had a brain?

  2. Sunny — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:12 am  

    The Islamist’ should be sent to every politician at Westminster, put on the desk of every counter-intelligence officer and thrust under the supercilious nose of every journalist who maunders on about ‘Islamophobia’.

    This has already happened. By most accounts this book is also pushing government depts away from MCB types.

    But we’re talking about a slow train here. Beneath the govt lie a whole nation of civil servants and they end up exercising more power than politicians on smaller matters. So there is a tussle going on right now inside and between departments on how to proceed.

    For example, while the communities dept (Ruth Kelly’s) has ditched the MCB, the foreign office and education dept are still close to them.

    Another point that someone made to me, which is quite worthwhile. Also made by Yahya. The Islamist is a missed opportunity to a certain degree because it could have marked the journey from Pizza HuT 15 years ago to the slick media operation it is now. It is no longer the same in the way the BNP is no longer the same.

    In effect, Ed Hussain is talking about what happened that long ago without telling us how this applies now. I can’t say more because I haven’t read it but many (who don’t like the MCB even) have this opinion.

  3. pommygranate — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:22 am  

    Clairwil

    Interesting review. I have a 24 hour flight back to the Mother County tomorrow. I shall pick up a copy at the airport.

    As a passionate believer in the right of parents to be able to choose schools for their children, i have always been agnostic on faith schools.

    However, i do wonder whether it is time to call a halt to the spread of faith schools of all religions.

    Libertarians will argue that provided the State regulates the content of teaching and sets a national curriculum, then faith schools must be allowed (especially those privately funded). However, i have now come to the conclusion that the State is an ineffective regulator of schools and is blind to what is actually being taught in classrooms.

    Yes – i know waiting lists are huge for good Muslim and Catholic schools (which indicates there is strong demand for them), but i cannot believe it’s good either for community cohesion or the individual pupils.

    A terribly unlibertarian thing to say.

  4. Clairwil — on 15th June, 2007 at 6:01 am  

    Douglas,
    Agreed and I wish people defending these institutions would explain what they mean by the ‘unique ethos’ of Catholic schools.

    Sunny
    ‘In effect, Ed Hussain is talking about what happened that long ago without telling us how this applies now. I can’t say more because I haven’t read it but many (who don’t like the MCB even) have this opinion.’

    That’s an excellent point. We should remember that the book is a personal account and not the definitive text on the subject. I hope that others will now come forward and ‘fill in the blanks’. What I think it does highlight is allowing the attitudes espoused by extremists to be spread unchecked is both complacent and dangerous.

    Pommygranate,
    I have always been against the state funding of faith schools. With regard to private schools I have tended towards the libertarian view, however like you I am concerned at the potential wider effects.

  5. Puffy — on 15th June, 2007 at 8:12 am  

    Urgh. Faith schools. Why surprised by Tony Blair? He was the walnut who took us into Iraq, was he not?

    As for the plot to undermine the likes of Husain, Paul Berman brilliantly deconstructs the elite’s love-in with Islamism here:

    http://www.tnr.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070604&s=
    berman060407

    Today’s Buruma and Bunting are yesterday’s Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, embracing fascism with the same kind of snobbish philosophical blindness as the post-war French intellectual elite clung to Stalinism.

  6. Puffy — on 15th June, 2007 at 8:47 am  

    “The moral tone of that French rhetoric draws all the more attention to the moral vacuum that underlay it. The lack of firm moral principles in their legitimation of the death penalty on purely political grounds, for example, or their justification of Soviet crimes is truly baffling in such respected thinkers as Mounier, Merleau-Ponty, and the early Camus, though all of them eventually had their awakenings. Sartre and de Beauvoir never changed their position, except to harden it (in 1968 Sartre would sever his own more radical leftism from the Party). In 1961, after the trail of blood the Soviet empire had left all over Eastern Europe, Sartre still felt capable of writing, “An anti-Communist is a dog; I don�t change my views on this, I never shall!”

    Really – there are a lot of parallels with today.

    http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9312/reviews/dupre.html

  7. fiz — on 15th June, 2007 at 9:14 am  

    This looks like a great read.
    Off to Smithy’s on my lunch break!

  8. brachyury — on 15th June, 2007 at 11:17 am  

    “That Tony Blair can advocate more faith schools in the current climate beggars belief.”

    There are 2 points to make about faith schools. Firstly there are lots of Catholic schools in the country. I grew up in Glasgow which is scarred by a sectarian divide (even though nobody is religious! Go figure). However we will never be able to get rid of Catholic schools and thus to deny other people faith schools looks like clear hypocrisy. Secondly the government is not so much interested in faith schools as in non comprehensive schools with high parent participation. As it happens faith schools are one means to this. I regret this but understand that it has nothing to do with messianism in the Labour party.

    “Agreed and I wish people defending these institutions would explain what they mean by the ‘unique ethos’ of Catholic schools.”
    Whilst I regret the existence of Catholic schools there is no doubt that in Scotland at least they give you better education than the largely protestant/secular schools. I think this is due to the Catholic community having a greater respect for education and a greater emphasis on discipline.

  9. saqib — on 15th June, 2007 at 11:33 am  

    I haven’t actually read the Islamist yet so wouldn’t want to pass comment on the book, however from reviews and seeing his contribution on CNN i felt some of his linkages between different strands of thought and courses of action were more indicative of his own lack of comprehesnion of the people with whom he claimed to have an association with.

    For example, was the example of the stabing of a christian really a linked event…it all seems a little too meledramatic to me. Personally i read Qutb’s book ‘Milestones’ many years ago, and have started reading it again. The book was written in a particular context, and one needs to read it in that context. There are indeed mistakes, and it’s about pointing them out, but keeping the profound thought contained within it. I’m actually delivering a talk to a group of 30 or so youth, and will actually be using some aspects from the book, which i deem relevent.

    I find the linking of faith schools with the so-called problems of our society really quite odd…i myself did not go to a faith school, however would like my children to go to one, as i have no real confidence in the state system. Many Muslim children actually do go to Catholic schools, as they like the ethos and values of the schools, not because they want segregation. Actually many parents, including those of no faith feel the same way about the state of, well, state schools. The problem lies deeper within society itslef, there is no common moral framework and set of social values which people are working within, people are pursuing their private purposes, the notion of a common purpose, other than the protection of private purposes is an anathema …this is the nature of a liberal utilitarian society in the Benthamite tradition.

    This is really where the debate needs to focus on, even if multi-culturalism in the shape of immigrants did not occur, the divisions within society actually stem from this root, multi-culturlaism is simply one manifestation of this.

    Douglas, i haven’t forgotten your post, i will try my best to respond soon, it’s actually very challenging!!!

    Should i post it on my blog?

  10. Puffy — on 15th June, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

    Saqib – you’re probably right about the state of schools, but that doesn’t mean that its therefore ok for parents to want to get their kids into faith schools simply because state ones are so poor.

    I think we have to risk getting real here – there is no problem with Christian or Jewish state schools because there is no problem with how the Christian or Jewish populations are integrated within the UK (400 years ago of course there was a huge problem with Catholics, who were repressed violently, but we don’t really want to go there).

    There is currently a problem with how Muslims and the rest of the British propulation get along, hence today the conviction of a half-a-dozen lads for plotting a dirty bombing.

    There has also been a huge problem in N.Ireland between the Protestants and the Catholics, exaserbated mightily by the segregation of schooling.

    Children’s experience shapes their understanding of themselves within society. Separating Muslim youngsters from the rest is not going to help, not least because Islam is DIFFERENT (or Exceptional) if you like – while other religions separate the spritual and temporal realms, Islam does not.

    Yet the kids are living in a Western society, shaped by the Roman principals of a secular state. I’m not saying that Islamic schools cannot teach about life in a Western society, but I’m afraid they will reinforce the difference of Islam and promote tensions between communities.

    Personally BTW I would ban all state-funded religious schools in the name of cohesion. And I’m religious.

  11. sonia — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

    Good post clairwil. i haven’t read it yet but i plan to. It is crazy indeed what passes in RE classes in this country – I thank GOd i was never subject to it. (what i heard in RE classes in the Middle East was very tame by comparison clearly! And we never even had textbooks, just heard lots of stories about how Muslims and Jews were mates back in the day in Palestine, no really)

    I do think you’ve got a point in the identity politics thing: imagine what a wonderful market you have if you’re some sort of weird ere – all you have to say is ‘well ill get an ‘islamic’ book and who would be wiser in the UK school about what sort of islamic text it was? an ‘Islamist’ one or not. they’d be just like..’erm sure’.

    which is one reason why this sort of islamic fundamentalism seems to be able to slink in countries where the muslims aren’t a majority population. i see you’re saying its a ‘minor’ factor, fair enough, but i would say it’s a much bigger factor. when religions is viewed in a ‘Diasporic’ context – identity politics can have a big impact. i would say in my observation its a big factor why so many otherwise sensible young people seemed to not think the idea of a ‘Caliphate’ in Britain was totally bizarre, because they were looking for a muslim identity and that was presented to them as part of a package. ( this is coming from my experiences at university in the mid-90s) It was the first time i had heard such things from young mUslims – never had i even heard of the arabic phrase ‘khilafa’ being mentioned amongst my peers while growing up in the Middle east! Of course living next door to Saudi Arabia is a damn good deterrent.

    ( i thought it was interesting that a trip to Saudi had a part to play in opening young Ed’s eyes.)

    Personally – if you ask me – what i saw at uni was this: there were some young British asians who felt they were stuck in a country where they felt they were ‘inferior’ for one reason or another – quite a common response to racism. they might not admit it per se but i could see that in the attitudes they had to other people – i.e. the sort ‘oh you’re only ever going to be brown’ mindset – which is problematic because it internalizes an idea that an ethnicity could be superior/inferior. so along comes some person feeding you “glory of your forefathers back when ‘we’ were ‘triumphing’ over ‘them’.” ( them being the Westerners one might be feeling the kind of inferiority to). Suprise suprise some people fall for it and want that ‘glory’ back. as far as i could see = it wasn’t even about ‘religion’ – religion was the vehicle but it was some sort of ‘redemption’ people were looking for. And so i do think identity politics allows religion to become the kind of conflated ideal it has done with the Islamist mindset.

    that was what i saw. and i saw echoes of that in the brilliant Shiv Malik article in Prospect magazine.

  12. sonia — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:34 pm  

    and the thing to remember is how people are affected by a ‘grand narrative’ when they are particularly feeling the need of one – i.e. when they feel they are ‘far from home’ and being ‘Othered’. Now i’m not trying to fan any flames here – my interest in this comparison is rather academic i.e. from a theoretical perspective, i was wondering why Muslims who went around shouting about the Khilafah didn’t see any similarities in the social dynamics of those who had a vision of a state for Jews, and believed in that vision, which in a sense, probably was a kind of ‘redemption’ sort of idea too. im not saying anything about the right/wrong aspect of this kind of thinking – simply pointing to possible similarities in social dynamics.

    what of course is interesting in that context is to see how anti-semitism contributed to widening the currency of the idea of a Jewish state, and compare that to how maybe, where the whole Islamophobia thing..might be going now.

  13. sonia — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    my emphasis would be on ‘circular’ feeding into things rather than a linear one – i would like to point out.

  14. douglas clark — on 15th June, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

    saqib,

    Hi again. How did the exams go?

    Re your last para, yes that would be good.

    I think that deep down inside me there is a little Stalinist trying to be heard. We are all so committed to a competitive ethos, getting on, making it, that we defend to the end whatever exploitative advantages we can accrue for ourselves and ours, without considering wider consequences. And we do this in the name of freedom. Yet our freedom, at least within the State educational system, is a zero sum game, our advantage being someone else’s detriment. It could be argued, well it will be by me at least, that that is unfair.

    If we also happen to think that folk should rub along together rather than be aliented, I cannot for the life of me see how separate education based on faith aids that.

    Is is, perhaps, your job as a parent to pass on your values to your children. It is not however, in my view anyway, the role of the state to aid and abet you in that ambition. That is private sphere stuff.

    I’d be interested in you expanding a bit more on your views on Qutb, assuming that we are talking about the Egyptian guy that went to America, etc. I’ve only read Martin Amis’s quite witty comments on him, which may of course be quite wrong.

    Puffy @ 10 makes a strong point, I think.

  15. justforfun — on 15th June, 2007 at 3:16 pm  

    Can’t it be taken as read that God is trying to improve humanity through his revelations, so it follows that the last revelation must be the best. If of course God is not trying to improve humanity through his revelations, then what is he doing?

    Remind me to ask him one day.

    Justforfun

  16. justforfun — on 15th June, 2007 at 3:19 pm  

    I just realised – it may be the first that is the best and the rest are just for the hard of hearing.

    Justforfun

    Is it a LIFO or FIfO principle he works on?

  17. saqib — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    Hi Douglas

    The exams went well thankyou, i do however have to repeat one in the summer but that should be okay. i am planning on starting my dissertation, and i am looking at doing something related to enlightenment ideas. Perhaps you may have some pointers?

    As for Qutb, yes he did go to America. He wasn’t an Islamic scholar, rather a thinker who was a reformer, socially that is. Qutb divides opinion within the Muslim world, as people and indeed scholars believe him to have been the father of the trend in Muslim societies in calling for the overthrow of governments and rulers. I believe this is a valid claim.

    I would say however, that he did manage to think through the nature of what islam is in terms of its philosophy of life, and this i found, along with other people, to be actually quite inspiring.

  18. Faisal Haque — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

    As I have pointed out on my blog, Ed (or Mahbub as he was known then) and I were both HT activists [note, he never joined the organisation] in the early part of the 1990s.

    Mahbub is arrogantly refusing to accept any credible criticism of his book or viewpoint – he seems to allege that all criticism if driven by ‘Islamism’ or by moderates with family connections to ‘Islamists’.

    There are some major errors in the book – I am not sure whether these are intentional or accidental – I know they are errors because I was with HT during the same period Mahbub was – for example there is the claim that HT never spoke out against Saddam Hussain. His suggestion that he parted company with HT for ideological reasons is also not true – it was more to do with his close personal relationship with Omar Bakri [he left when Bakri was kicked out], pressure from his father and other personal reasons which I don’t want to mention.

    I don’t think Mahbub’s account adds anything about the Islamic ’scene’ in the UK. This is not surprising as he has not been part of it for over a decade. By his own admission, in the mid-1990s he ended his association with HT, before briefly moving on to associate with MB linked groups like ISB. He was never a ‘jihadi’ and never a ‘terrorist’, even though some in the media have described him as a former ‘jihadi’.

    The book is no more than his personal story, albeit riddled with factual inaccuracies. As such, it adds little to the wider debate about radicalisation, etc, etc.

  19. saqib — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Puffy

    I would agree with you about the debate surrounding Muslims and the issues of integration. Actually the catholic example is interesting, as catholics, along with Muslims are quite active in Community Organising.

    The thing i will say is that it isn’t always the case the more integrated a people is the less chance there is of violence and problems occuring.

    As an example, the Jews of Germany were deemed to integrated within German culture according to the likes of Wagner and co. In fact, the expulsion of Jews was about expunging German society of this alien influence. Bosnia is another example.

    Northern Ireland is one example, however i feel this is more a politcal probelm resulting from British Occupation. Perhaps if the catholics and protestants did not have this dimension the conflict may not have played itself out as it sadly has done over the last century.

    ‘Saqib – you’re probably right about the state of schools, but that doesn’t mean that its therefore ok for parents to want to get their kids into faith schools simply because state ones are so poor.’

    I find this a strange attitude Puffy, as surely if we are to take the state out of our lives and hold parents to account for the upbringing of their children, then surely they need choices to decide what works best for their children? The other point to consider is that many children, i think maybe upto 100,000 actually receive this form of tuition, are we to say this must also be not allowed?

    The other thing is if parents are worried about the state of schools then surely this would be the MAIN reason to act, no?

    I appreciated your post by the way.

  20. Faisal Haque — on 15th June, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    This blogger went to the same college as Mahbub (Ed) and has written an interesting account:

    http://peacebruv.blogspot.com/2007/06/ed-islamist-husain-not.html

  21. Sunny — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:21 pm  

    The book is no more than his personal story, albeit riddled with factual inaccuracies. As such, it adds little to the wider debate about radicalisation, etc, etc.

    I think that is an exaggeration. It may be a personal account and have a few inaccuracies as you say, but that doesn’t mean it cannot shed light on what happened in the past, and provide some sort of light as to why we’re here now. Even Yahya Birt accepts that.

    He could have written the ‘definitive account’ of British Muslim radicalism but was probably not in any position to or didn’t want to stretch that far out.

    I also wouldn’t agree that HuT should be banned. But let’s put it this way – most of the people actively trying to sling mud at Ed Hussain aren’t doing much to tackle radicalism themselves. So… how shall I put this… why should others take their criticisms seriously?

    The only criticisms I can take seriously are those by Zia Sardar and Yahya.

  22. Faisal Haque — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    Even Ziauddin Sardar accuses Husain of being a neocon who wants “everyone locked up”. Interestingly, he also writes that the book “seems to have been drafted by a Whitehall mandarin as a PR job for the Blair government.”

    I still think it adds little to the wider debate – I don’t think it tells us much we didn’t already know. As Kaashif at Peace Bruv has written, even Ed’s account of events in the early 1990s is highly dramatised – he was actually a very small player in those days – in those days you could get close to Bakri just by giving him a lift to his Edmonton home! From my recollection, Ed was besotted with Bakri, and as soon as Bakri went, so did Ed.

  23. Rumbold — on 15th June, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    Saqib:

    “i am planning on starting my dissertation, and i am looking at doing something related to enlightenment ideas.”

    What about investigating to what extent particular enlightenment ideals penetrated certain part of the Islamic world in say, the first quarter of the nineteenth century?

  24. saqib — on 15th June, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    Interesting Rumbold,

    I perhaps should have stated that i would like to focus on Europe, as this has been the centre of all of the recent developments that have shaped the modern world.

    I’m unsure exactly what to look at the moment. I’m interested actually in the ideas of Locke and the social contract theory, and its impact upon modern liberal democracy.

    I’ve just been told our commission structute has been changed for the worse…terrible.

  25. Ms_Xtreme — on 15th June, 2007 at 6:30 pm  

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali says in the ending of her book:

    “This decade would be the decade to bring forth change within the Islamic world.”

    I agree with her. However, I do think that people are seeing the internal war between Muslims and their faith as being a problem with the religion itself. I hate that! The religion is NOT the problem, the inaccuracies within some testaments are, and of course, people’s own interpretations and actions of those accounts are the problem.

    I will read this book after I finish The Infidel (which I’ll do a extensive review about on Barficulture’s Review board cuz I don’t have a Blog :( )

  26. The iLL Man — on 16th June, 2007 at 1:22 am  

    Yay Sonia………. ;)

  27. Refresh — on 16th June, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

    Very good posts Sonia. Apart from a minor disagreement which is something which is recurring – might pick that up later.

    Otherwise very close. However do not throw the baby out with the bathwater: Occupation, Imperialism, economic and cultural.

  28. ad — on 17th June, 2007 at 8:35 pm  

    Is there any particular reason that U.K taxpayers are funding the provision of pro-Islamist propaganda in the nations schools?

    However I am at a total loss as to why state funds have been provided to expand this mosque.

    I am tempted to take a concept from economics: Regulatory Capture. Imagine a body is set up to regulate or control Group X. Who has the strongest motive to control that body? The leaders of Group X. Sooner or later they will likely succeed, because no one else cares so much.

    I don’t see why matters should be any different just because Group X are radical Islamists. The critical question is how much attention the people at the top pay attention to this body, and how much they know about it.

    Given the size of the government, the usual answer is not much. I hope those at the top are paying more attention now, but a captured organisation is not easily recaptured.

  29. fugstar — on 25th June, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    Native informant. One thing i felt sorry for him was that he never seemed to get exposed to any of what id call the cutting edge of Islamic thought and aspiration. It would have been nice to see some of that expressed so you comentator folks might have some actual cud to chew on. Just groups and trends and charismatic people.

    The confessional media format really becomes deluded. At least Zia sardars ‘desperately seeking..’ was a thoroughly good laugh and adventure through the Ummah.

    One problem is that the daft, mistakes and misapprehensions are rendered into text, and those ‘harmed’ dont have the same facility to answer back and clarify and defend their dignity.

  30. sonia — on 25th June, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    15. jff – does that mean that since Islam was the last revelation God thinks we’re now perfect and don’t need any more guidance? because that’s what Muslims tend to argue that oh we needed a new revelation cos the last lot went astray. by no stretch of anyone’s imagination can we say that we haven’t ‘gone astray’ like the previous lot – we’re all repeating the same sort of mistakes. so – what does this mean? God’s given up on us? Even if a revelation is [perfect] does it mean the followers are going to be perfect? Obviously not, seeing as Muslims claim the previous revelations were perfect but it was the people who weren’t following.
    So one can say that Islam is perfect but Muslims arent’, ergo, we need a new revelation. Of course some could say, no we don’t need a new revelation, we just need to fix the followers, but then why did God send down another revelation because the “last lot went astray”? doesn’t quite add up does it.

  31. sonia — on 25th June, 2007 at 5:36 pm  

    thanks Refresh, i’d be interested to hear more about the ‘minor disagreement’ bit :-)

  32. sonia — on 25th June, 2007 at 5:37 pm  

    Faisal Haque up there said ( on his blog) he used to go to HuT meetings with Ed back in the day. Perhaps he can shed some light for all of us.

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