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  • Quilliam Foundation launch


    by Sunny
    23rd April, 2008 at 9:22 am    

    Yesterday I went to the Quilliam Foundation launch. It was very interesting. I’ll write more observations later but interesting in itself is the list of speakers and supporters (in order of speaking):

    Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui (Muslim institute)
    Dr Usama Hasan (former jihadi)
    Shaykh Abdul Aziz Bukhari - a descendant of the big al-Bukhari himself.
    Timothy Garton Ash
    Lord Paddy Ashdown
    Rachel North (london bombs survivor) - gave a brilliant speech.
    Dr Musharraf Hussain (Muslim Hands charity)
    Jemima Khan (she was brilliant too, will explain why later)
    Dr Ali al-Saleh
    Arsalan Iftikar (from the American org CAIR) and…
    Mohammed Ali Hee (founder of HuT in Denmark and ex-Islamist).

    Update: My article on its launch was on CIF this morning.


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    1. Between the Lines » Blog Archive » “Substantial periods of genuine piety”

      [...] to one of its ardent supporters, ‘It was very interesting. I’ll write more observations later, but interesting in [...]




    1. zaffer — on 23rd April, 2008 at 10:26 am  

      Yes, it will be good to see what they do next. One thing though- they need a decent events manager on their team!!

    2. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 11:10 am  

      Sunny:

      Looking forward to your piece. Unfortunately was unable to attend as i applied too late.

      All of us, and I am sure this will include the speakers, want to tackle extremism and terrorism. The issue with Quilliam Foundation is a) their analysis of the problem, and b) their anti-orthodox Islam agenda…in fact Ed considers it a heresy! (Even though the points he has a problem with are shared by the majority of sufis!)

      It’s very important government listens to the right voices, for we saw with the war in Iraq that the wrong people (iraqi dissidents) made assertions based on political expediency and not on an honest reading of the situation on the ground.

      Zaffer:

      Was the organisation really that bad? Whenever I call their office, the girls really don’t know what going on. btw, they have informed me that all speeches will be put online.

    3. zaffer — on 23rd April, 2008 at 11:25 am  

      Was the organisation really that bad?- well it was their first event so concessions must be made.

    4. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 12:11 pm  

      Sunny,

      I occassionally read here and I always find it amazing how quickly people are suckered by organisations such as Quilliam.

      Do you honestly believe that people who are self-publicists will make any impact on a traditional Muslim community which is already exposing these people for whom they are.

      How much honesty is there in someone who won’t even reveal his own real name and goes by the name of Ed - that’ll have a big impact in the community - I wonb’t tell you my name but listen to me on Newsnight.

      Any organisation that includes an Islamaphobe like Michael “Neocon” Gove will fail.

      As with the Sufi Muslim Council people are backing the wrong horse!

      Sunny why is it that the real ground roots work that goes on you never pick up on? Work that is well respected by all communities.

      At Regents Park Mosque for example over the past few years they have held public exhibitions attended by many visitors, VIP’s etc. and had very positive reviews and impacts in the media.

      That is the type of outreach work that should be backed and not a bunch of self-promoting ex-Jihadi’s who are so out of touch with the community and assuming a fake leadership position.

      I’ll tell you now this will fail and all you’ll get for your rah-rah is Ed Hussein writing another book and the rest of them writing self promotion columns.

      This is all about money and funding. Funding should only be given to established projects that prove their worth.

    5. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 12:59 pm  

      Imran:

      I concur with the substance of your points, and feel they are largely representative of Muslim sentiment.

      However, I think the issue of who is on board with the Quilliam Foundation is a separate issue, though still of concern. Theoretically it is possible that right-wing (centre-right?)politician’s and think tanks can concur with the conclusions reached by Muslim organisations (ironically, this could be the case on conservative social issues).

      However the real issues are the theologically inconsistencies and the agenda which Quilliam are peddling. Mind you Imran, the two do converge in the same way some ‘secular modernists’ sought to justify the British Empire through theologically sanction back in the day.

      Seumas Milne wrote a very intriguing piece about Quilliam in the run up to their launch. here’s a snippet.

      “…(Ed Hussain) defended the government’s decision to ban the leading Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi from Britain because he had defended Palestinian suicide attacks. Whatever else that amounts to, it’s scarcely a voice of moderation.

      Interestingly, Husain and the Quilliam Foundation hail another Egyptian cleric, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, as a “scholastic giant” making a brave stand against extremism. Last year, David Cameron also went out of his way to praise Gomaa and the Times called him “the wise mufti”.

      But as it turns out, Gomaa is also on record as defending Palestinian suicide bombings, including against Israeli civilians (as well as endorsing wife-beating in some cultures). The crucial difference between Gomaa and Qaradawi is not their religious rulings on Palestine or other social questions - or their shared hostility to terror attacks in the west - but that Qaradawi is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the most popular opposition movement in the Arab world, while Gomaa is appointed by the pro-western Mubarak dictatorship.”

      http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/seumas_milne/2008/04/all_mod_cons.html

      This is just one of the intellectual inconsistencies with Ed, clearly borne of a revisionist agenda of Islamic scholarship. This becomes even more pronounced when you consider the so-called ‘literalist’ scholars of, mainly in Saudi, who since the 90s have taken a position that suicide bombings are not permissible (A point acknowledged, even propagated by Hamza Yusuf.) Of course this in itself is an issue of ijtihad, however it does demonstrate his rather blinkered view in complex matters…ironically lacking in nuance and context, the very qualities who bemoans his opponents of not possessing.

    6. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:14 pm  

      Maybe we Muslims should adopt Seumas Milne as our Grand Mufti. He has our interests at heart.

    7. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

      Saqib,

      Given the statements that Gove makes about Muslims, well one thinks that he isn’t going to be trusted by Muslims. Thus where he sits on a body - any body - then the community will be rightfully suspicious.

      It is people like Gove who regularly take thinsg out of context and peddle it, and what is laugable is that he is in charge of Conservative Community Cohesion!

      When did he ever listen to the Muslim community?

      As regards Quilliam, then people are already posting expose’s about them:

      http://www.quilliamexposed.blogspot.com/

      This has already been picked up by the mainstream press.

      So how then does Sunny think that with an essentially conservative community people who claim a leadership position whilst flouting every norm of the community will be listened to?

      Are they not just making noises as they have in the past at self-publicity?

      Why choose the British Museum for a launch why not do it within the community you claim to speak for?

      This is simply an absurd excersise in self-promotion by people that were stupid enough to become part of extremist organisations and now want to profit from their involvement. People who first need to show they have a connection with the community they say they can influence.

      They haven’t show that and unlikely never will.

      I am disappointed that PP has jumped on their bandwagon so quickly and not supported efforts that have had real success at community level.

    8. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:27 pm  

      Sid,

      The problem with this whole approach and especially that of people like Gove is that they label people incredibly quickly.

      The people who have been leading this push away from extremism for a while are many of the scholars in the Middle East who have spoken out against extremism, suicide bombing in any form etc.

      As many young people read their works they are the ones who need to lead this effort.

      Not a bunch of idiots of got themselves into a mess and now want my tax money to pay for their future.

    9. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:38 pm  

      The problem with this whole approach and especially that of people like Gove is that they label people incredibly quickly.

      Not as quickly as the sad little QuilliamExposed blog you linked to. So these men have girlfriends, go to clubs and have identities outside of rigid religious observation - and that makes them unacceptable as Muslims?

      Jemima in a swimsuit shock! she *must* be a Zionist and a anti-Islamic western degenerate.

      Not a bunch of idiots of got themselves into a mess and now want my tax money to pay for their future.

      I understand they’re being funded by Arabs from the Gulf, which is why they’re soft on Arab liberalism or human rights (or lack of) - but that’s another story. If they were funded by the British Government, would you accept it if they were supportive of organisations like the Islamic Brotherhood?

    10. zaffer — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:39 pm  

      I think what needs to remembered here is that this is a think-tank- not a grass-roots led business. My understanding is that they are not focusing on the wider community.

    11. Derius — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:40 pm  

      I think the Quilliam project needs to investigate CAIR’s past a little more:

      http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/110.pdf

      They have a very murky financial past, and at least three of their senior members have been prosecuted for aiding terrorism as well.

    12. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:49 pm  

      I am disappointed that PP has jumped on their bandwagon so quickly and not supported efforts that have had real success at community level.

      Hold your horses mate, how have PP jumped on the ‘bandwagon’?? All Sunny did was go to the launch, he hasn’t even posted his thoughts on it or the organisation yet!

    13. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

      “that makes them unacceptable as Muslims?”
      So you seriously think that they will be accepted by the community with blogs like that?

      I linked to that because it is news across the media.

      As regards funding to get going yes the money came from the Gulf but they are being very evasive about tax payers money.

      You may be happy with them representing you but I am not happy with them representing me.

      I don’t give a damn if some of them have girlfriends or wear swimsuits but get real will they have the impact they claim? No way.

    14. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:53 pm  

      PP gave them publicity which other organisations don’t get who are doing far more good in this exact area.

      I always get worried when people creep out of the woodwork and get paid for having been extreme and then saying they can solve the problems. So far none of them have.

    15. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 1:56 pm  

      As regards Quilliam, then people are already posting expose’s about them:

      http://www.quilliamexposed.blogspot.com/

      That blog is fucking funny! Oh look the director likes to go and enjoy him self and he drinks!!! The outrage!

      Don’t you guys realise you’ve just ingratiated him to 90% of the British population??!

    16. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:00 pm  

      PP gave them publicity which other organisations don’t get who are doing far more good in this exact area.

      Hang on a sec, we post about all kinds of things on here, sometimes neutral, sometimes we are pro others opposed. It’s all publicity at the end of the day.

      And like I’ve said Sunny attended the launch and will write his observations in his own good time. Why can’t you wait for that so your opinion is at least informed?

    17. Random Guy — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:05 pm  

      I seriously doubt that the purpose of this organisation is to engage with the Muslim community at any level. It is a similar initiative to the Sufi Council from last year, when the media/government were talking about re-evalauting which faith bodies it should be funding (i.e. not the ones that disagreed with it).

      I agree with Imran here that with members like Ed Husain on board, it probably knocks 50% of the legitimacy of the thing on its head. And of course, I agree with Leon about ‘ingratiating’ oneself to 90% of the British population through drinking - sadly this is actually the reality of things at the moment. What you neglect to mention is that it also de-ingratiates that person to 100% of practicing Muslims when that person in question is already blatantly breaking Islamic conduct AND is being put forward as a representative of the community.

      Which is the key question we must ask. Who are these people supposed to be representative of? And whose views are they actually representing?

    18. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:11 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘Maybe we Muslims should adopt Seumas Milne as our Grand Mufti. He has our interests at heart.’

      Have you hit the bottle early, Sid?

    19. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:24 pm  

      Leon - I only linked to the blog because it is being reported in the press - Daily Mail has a story about it. As regards Sunny’s write up I am looking forward to reading it - but my comment was general that I’d rather see how this org pans out before people give it loads of publicity though that is a mute point as they have that already.

    20. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:25 pm  

      It wasn’t a serious statement Saqib. It’s called irony. You should try it sometime. But given your fondness of Seumas Milne, I doubt you have any.

    21. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:34 pm  

      Sid - Any idea why a number of people affiliated with QF left before its birth?

      Surely a worrying sign in itself.

      Also why not support those that have consistently stood up to Ed when he was extreme, surely taht is a more sensible approach than saying we need to support Ed as he is so suseptible.

      I’d regard Jemima as as better person to speak to than Ed. She uses he real name for a start and at least is a bit convincing.

      Unlike I used to be an extremist - now I am so scared to tell people my name but people will listen to me.

    22. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:34 pm  

      Imran:

      I agree with you on post 7.

      However, to be fair PP ever since Ed published his book, have had fairly decent considered opinions both about him and his ideas. PP will, undoubtedly talk about this group, as it does have some mileage in terms of it being an event. However, only some millage, for in reality their analysis and ideas do not match up to analysis. Moreover, they have been, and will continue to be shunned by the community as irrelevant, not just to the debate surrounding extremism and terrorism, but wider issues pertaining to the role of faith communities in Britain.

      The key is for this message to get across to government so they don’t do another Iraq and follow the opinions of the wrong people. The shunning will continue, however what needs to happen is a thorough deconstruction of their analysis and ideas.

      Leon:

      “Don’t you guys realise you’ve just ingratiated him to 90% of the British population??!”

      Refresh has already stolen my thunder about the converse effect upon ’100% of practising Muslims’, however I should mention not even practising. Most Muslims who may not be very overtly ‘Islamic’ (practising is herd to define)but have social values which are conservative. ‘Maaj’ has really scored an own goal here, akin to the pompous David Mellor, who whilst championing family values as a minister in the 90s Tory government was knocking of with a model (Apparently he was into toes…yuk!).

      Similarly, for the director of a think tank rooting itself in ‘traditional Islam’ and condemning, yes, condemning all those others who do not fit this description as being almost heretical, well I think the criticisms are valid.

      This kind of also addresses Sid’s point…it is the inconsistencies between what these guys claim to represent and their actions which is being highlighted and rightly lampooned, and not just the actions themselves.

      What I would question however, is Maajid’s state of mind, what on earth was he playing at…any credibility he may have wished to develop within the community has been diminished.

    23. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:39 pm  

      Sid:

      It wasn’t a serious statement Saqib. It’s called irony. You should try it sometime. But given your fondness of Seumas Milne, I doubt you have any.

      Well Sid, I never heard of this gentlemen until yesterday when i read the article. The fact you felt the need to make such an ironic statement is indicative of your penchant of jumping to conclusions, something which I have brought to your attention before.

      I think you should focus on the actual arguments advanced by people and not the cult of their personalities…it’s actually called ‘debate’…you should try it sometimes!

    24. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:41 pm  

      It wasn’t a serious statement Saqib. It’s called irony. You should try it sometime. But given your fondness of Seumas Milne, I doubt you have any.

      haha, well that explains it then. You really need to find out more about Milne before you use him to endorse your views. Research, you should try it sometime!

    25. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:42 pm  

      Mind you, my favourite picture is the Pete Docerty impression…classic!!!

    26. Abdul Aziz — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:46 pm  

      The anti-Quilliam Foundation campaign has already begun within the community. Thousands of organisations, Mosques, grass-root forums and community e-lists are being contacted and information circulated. This group will be filed under FARCE along witht the Sufi Muslim Council, remember them (lol). The community are not naive, only genuine, sincere and principled individuals can apply, not those who tarnish and attack entire movements which have been actively serving their respective Muslim and non-Muslim communities for nearly 50 years and have histories dating back hundreds. Come on guys get with the programme, you are going to have to play ball with the real stakeholders and they aren’t the monsters that you continually make them out to be…

      I admit that extremism needs to be challenged head-on in our community, but there is no better people to do this than those who are trusted and balanced in their modus operandi. Why do people have difficulty grasping to elementary points in Islam.

      1) The final message to mankind has core principals and fundamentals which are incorruptible and beyond reformative reproach, as they have been decreed by our Majestic Lord and His Final Messenger.

      2) This Faith is led by authenticated scholars who the Prophet referred to as heirs to the Prophets, all religious decisions are based upon the Book of God and the Sunnah (narrations) of the Prophet and the Practice of the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet). Allah tells the believers to enter the fold of their faith ‘wholeheartedly’. Hence anyone claiming to lead, guide or influence the religious teachings of Islam is required to pass the test of good, moral, decent, modest, principled, chaste conduct and characteristics as instructed by Islam.

      Unfortunately this group of greedy money and fame seekers, violate both these stipulations, hence they will be intellectually fought, defeated and rejected.

    27. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 2:50 pm  

      Sid:

      As i said Sid, i evaluate peoples argument’s on their own merits…I don’t take your rather blinkered, dare i say it taqleedi view that if I like someone I agree 100%, and if i happen to not be particularly fond of them, to disagree 100%.

      It’s called being intellectual!

      You didn’t actually did not respond to the point Milne made about the disparity of Ed’s views on Qaradawi and Gomaa… I doubt whether you even read the article.

    28. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

      This is the problem with Quilliam, by attacking mainstream Muslims movements and hijacking the debate they are needlessly wasting the time of the community. However it is time that needs to be spent, for all of us want to tackle terrorism, and that won’t happen through organisations setting people of on a wild goose chase.

      To this end, I doubt whether even the many of the participants have even carefully considered and thought through what the foundation is saying by way of their analysis and interpretation, much least their theological soundness. It may have been a case of , ‘well here is a group which is counter-extremist, a few of their surface arguments make sense, let’s support them in this endeavor.

      Interesting that Ahmad Babikr, TJ Winters and Hamza Yusuf did not attend, perhaps they have had time to think things through.

    29. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:12 pm  

      You really do take yourself seriously, don’t you Saqib.

      It’s called being intellectual!

      Glad to know that *you* know that means the ability to hold incomplete, amorphous even conflicting views but being able to argue them. Which is why it’s curious that you should protest being accused of being a Seumas Milne afficianado but accuse me of being a 100% Quilliam Foundation supporter.

      I don’t support them fully, but I welcome Muslims bringing in fresh new ideas to the table. No one is asking Muslims to represent them, and judging by the level of protest, they have a long way to be accepted. But one thing I will say, if there was the same level of indignant rhetoric about people like Seumas Milne and Tamimi et al when they tried to appropriate Muslim representation, we wouldn’t be standing around today, holding our dicks. collectively and metaphorically speaking, of course.

    30. fugstar — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:18 pm  

      i dont think shayk babikr is involved in any other capacity other than as an advisor.. which he is to everybody in the universe who sees fit to ask him. he’s just lovely.

      they have been playing a lot of HT games in manufacturing some kudos for themselves. eventually the latent british annoyance with their namedropping and inbreeding will render functionless to their target white and white masked audience.

      they are sucking hard on the teat of the ‘trad islam’ thing, but the nipple will not yield. good on the nipple. they are so desperate its sad.

    31. fugstar — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

      what new idea have they brought to the table sid?

      do you not see, or even at the back of your mind suspect that its a bit of a setup for the funneling of a certain domesticising agenda?

    32. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:26 pm  

      Sid:

      Ok Sid, when and where did I exactly accuse you, or anyone else on this thread of being a Quilliam Foundation supporter?

      Go on, show me!

    33. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:27 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘But one thing I will say, if there was the same level of indignant rhetoric about people like Seumas Milne and Tamimi et al when they tried to appropriate Muslim representation, we wouldn’t be standing around today, holding our dicks. collectively and metaphorically speaking, of course.’

      Speak for yourself mate!

    34. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:36 pm  

      I have been speaking for myself mate. I’m amazed when people reject the Quillaim Foundation and then procees to agree with Milne simply because he attacks them. It shows people will follow any old bollocks as long it confirms their *predefined opinions*.

    35. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:40 pm  

      Ok Sid, when and where did I exactly accuse you, or anyone else on this thread of being a Quilliam Foundation supporter?

      Go on, show me!

    36. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 3:42 pm  

      Sid:

      So what is exactly wrong about the inconsistencies which Milne’s article uncovers about QF?

      Your clutching at straws mate!

    37. fugstar — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:29 pm  

      Sid, ed and maajid
      B-I-(T)-C-H-I-N-G

    38. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:38 pm  

      Your clutching at straws mate!

      That before I’ve even said what is wrong with what the Milne article. Doesn’t bode well for an open debate, especially from someone who’s only ever heard of Seumas Milne since yesterday! Like I said , it looks like you’ve already made up your opinion. But perhaps, just perhaps, you might want to look at Milne’s record of support of the Islamic Brotherhood and the Respect Party. Although, who knows, you might find these qualities favourable.

      I’d rather hang with the Quilliams as co-religionsits than a bunch of hidebound deadheads.

    39. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:40 pm  

      Oh look fugstar, you almost typed in a complete sentence, you’re coming along nicely. No idea what it means though.

    40. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

      Sid,

      There is no need for the Muslim Community to jump on any initiative just because they say a few things people may want to hear.

      To tackle these issues needs a proper grassroots efforts and it shouldn’t be led by publicity hungry media types and Islamaphobe MP’s.

      As I pointed out there has been good work going on which goes on unrecogniserd away from media publicity which is building excellent grassroots relatkions within the Muslim community and beyond. That is what we need to support and not some publicity hungry ex-extremists who have gone from one extreme to another.

    41. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 4:59 pm  

      Sid:

      You still have not answered my question, let me repeat it for the third time.

      Ok Sid, when and where did I exactly accuse you, or anyone else on this thread of being a Quilliam Foundation supporter?

      Go on, show me!

      Sid

      “I’d rather hang with the Quilliams as co-religionsits than a bunch of hidebound deadheads.”

      So you are a communalist then…shame i’d much rather use my own critical faculties.

      You have had plenty of time of responding Sid, and you have been avoiding all my questions, hence i reiterate you are clutching at straws. I couldn’t give two hoots who Milne is, anymore than I care who you are in real life…I merely have looked at the arguments.

      btw…it called ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and not ‘Islamic Brotherhood.’

    42. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:00 pm  

      Sunny:

      Read you article.

      I don’t think the array of speakers was particularly impressive…the fact one of the speakers is a descendant of Imam Bukhari is neither here nor there, and I’m surprised you even raised this.

      In fact they didn’t get any real big-hitters from the Sufi tradition, a tradition they largely distort for their revisionist aims.

      I have already made my criticism of QF in terms of analysis and interpretation and the inconsistencies they suffer from in terms of mainstream theology.

      You mentioned, in relation to Inayat:

      “He glosses over the fact that the theological arguments and networks used to radicalise impressionable young Muslims existed before 2001. Views that all non-Muslims were worthless or the enemy; demands for a global Khilafah; arguments using Qur’anic texts to justify violence on innocents - these didn’t just spring up in the last few years. The war in Iraq added more fuel to a fire but to pretend that pulling out tomorrow will solve our problems is naive.”

      I’m not here to argue on Inayat’s behalf, however I’ll take the points in general.

      It depends what you mean here Sunny. Those Quranic texts and basic arguments regarding Khilafah have always been there since the inception of Islam. Traditional scholars have dealt with them as have modern-day scholars in context.

      If you mean the more cruder forms of rhetoric, taking things out of context, then I would agree with you. However this, and extremism is fuelled by the lack of political representation the masses of Muslims have in the Muslim World; a representation denied at times through Western foreign policy stifling the emergence of genuine middle-class sentiment which may be Islamist or ‘conservative’. It is mainly the result of this, the jostling of power within the Muslim world between aggressive secular elites and a majority Islamic populace, and the sad ignorance of Islam even amongst Muslims which gives rise to extremist readings of scripture. It is about recognizing this and swimming with the tide and not against it.

      In fact, the first extremist movement in Islam the Khwarij or Karajites were such a group that emerged in the background of political turmoil in the Khilafah. They responded by breaking the consensus of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) companions and in condemning and attacking all those who opined differently. They were dealt with over a period of time. Now the companions themselves set in motion many of the concepts found in the Qur’an and hadeeth regarding relations with non-Muslims, khilafah, hudood etc…yet they clearly kept these principles whilst still tackling the extremism of the Karajites.

      QF take an overly deterministic view of matters, arguing that if you believe in distinguishing yourself into camps, say Muslim and non-Muslim, this will inevitably lead to hatred. This is not borne by the passage of history, for Muslims have always believed they are part of an ummah. This has not defined Muslim - non-Muslim relations in terms of hatred. If we take the position of the second caliph of Islam, Umar, he was known for being very firm in upholding Islam, and was a great military warrior. Yet, it was he, who famously refused to pray in the courtyard of the holy sepulchre, Jerusalem for fear that later Muslims would misinterpret this to demolish the building.

      QF also try and pass much of these concepts as being either modern or aberrant to the Islamic tradition, when actually they are not. For example even amongst the Sufis their have been many celebrated Mujahadeen, and Jihad is very much considered part of Islam, and they also believe the Khilafah is theologically sanctioned. Where they differ, and here they agree with Salafis, is that change comes through self-purification and reformation.

      Islamism as a term may be new, and in fact invented by orientalists. Much of what Islamists do is criticized within orthodox circles, mainly around the issue of method. However to characterise Islam as not possessing a social and political dimension simply is not borne out from mainstream theology.

      QF sound palatable as their surface arguments seem to make sense, however when you dig deeper they full of holes, inconsistencies and overtly deterministic towards a pre-defined agenda of historical and theological revisionism.

      For all there ‘profound’ insights, they have not touched upon why Islam continues to grow in the West, independent of the current negativity the religion receives in Britain. Perhaps, I would dare say, it is because their conceptual straightjacket cannot move beyond narrow self-perceptions, perceptions which led them to join HT in the first place.

    43. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:03 pm  

      There is no need for the Muslim Community to jump on any initiative just because they say a few things people may want to hear.

      Maybe they’re saying things the “Muslim Community” need to hear. Maybe they should be given a chance. But no, you’re probably more interested in their private lives.

      As I pointed out there has been good work going on which goes on unrecogniserd away from media publicity which is building excellent grassroots relatkions within the Muslim community and beyond.

      No one is doubting that, and I doubt Quilliam Foundation are here to eclipse the good work done by these initiatives. Why can’t be more good work? Why do Muslims have this “scarcity mentality”? There’s enough to go around, FFS.

      That is what we need to support and not some publicity hungry ex-extremists who have gone from one extreme to another.

      What other extreme have they gone to, please elaborate? And are you suggesting that this new extreme, whatever that may be, is some kind of threat to the “Muslim Community”?

    44. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:10 pm  

      Ok Sid, when and where did I exactly accuse you, or anyone else on this thread of being a Quilliam Foundation supporter?

      In your assumption that I disagreed with the point you made about Al-Gomaa.

      So you are a communalist then…shame i’d much rather use my own critical faculties.

      Funny you should call me a communalist, after ignorantly favouring some screed by Seumas Milne.

      btw…it called ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and not ‘Islamic Brotherhood.’

      Immaterial, because they’re neither. They’re the Ikhwani Muslimeen.

    45. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:14 pm  

      QF also try and pass much of these concepts as being either modern or aberrant to the Islamic tradition, when actually they are not. For example even amongst the Sufis their have been many celebrated Mujahadeen, and Jihad is very much considered part of Islam, and they also believe the Khilafah is theologically sanctioned. Where they differ, and here they agree with Salafis, is that change comes through self-purification and reformation.

      I must say Saqib, that is a complete load of absolute, turd-munching bollocks.

    46. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:21 pm  

      Sid - perhaps you don’t live in the same world we do but in all streams of life people look at who you are. It applies to Royalty, MP’s, Think-Tanks and Public Leaders.

      These people are here to set an example.

      You’ve obviously missed the fact that people are fed up with politicians because they ask others to do one things and then do another themselves. But hey feck it this is what you’re advocating here because you like what they say.

      Islam is a way of life for people - you clearly can’t understand that. So those people will not listen to people who say one thing and do another. Its that simple and if you truely believe that isn’t the case then you are not in touch with the Muslim Community.

      They have gone from one extreme of ideology to another simply means that before they blamed the west for all their ills and now blame Muslims for ills. Anyone who disagrees with them will be called an extremist.

      Tell me Sid - why this crap about a British Islam? Does that mean by the same analogy that Catholics need to have a British Catholocism and not listen to the Pope because he is from Germany and talks in a language they don’t understand? Why apply different standards to Muslims?

      The point is that QF has had many people leave beforte it got going - why can’t we have answers for that. Why can’t we know what our new think tank leaders get up to so we can guage their sincerity and character?

      Leadership is also about doing and not just saying the right things. I would ask do they really believe in the core values of Islam if they don’t adopt them? If not then by what right do they claim to represent that in which they don’t fully agree?

      Sid - also the cocky slaps you give people is hardly appropriate in your loving Sufi nature.

    47. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:26 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘In your assumption that I disagreed with the point you made about Al-Gomaa.’

      No I didn’t make that assumption Sidi boy, I merely said, let me repeat

      ‘You didn’t actually did not respond to the point Milne made about the disparity of Ed’s views on Qaradawi and Gomaa… I doubt whether you even read the article.’

      How did you take that as an assumption of your acquiescence to QF. Subhan Allah!!!

      I certainly am gald you are not a judge, with your wild and fabricated imagination anything and everything is possible.

      ‘Immaterial, because they’re neither. They’re the Ikhwani Muslimeen.’

      Actually it is ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen which translates literally as ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ ‘My Muslim Brotherhood’ as you claimed in the original Arabic or ‘Islamic Brotherhood’ you kept parroting whilst on another of your drunken rants.

      ‘I must say Saqib, that is a complete load of absolute, turd-munching bollocks.’

      ohh…can’t accept that your pseduo-association with sufism (which many sufis would decry) could share similar ideas with others eh. Well think again. Perhaps you have never read the works of Nuh Keller, TJ Winters et al…or heard of the warriors Imam Shamil and Umar Mukhtar…poor soul, imagine all this and you didn’t even know…ah.

    48. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:37 pm  

      can’t accept that your pseduo-association with sufism

      Steady on Saqib. Given that you don’t know me from Adam (peace be upon him), that propensity to attack me personally shows that not only are you wholly ignorant about the issues by willing to back any old anti-Muslim writer who momentarily backs your malformed ideas (Milne), you’re also just another mean-spirited, unbalanced nutcase who can’t take objective criticism.
      tsk tsk tsk

    49. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:42 pm  

      and tsk tsk tsk again.

    50. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:46 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘Steady on Saqib. Given that you don’t know me from Adam (peace be upon him), that propensity to attack me personally shows that not only are you wholly ignorant about the issues by willing to back any old anti-Muslim writer who momentarily backs your malformed ideas (Milne), you’re also just another mean-spirited, unbalanced nutcase who can’t take objective criticism.
      tsk tsk tsk’

      Actually I have heard your ramblings about being sufi before and seriously question their efficacy…perhaps you were drunk and cna’t remember… i can.

      btw, you raised Milne again, let me ask you again, what exactly is wrong with him exposing the inconsistencies in QF, highlighted Ed’s stance viz e viz Qaradawi and Milne? This is not ideas Sidi boy, it is fact…they both have similar views on suicide bombing…this is what Milne uncovered.

      If even you had dug this up i would have put it here. However, given your rather blinkered views on the subject, where you tie anyone into a straitjacket, that would have been surprising.

    51. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 5:53 pm  

      Actually I have heard your ramblings about being sufi before and seriously question their efficacy

      Really Saqib, you really must calm down. First rule of being a sufi is don’t question other people’s faith or spiritualism. “Efficacy” means effectiveness. If my spiritualims has managed to piss off a jumped-up self-important, up-your-own-arse, ulema-type like you obviously are, I feel my efficacy is more than vindicated.

    52. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 6:02 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘Really Saqib, you really must calm down. First rule of being a sufi is don’t question other people’s faith or spiritualism’

      Well, i’m not a sufi! By the way, is it part of sufism to accuse others of that which the haven’t done!

      ‘If my spiritualims has managed to piss off a jumped-up self-important, up-your-own-arse, ulema-type like you obviously are, I feel my efficacy is more than vindicated.’

      Not really…they proved to be a good source for having a laugh. It’s really quite revealing on your fondness of making constant reference to the private areas of the human anatomy…it reflects well the quality of your posts, which are full of crap!

    53. bananabrain — on 23rd April, 2008 at 6:10 pm  

      they sound like a jolly sensible bunch of people to *me*, but then, being a zionist neocon lizard from outer space, i would say that.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    54. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 7:10 pm  

      Sunny - not a bad write up but you fail to mention why Jemmia Khan’s speech was so good as promised.

      Also what you fail to address is the key point that influence isn’t derived by having a useful name like Bukhari. Most people haven’;t heard of the people you call heavyweights. They aren’t.

      The MCB doesn’t get Govt Funding for most of its work so again that is a non-starter.

      MCB and QF firing barbs at each other hardly helps the greater need which is to address the core issues which MCB and QF are simply failing to do.

      Did they say who is backing them for example?

      Community Suspicion is hardly a good start and I always worry about people who are reliant on media exposure for a living as being good for tackling community issues.

      What is their action plan or is it simply to go to museums and paint a gloomy picture, say some words and have their pics in the Mail, Telegraph, Sky etc.

      I fear it doesn’t bode well and just as SMC’s neocon links were quickly exposed the same appears to be unravelling here.

    55. Refresh — on 23rd April, 2008 at 7:13 pm  

      For what its worth I’ve not stolen anyone’s thunder. I’ve got some of my own. Thank you very much.

      Sid, how could it bode well given your pre-emptive provocations. There are things you have got to say I would like to hear, but you shoot yourself in the foot by slagging fellow commenters, often it seems, without foundation. You’ve already wrecked this thread.

      Lets have your article on Milne, and then we will discuss it.

    56. Imran Hussein — on 23rd April, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

      Could I ask a fairly important question - How does QF which is aiming to define Western Islam hope to counter resentment which is occuring in say the East? By diverging from the issues which are at the core of extremism rather than tackling them how can they achieve success when people feel thast their brethren are being attacked.

      By saying they are Western Muslims aren’t they just ignoring the issue which is a central core of the argument?

      Thus they are effectively ignoring the key issues.

      On Newsnight yesterday Majid Nawaz refused to answer questions about why neocon thought is part of their think tank. He refused to address the issue of Ed Hussein’s rhetoric instead divering to when he had made neocon statements. Surely this isn’t goign to progress the issue.

      Surely the central issues that are a grievance need to be addressed and resolved in order to move people away from extremism instead of dismissing these issues.

      Bananabrain - being a Zionist you’d agree with them because it suits your own agenda. But the principle of rights for Palestinians is an important issue for Muslims and how is QF going to address that by having neocon thinkers on their advisory board.

      What is needed is solutions and neocon thinking just doesn’t have that.

      I fail to see how you can have hope in people who are ignoring the issues which are driving people to extremism.

      Surely any think tank be it Zionist or Muslim or whatever also needs to tackle the issues which lead people to want to commit acts of violence and that sadly for you includes resolution of the Israel - Palestinian issue. At some point that needs to be resolved fairly and that simply isn’t happening thus the grievance which leads to violence is still there.

      This is simply just rhetoric that doesn’t address key issues.

      It isn’t just about interpretation of verses it is also about addressing grievances and no one is doing that.

      A simple example is they say that extremism needs to be rooted out of msoques - great but how the hell do they plan to do that when they have no links with the community?

      All they’ll do is make media appearances and not anything concrete.

      I would like to believe they are sincere but everything I have seen so far makes me believe they are not.

    57. Sid — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:13 pm  

      Sid, how could it bode well given your pre-emptive provocations. There are things you have got to say I would like to hear, but you shoot yourself in the foot by slagging fellow commenters, often it seems, without foundation. You’ve already wrecked this thread.

      Refresh, I’ve wrecked this thread? You give me far too much credit, old boy. But given the quality of the anti-QF comments, the bar was absurdly low to begin with, but I accept your compliment nonetheless.

      I was previously ambivalent about QF, but now that I see that all their critics are either far left nutters or tribalistic “brudders” soft on Muslim Brotherhood, I shall be giving QF my full, unconditional support.

    58. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:18 pm  

      I’m going to wait to see what QF actually delivers before forming a conclusive view on them…

    59. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 8:42 pm  

      Good article Sunny apart from the last paragraph which felt pointlessly sentimental…

    60. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:01 pm  

      Sid

      ‘I was previously ambivalent about QF, but now that I see that all their critics are either far left nutters or tribalistic “brudders” soft on Muslim Brotherhood, I shall be giving QF my full, unconditional support.’

      You deserve each other, arrogant, self-publicists whose wishy washy ideas have no real resonance in reality.

    61. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:06 pm  

      Leon:

      ‘I’m going to wait to see what QF actually delivers before forming a conclusive view on them…’

      Not sure what you mean by deliver Leon? They are a think tank, the best they can do is influence government policy in a particular way. They are not bringing naything new to the table, most of their ideas resemble those of Policy Exchange.

      A key marker is this…if the war against extremism and terrorism is that of hearts and minds of young Muslims, then the contest is already over, for QF is being lampooned left, right and centre.

    62. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:11 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘Refresh, I’ve wrecked this thread? You give me far too much credit, old boy. But given the quality of the anti-QF comments, the bar was absurdly low to begin with, but I accept your compliment nonetheless.’

      Interesting you say the quality of the comments is of a low standard considering you have consistently refused to address any of my points, preferring instead to label your opponents. Truth is Sid, you have no genuine way of countering what is being said other than pointless ramblings which divert the discussion in other areas.

      Fair enough, if this brings you contentment, then i’m happy for you.

    63. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:15 pm  

      Refresh, my apologies, t,he ‘steal my thunder was in reference to Random Guy….i don’t why i always confuse you two…sometimes i confuse Sonia and Sofia.

    64. Refresh — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:17 pm  

      Sid, what are you talking about? All you should have done is joined the debate with goodwill. Nothing else.

      Cutting off your nose is not quite a recognised debating strategy.

      Problem is these are the same guys who would have in 1992 kow-towed to that other eternal showman - Omar Bakri. A man who has done none of us any good.

      So what I don’t understand is you why would give your full-support to people who MUST have been weak-minded at the time without it seems a rational cell in their heads.

    65. Refresh — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

      Saqib, no problem. My comments were tongue in cheek.

    66. Leon — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:32 pm  

      They are a think tank, the best they can do is influence government policy in a particular way.

      That’s still an outcome (your point indicates a real ignorance of how effective think tanks can be)…my point is I’m not going sit here and go off half cocked like some of the loons above and criticise it before a) I know more about it, b) it actually does something worth commenting on.

      It’s only just launched ffs and too many people are jumping up and down in outrage. Hilarious!

    67. Saqib — on 23rd April, 2008 at 9:43 pm  

      Leon:

      ‘That’s still an outcome (your point indicates a real ignorance of how effective think tanks can be’

      Not really Leon, for as i did say their main thesis is based on that of existing think tanks such as Polciy Exchange. The only distinguising characterists QF have is that they are ex HT’s. Has this given then greater legitimacy…well, the comments on the blogospeher would suggest otherwise.

      I take your general point, of course you and others need to make an informed decision. Quite right.

      However we already have enough information about QF to assess them. I’m sure if a right wing think tank, whose main protagonists had strong right-wing views on major issues had ‘launched’ people would already have developed views…particularly on a left wing blog.

      It is this reason why many in the community have communicated these unequivocally. And this is with analysis, which is not being rebutted. Hence I fail to see the funny side?

    68. Refresh — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:28 am  

      Leon, I think if we all waited until a new organisation did something noteworthy before anyone passes comment then really that would put Sunny and the blogosphere out of business.

    69. Leon — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:44 am  

      Well obviously you and I differ on the term noteworthy…

    70. Refresh — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:09 am  

      No not really. I think its just splitting hairs.

    71. Sunny — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:34 am  

      Jebus, I don’t know what you guys are still arguing about but then Refresh, Saqib I didn’t exactly expect you guys to embrace this with open arms. I don’t expect its aimed at you guys anyway

    72. Random Guy — on 24th April, 2008 at 8:58 am  

      Sunny, don’t you think thats a bit of a problem? Like I said in Post 17: “Who are these people supposed to be representative of? And whose views are they actually representing?”

      Surely the answers to these question have a susbstantial impact on the credibility and aims of the QF?

      Also, lol at the Random Guy/Refresh confusion!

    73. Will — on 24th April, 2008 at 9:59 am  

      Since the Quilliam Foundation have adopted Abdullah Quilliam as their namesake, it is worth looking at this views.

      http://abdullahquilliam.wordpress.com

      I wonder if their research skills will be as skewed as their rebranding of this gentleman

    74. fugstar — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:02 am  

      what it means bhai is that you three are man whores.

      i hope the descendants of Abdullah Quillam (Allah ennoble his name) file a case against maajid and ed.

      think tanks in general need to implode somehow, how dare they drown out normal people.

    75. Random Guy — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:33 am  

      Thanks for the link Will. Very interesting information. Striking and eye-opening. So I am assuming that somewhere along the line they got the go-ahead from a member of the Quillam family to use the name? Does anyone have information about this?

    76. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:39 am  

      Will & Fugstar

      There are so many inaccuracies and inconsistencies with QF that it is unreal. One wonders what Quillam himself would make of these jokers.

      It’s funny, even Zia Sardar, a man who you would think would be very pleased with this outcome is perturbed on CiF. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/24/islam.religion

      It’s an interesting take. He is right with regards to the majority of ‘silent’ Muslims who eschewed extremism , well of the misguided HT methodology. However, I believe firmly the majority of Muslims have orthodox beliefs and this is why any attempts to create a ‘new’ Islam, as opposed to applying Islam in a particular context will fail.

    77. Sid — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:49 am  

      The points that the haters, the death-threat merchants and the adolescent HizbiHeads have against the QF are not vindicated by the middle ground which is critical of the QF, adopted by people like Zia Sardar and myself.

    78. bananabrain — on 24th April, 2008 at 11:52 am  

      Could I ask a fairly important question - How does QF which is aiming to define Western Islam hope to counter resentment which is occuring in say the East? By diverging from the issues which are at the core of extremism rather than tackling them how can they achieve success when people feel thast their brethren are being attacked.

      surely they’re entitled to restrict their focus to the local sphere if that is where their expertise chiefly lies? if the point of it is to do something to improve the situation in britain/western europe, what is so wrong with that?

      By saying they are Western Muslims aren’t they just ignoring the issue which is a central core of the argument?

      on the contrary, it shows there’s a diversity of views which should redress some of the monolithic ‘ummah-speak that you get from groups like the hutties.

      neocon thought is part of their think tank

      didn’t there used to be a thing called liberal interventionism? i still believe in *that*. it’s what tony blair did in bosnia and kosovo.

      Bananabrain - being a Zionist you’d agree with them because it suits your own agenda. But the principle of rights for Palestinians is an important issue for Muslims and how is QF going to address that by having neocon thinkers on their advisory board.

      to be precise, imran, that’s “zionist lizard from outer space”. in fact, this statement reveals your ignorance of zionism. there are many different forms of zionist and you obviously don’t know anything about my beliefs and are happy to just go ahead and pigeonhole me with your convenient little boo-hiss label. the principle of rights for palestinians is an important issue for me personally and jews generally - and that’s also a religious point of view: “justice, justice shalt thou pursue”. it also reveals your total ignorance of what neo-cons actually believe, for some reason you seem to think that because someone’s a neo-con, they are necessarily against palestinian self-determination and that is in fact total nonsense.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    79. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:30 pm  

      Sid:

      ‘The points that the haters, the death-threat merchants and the adolescent HizbiHeads have against the QF are not vindicated by the middle ground which is critical of the QF, adopted by people like Zia Sardar and myself.’

      The majority of Muslims Sid have orthodox beliefs, beliefs which you may find rather shocking. However, they, are able to hold the ‘middle-ground’ as defined through the shar’rah, without needing to invent their own bogus claims to following a sufi mixed with pseudo-intellectualism.

    80. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

      Sid:

      I saw that thread…best comment:


      Sid,

      You sound like you’re jealous that Ed Husain is published and you are not.’

      I think that is about right.

    81. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:35 pm  

      saqib

      The majority of Muslims Sid have orthodox beliefs

      A bold claim which is complicated by the fact that you are using your interpretation of what ‘orthodox’ means.

      So, when did you carry out a poll that returned results stipulating that ‘the majority of Muslims’ adhered to your interpretation of Islam?

      If you haven’t conducted such a poll, then you are, in fact, a liar.

      mixed with pseudo-intellectualism.

      Pot, kettle, black etc.

    82. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 12:55 pm  

      Fabio Aurellio:

      ‘If you haven’t conducted such a poll, then you are, in fact, a liar.’

      Not really Fabio, it’s actually called having an opinion. Many people make the claim that most Muslims are moderate, without actually basing this on any straw poll, without MORI, why? Because it is based on a collective, shared experience of who and what Muslims are about.

      My point about orthodox beliefs is based on my experiences within the community. These are not based on MY interpretation, for i am talking about actual beliefs which are not based upon individuals actually engaging in any rigorous process of fiqh. I suppose you could say dogma.

      Usually, this leads the majority of moderate Muslims as being characterised as being socially conservative based on their outlook on Sexuality, marriage, crime, ethics etc. Moreover, there is a deep sense embedded amongst Muslims of belonging to an ‘ummah’, even though the actualization is not always there. They do believe that Muhammad (pbuh) was the final messenger to humanity, they believe it sinful to have pre-marital sex, eat flesh of swine, drink alcohol etc…Even when many Muslims do engage in these activities they do acknowledge the religious injunctions against them.

      I would suggest next time mate you actually think through your arguments before attempting to engage me in further discussions.

    83. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:04 pm  

      saqib

      Not really Fabio, it’s actually called having an opinion.

      You stated it as a fact.

      Many people make the claim that most Muslims are moderate, without actually basing this on any straw poll, without MORI, why?

      I don’t care what ‘many people’ may or may not do. I was referring to your blanket statement. Stop trying to change the subject.

      My point about orthodox beliefs is based on my experiences within the community.

      Then it is no point at all and your argument collapses quite spectacularly.

      You are making sweeping generalisations based on personal experiences; this is the very antithesis of rational thought. Why? Because based on my ‘experiences’, most Muslims are nominal at best, and the Muslim women I have come across have been anything but ‘orthodox’ (ie, I have dated several of them, cohabitated with others etc, you get the picture).

      Do I then assume that they are the staple for Muslims and Muslim opinion? No. Why? Because I use my brain and realise that not all Muslims are like that.

      Similarly, if you were to engage your brain, you would also realise that you have no clue as to whether the ‘majority’ of Muslims are in fact orthodox.

    84. bananabrain — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

      or what, indeed, being “orthodox” means if you’re a muslim, depending on whether you’re from the middle east, south-east asia, pakistan, bosnia, turkey or indeed western europe. and don’t get me started on sunni vs shi’a. or the ahmadis. or the ismailis.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    85. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

      Indeed bananbrain. saqib, while hammering the likes of sid, HUT et al as being ‘pseudo-intellectuals’, he himself has trouble grasping simple concepts such as the separation of opinion and fact.

      Quite staggering how stupid an individual can be.

      I liked your comments about Muslims’ general ignorance about Zionism; very aptly put.

      It has always perplexed me though, how ‘the Zionists’ (read ‘Jews’) manage to simultaneously control world communism and the capitalist banking system. I mean, where do they find the time?

    86. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:21 pm  

      Fabio:

      ‘You stated it as a fact.’

      Well, it is opinion, opinion which can be borne out from all the organisation work I have been involved in the community for over 10 years.

      ‘I don’t care what ‘many people’ may or may not do. I was referring to your blanket statement. Stop trying to change the subject.’

      Okay, i take you have no opinions then, other then those based on ‘verifiable facts. My friend this is a blog, it is about exchanging opinions and arguing points, which is what’s happening on this blog…welcome to the blogosphere.

      ‘You are making sweeping generalisations based on personal experiences; this is the very antithesis of rational thought. Why? Because based on my ‘experiences’, most Muslims are nominal at best, and the Muslim women I have come across have been anything but ‘orthodox’ (ie, I have dated several of them, cohabitated with others etc, you get the picture).’

      No I don’t get your picture, as you are deliberately trying to murky the waters.

      I have outlined reasons which many people would concur with based on experiences and actual developments within the community. The growth in many new Muslim groups, organisations and mosques is being financed through the purses of the majority of Muslims in Britain. This is indicative of people beliefs i.e. if you build a mosque you will be rewarded…this is common standard orthodox belief mate.

      ‘Do I then assume that they are the staple for Muslims and Muslim opinion? No.’

      You really are a very silly person, I commented on ‘beliefs’ and not the ‘opinions’ of others.

    87. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:29 pm  

      Bananabrain:

      ‘or what, indeed, being “orthodox” means if you’re a muslim, depending on whether you’re from the middle east, south-east asia, pakistan, bosnia, turkey or indeed western europe. and don’t get me started on sunni vs shi’a. or the ahmadis. or the ismailis.’

      But Sir, i have outlined the specific aspects of ‘orthodoxy’ in my later posts. I must be clear, i talk as a sunni, and sunni’s have basic dogmas which are shared. I am not confusing this with levels of ‘practice’.

      Fabio:

      ‘Indeed bananbrain. saqib, while hammering the likes of sid, HUT et al as being ‘pseudo-intellectuals’, he himself has trouble grasping simple concepts such as the separation of opinion and fact.

      Quite staggering how stupid an individual can be’

      I don’t think i ‘hammerered’ HUT, but i accept i did do that for Sid. Unfortunately you seem unable to engage in any constructive discussion, where opinions come together and are either accepted or discounted by facts, weight of arguments and other evidence.

    88. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:29 pm  

      saqi

      Well, it is opinion, opinion which can be borne out from all the organisation work I have been involved in the community for over 10 years.

      Glad to see that you are back-peddling and admitting that your entire argument is based on your extensive experiences at the Centre For The Re-establishment of the Bradford Caliphate.

      So, now that you have openly confessed that all your conjecture, supposition and opinions are based on a limited experience with Muslim organisations (who will obviously be into Islam and follow some sort of orthodoxy), perhaps you would like to retract the statement that ‘most Muslims are orthodox in their beliefs’.

      Because, clearly, you have not even come across ‘most Muslims’. You have hob-knobbed with a bunch of Muslim groups for the past 10 years, not the Muslim masses.

      You are as thick as the ‘many people’ who claim that the majority of Muslims are ‘moderate’ (whatever that means).

    89. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:41 pm  

      Fabio:

      ‘Glad to see that you are back-peddling and admitting that your entire argument is based on your extensive experiences at the Centre For The Re-establishment of the Bradford Caliphate.’

      Don’t you think that is rather presumptuous Fabio? Your comment is quite revealing of your own prejudices, and of your inability to comprehend that intelligent people (and I am not claiming this epithet for myself) can be committed, orthodox Muslims who believe Islam is a way of life. Get out and about a bit more my son, you might be a bit surprised.

      ‘Because, clearly, you have not even come across ‘most Muslims’. You have hob-knobbed with a bunch of Muslim groups for the past 10 years, not the Muslim masses.’

      Here you go again, making assumptions…most Muslims i inter-act with would probably be described as ‘non-practisiing’ i know, most of my fundraising and outreach work has been geared towards such people, who non-the-less are very orthodox in terms of belief.

      So far from actually retract my ‘opinion, you have actually helped me to better articulate it here…thank you.

      ‘You are as thick as the ‘many people’ who claim that the majority of Muslims are ‘moderate’ (whatever that means).’

      Oh dear…it’s coming out now isn’t it.

    90. Cover Drive — on 24th April, 2008 at 1:48 pm  

      ‘Ummah’ is a complete fantasy. There is no such thing as unity among Muslims. You just have to observe the sectarian and ethnic clashes that Muslims are constantly engaged in to realise that.

      But the principle of rights for Palestinians is an important issue for Muslims and how is QF going to address that by having neocon thinkers on their advisory board.

      I can’t understand why a British Pakistani living in London or Leeds who hasn’t even met a Palestinian let alone visited Gaza or West Bank be so outraged by the plight of Palestinians that he becomes an extremist. Pitiful the lives of many Palestinians may be exactly how does this affect a guy living in the UK where he has full rights as a citizen of a free democratic country? The problem lies within his own environment/background. Seeking a cause to justify his actions is simply an excuse.

    91. fugstar — on 24th April, 2008 at 2:10 pm  

      77,

      i wouldnt expect him to be pleased with QF. if youve seen any of his inspirational ‘envisioning muslim futures’ stuff from the 80s and 90s neither would you methinks.

      i wouldnt put zia and sid in any category together. neither do i see sid as operation in any way, ‘on the ground’ let alone whatever is the middle.

      ummah tul wasata.

    92. Random Guy — on 24th April, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

      Cover Drive, you are heading a little off topic there.

      And while the Ummah may be a complete fantasy to you, it is certainly not to a multitude of others. I mean we are in the middle of a huge argument about generalisation and you come up with that one :)

      Although I suppose as a meandering thought that post is valid.

      Also, this debate is getting sidetracked completely into the “who decides which Muslims are moderate etc.” discussion. The comment which Saqib made initially was “I believe” so it was more a matter of opinion than anything else. Seeing as none of us have concrete information, should we get back to the topic at hand and agree to disagree?

    93. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 3:46 pm  

      saqib

      Don’t you think that is rather presumptuous Fabio? Your comment is quite revealing of your own prejudices, and of your inability to comprehend that intelligent people (and I am not claiming this epithet for myself) can be committed, orthodox Muslims

      I didn’t say that. I simply said that your association with Islamic groups in Bradford doesn’t give you the right to claim what you did: that ‘the majority of Muslims’ have orthodox beliefs.

      Having realised your folly, you are now trying to wriggle out of it. It’s very amusing, and somewhat tragic, to watch.

      Get out and about a bit more my son, you might be a bit surprised.

      It’s not me who’s spent the best part of 10 years sitting in a Masjid with bearded sorts discussing which foot to use when getting off the toilet my friend. I think you should get out a bit more. Come to London and I’ll introduce you to some of my more liberal female Muslim friends.

      You can try your orthodox spiel with them…

      most Muslims i inter-act with

      Again, this is what underpins your argument. And it is also what destroys your argument. The Muslims you interact with are, as you have confessed, a small group of bearded Mirpuri Pakistanis males; hardly enough for you to draw a consensus on global Muslim belief in ‘orthodoxy’.

      RAndom Guy

      The comment which Saqib made initially was “I believe” so it was more a matter of opinion than anything else.

      The evidence is staring you in the face, on this thread, yet you also choose to lie.

      Saqib, in message #80:

      The majority of Muslims Sid have orthodox beliefs, beliefs which you may find rather shocking.

      There was no ‘I believe’, or ‘in my opinion’.

    94. Random Guy — on 24th April, 2008 at 4:07 pm  

      Fabio, Saqib in Post #77 said: “However, I believe firmly the majority of Muslims have orthodox beliefs”…

      Now seeing as I would agree that there is no way we can actually prove how many orthodox muslims there are as opposed to the “Fabio’s Female Muslim Friends Society” type, what is the point in continuing this argument?

      If you were a Muslim you would have one opinion, if not, another. I don’t see myself speaking up about how many Jews are orthodox or not, but that does not negate the utter importance of orthodox Jews in any religous dialog, does it?

    95. Sunny — on 24th April, 2008 at 4:26 pm  

      What is shows though is that people live in their own circles and think the world is the same. Saqib is a good example of this. Hell, when I went clubbing during Ramadan to this almost all brown place, it was half empty! I asked the DJ why it was… he said it was because of Ramadan.

    96. Fabio Aurellio — on 24th April, 2008 at 4:50 pm  

      Now seeing as I would agree that there is no way we can actually prove how many orthodox muslims there are

      That was my point all along.

      If you were a Muslim you would have one opinion, if not, another.

      What? Speak in coherent sentences.

      I don’t see myself speaking up about how many Jews are orthodox or not,

      Why would you? Why would anyone? Why did saqib feel the need to proclaim orthodox beliefs for the majority of Muslims?

      that does not negate the utter importance of orthodox Jews in any religous dialog

      Depends on what you mean by ‘orthodox’. One man’s orthodoxy is another man’s heresy.

      What is shows though is that people live in their own circles and think the world is the same. Saqib is a good example of this.

      Yep.

    97. Random Guy — on 24th April, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

      Fabio, thanks for proving my point.

    98. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 5:03 pm  

      Random Guy:

      ‘Fabio, Saqib in Post #77 said: “However, I believe firmly the majority of Muslims have orthodox beliefs”…’

      Unfortunately ramdom Guy, Fabio is so obsessed with wanting to prove me wrong he loses sight of the facts which were spoken.

      Fabio
      ‘Why would you? Why would anyone? Why did saqib feel the need to proclaim orthodox beliefs for the majority of Muslims?’

      Maybe you should read the proceeding comments on the thread to determine the answer…there again reading it clearly seems is not one of your strengths.

    99. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 5:14 pm  

      Sunny:

      “What is shows though is that people live in their own circles and think the world is the same. Saqib is a good example of this. Hell, when I went clubbing during Ramadan to this almost all brown place, it was half empty! I asked the DJ why it was… he said it was because of Ramadan.”

      I’m surprised by your comments here Sunny…i don’t believe you have read all my comments clearly, in fact your point about Ramadan actually backs up my point made in post(83). In fact at my University, the GM of the SU told me in person that during Ramadan the profits of the Student Bar went down considerably! I knew quite a lot of this crew and mainly it was the temptation, temptation which they felt guilty in pursuing during Ramadan.

      My point was about beliefs and not practice anyway, for that varies.

    100. Imran Hussein — on 24th April, 2008 at 8:05 pm  

      Sunny - you were going explain what was good about Jemima Khan’s Speech.

      Bananabrain - “to be precise, imran, that’s “zionist lizard from outer space”. in fact, this statement reveals your ignorance of zionism. there are many different forms of zionist and you obviously don’t know anything about my beliefs and are happy to just go ahead and pigeonhole me with your convenient little boo-hiss label. the principle of rights for palestinians is an important issue for me personally and jews generally - and that’s also a religious point of view: “justice, justice shalt thou pursue”. it also reveals your total ignorance of what neo-cons actually believe, for some reason you seem to think that because someone’s a neo-con, they are necessarily against palestinian self-determination and that is in fact total nonsense.”

      You have a great talent for jumping down on people and going off on one usually in completely the wrong direction about what people say.

      What I said was that it suits the Zionists for Muslims not to discuss the issue of Palestinian self-determination - in that statement I didn’t say as you implied that some Zionists don’t believe in self-determination for Palestinians. At least try to and be objective about what people say.

      You are much like the Chief Rabbi who contantly tells us that Israel should be discussed but now is not the time!

      As for the neocons I have yet to see a sincere statement where they believe in Palestinian self-determination.

      But my point which totally wizzed by you was that without discussing issues such as the treatment of Palestinians how does a think-tank aim to rid Muslims in the West of extremism when in fact this is one of the fuels on the fire. Don’t forget that none other than Tony Blair admitted this. So how do you seriously think that if this issue isn’t addressed will people who may possibly go to extremes be stopped? You either tackle the issue otherwise the choice is to leave it to fester.

      That was my point that rather than ignore it they need constructive ideas and solutions. I’d say that a better solution would be to at leats admit there is a problem, seperate out Jewish - Muslim relations from the issue of Israel and Palestine and build dialogue. Set-up Mosque - Synagogue exchanges etc.

      So rather than ignore the issue at least build some steps so people can address issues.

      That was my point and you just jumped.

      I can’t see how QF can ignore the issue as it is just leaving the issue to fester and boil at some point rather than calming effects. So again they have rhetoric but not practical solutions.

    101. Saqib — on 24th April, 2008 at 9:03 pm  

      Imran Hussein:

      ‘Sunny - you were going explain what was good about Jemima Khan’s Speech.’

      Are you sure he was referring to her speech!

    102. Refresh — on 25th April, 2008 at 12:21 am  

      Zia Sardar’s piece brings some sanity to the planned glorification of QF:

      ‘Most of all, British foreign policy has a direct bearing on nurturing extremism. The occupation of Iraq, the byproducts of the “war on terror”, the perpetual suffering of the Palestinians are not amenable to Sufi solutions or deprogramming techniques. So we don’t need neocon ex-extremists to tell us what extremism is about. They are part of the problem, not the solution. But we do need a viable politics that tackles the root cause of extremism. Whatever the joy in heaven, we cannot allow former lunatics to take over the asylum.’

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/24/islam.religion

    103. douglas clark — on 25th April, 2008 at 2:10 am  

      This is all really a bit sad, is it not? There is not a Muslim soul here that stands pro terrorism. Anyone that thought that way would get booted off this site.

      It is disappointing to see friends, such as Sid and Saqib fight each other, when the famous elephant is in the bloody room! None of you are the problem, it is the nutters that want to blow us all up, and would certainly not have felt inhibited if a Muslim Saint had been on the Underground that day.

      If folk have better ideas that QF, then I think this site should be highlighting them. But, if that is so, the likes of Saqib has to tell us what he is doing, and how that is applicable across the nation, rather than girning - a good Scottish word Saqib - about their lack of influence.

      Get the influence. Work on that. But you have to deliver, excuse me, a peaceful engagement in political discourse, rather than any apology for the opposite. I do not think Saqib is in any way guilty of that, but the lack of a neutral moral voice in Islaam is a bit of a worry. It is as bad as the Christians when it comes to pushing their version of salvation. It might be useful for all the religious folk here to realise that around 90% of folk in this country don’t attend any of your ceremonies - apart from the occasional funeral or wedding.

      Frankly, if you do live in Burnley, or wherever, you can join my new political party, “Anything but London”. It is anti Metropolitan and anti Libertarian.

      It is not serious, but neither are the Metropolitans or the Libertarians.

      Come to think of it, it could have quite a good manifesto. Something to rival the new UKIP, sorry UKLP or ‘BDSM are us’ or some such….

      Politics, it seems to me, is more about what we have in common, perhaps through talking to each other, rather than this fragmentation approach that we seem to take these days. What I think I am trying to say is that there ought to be a consensus around sense, say? That there ought to be a consensus around best evidence. There is nothing in politics that suggests it is anything much more than a bear pit. Run by self serving chancers.

      Frankly, I’d rather live under a regieme moderated by the folk I have encountered here than what we have right now.

      If we ever met, Saqib, I’m pretty sure we’d get along OK. Not that we’d agree about anything!

    104. Random Guy — on 25th April, 2008 at 9:34 am  

      Douglas, nice response.

      You say “you have to deliver, excuse me, a peaceful engagement in political discourse, rather than any apology for the opposite.”

      Does this also apply to UK and US foreign policy? Because they clearly went the other way over the last few years.

    105. Rumbold — on 25th April, 2008 at 10:31 am  

      Douglas:

      “It is anti Metropolitan and anti Libertarian.”

      What does it stand for? A good old bit of Calvinist sermonising? Heh. Not sure about the second bit of your party, but I think that a rural party would do quite well.

    106. douglas clark — on 25th April, 2008 at 12:23 pm  

      Random Guy,

      Thanks.

      I’m pretty sure Afghanistan was unavoidable, what with the government there refusing point blank to surrender Osama Bin Laden. The consequent utter failure to actually follow through properly on reconstruction there does seem to me to give the lie to it being all about liberal interventionism, right enough.

      Iraq was wrong imho from the tail end of Gulf War 1. It was then, and only then, that we had some degree of moral authority for toppling Saddam. Everything that followed, the sanctions regieme, no fly zones, Shock and Awe and - sorry, I can think of no other way to put this - the utter fuck up of the ‘peace’, are the running sores of UK and US foreign policy failure.

      Our policy wonks did not seize the day when they had the chance and basically have punished the Iraqi people ever since. Which, as you might imagine, is something I see as damn near criminal.

      I don’t do the I/P conflict, but US policy cannot really be said to have resolved anything much, can it?

      Rumbold,

      Heh. One of its’ main manifesto commitments will be to provide caves to anyone that wants one!

    107. Rumbold — on 25th April, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

      Douglas:

      What abour cave mortgage relief? Or are you in the pocket of homeowners?

    108. douglas clark — on 25th April, 2008 at 12:50 pm  

      Rumbold,

      Our manifesto owes everything to older ways of establishing ownership. None of this johhny come lately property rights nonsense. You can have what you can hold :-) Someone skilled in the art of the fletcher might be a good life partner, right enough.

      And, apropos nothing at all, what is this mortgage of which you speak? Has it something to do with money? I blame all our evils on the bloody Greeks:

      http://www.fleur-de-coin.com/articles/oldestcoin.asp

      Stuff of nonsense. Can you eat it? Can you hell….

    109. Rumbold — on 25th April, 2008 at 4:14 pm  

      Douglas:

      “You can have what you can hold.”

      What if you have large hands? Are you being handist now?

      “Someone skilled in the art of the fletcher might be a good life partner, right enough.”

      His greatest quote has to be:

      “I used to consider myself working class, until I went up to Glasgow. Now I think of myself as middle class.”

    110. Avi Cohen — on 25th April, 2008 at 4:41 pm  

      Douglas “I’m pretty sure Afghanistan was unavoidable, what with the government there refusing point blank to surrender Osama Bin Laden.”

      Douglas this isn’t actually correct - the Taliban asked for evidence that linked Bin Laden to 9-11 and the USA refused to provide it. If it was there what was the objection to making it available and calling their bluff?

      “but US policy cannot really be said to have resolved anything much, can it?”
      So tru and so sad. The USA has been the cause of many problems around the world and its failure to resolve conflict is a sign of poor leadership.

      The problem is it will be much of the same with McCain and Clinton. Hell Clinton is already waging war and it more of a war monger than Bush.

      Would the USA hand over any citizen without seeign the evidence first - No. The only country that hands its citizens over the the USA without much fuss is the UK and as a result the USA will not hand over anyone ot the UK without seeing evidence.

    111. douglas clark — on 25th April, 2008 at 5:25 pm  

      Avi,

      Take your point about evidence, however Al Quaida were claiming the 9/11 atrocity very shortly after it took place, and Osama Bin Laden was on video, was he not? I could reasonably argue that that was ‘hot pursuit’ at the time, though after Tora Bora things went strangely quiet. No-one seemed to care anymore about catching the ‘Worst Person in the World’ and that mantle passed to Saddam Hussein. Rather than passing it back to OBL after Husseins’ death the neo-cons are now fitting up Ahmadinejad for the role. And so it goes.

      I agree with you about McCain and Clinton. I hope it is just election rhetoric, an arms race on toughing it out, at least on Clintons part. McCain, on the other hand, seems to me to be a driven character, fighting long ago battles.

      Well, that’s what I think. Anyway, I was trying to lighten the tone around here, and see what you’ve gone and made me do ;-) .

      Rumbold,

      Fletcher would have moved instantly into the Glaswegian equivalent of OK magazine. The Digger is a little weekly A3 magazine given over to the nefarious exploits of our middle class, aka villains.

    112. Don — on 25th April, 2008 at 6:28 pm  

      Douglas,

      I more or less share your viewpoint. The invasion of Afghanistan had an arguable legitimacy and the instances of ‘liberal intervention’ prior to that had not yet tainted the concept. Given the resources available, it could have a success. Hell, with a tenth of the resources squandered on Iraq, Afghanistan could have been transformed.

      The Iraq fiasco was madness - and callous madness at that - every bloody step of the way. Meets Tuchman’s criteria for catastrophic folly.

      http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/3086/rev_tuchmanb.html

      Clinton’s desperate appeal to the meat-head vote with her threat to flatten Iran removed any lingering doubts I had about Obama being the only viable candidate, heavily flawed though he is. (Just a pity that he felt the need to pander to the anti-science vote by equivocating over mmr/autism.)

    113. douglas clark — on 25th April, 2008 at 11:26 pm  

      Don,

      Thanks for the link. I couldn’t agree more with her and you.

    114. fugstar — on 26th April, 2008 at 1:41 am  

      This is a proper all the kings horses and all the kings men job.

      So obvious in its fakedness.

    115. Ashik — on 26th April, 2008 at 2:07 am  

      None of the Muslim orgs in UK are representative. The most popular in a BBC survey was MCB with a paltry 6% share of support.

      This is because there is no such thing as a ‘Muslim community’. There are Sylheti Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims, Arab Muslims, middleclass Muslims, working class Muslims, young Muslims….you get my drift…

    116. Ashik — on 26th April, 2008 at 2:08 am  

      None of the Muslim orgs in UK are unrepresentative. The most popular in a BBC survey was MCB with a paltry 6% share of support.

      This is because there is no such thing as a ‘Muslim community’. There are Sylheti Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims, Arab Muslims, middleclass Muslims, working class Muslims, young Muslims….you get my drift…

    117. Avi Cohen — on 26th April, 2008 at 10:01 am  

      Douglas - I think Al-Queeda tend to claim responsibility for lots of things and the probability they were involved is high. However the rule of law is the rule of law and cowboy diplomacy isn’t going to change anything and probably makes things worse.

      With the whole world looking on at the time the USA refused and continues to do so - to provide evidence against people. That is a basic need and right. They wanted war and didn’t follow due process.

      None of these invasions is achieving much.

      Again with Syria I do wonder why they stayed so quiet at the time if they had the evidence and why bring it up now.

      As regards Bin Laden why not produce the evidence that was available and keep world sympahy on side.

      As you say the whole approach is war driven and targets are changing faster than Bush’s underwear.

      I think the way the USA is going is sad and has massive implications for world peace. I think Europe needs its own policies if the US insists on going down the road they are heading because it isn’t now just the Muslim world that hates them it is the rest of the world.

    118. douglas clark — on 26th April, 2008 at 10:57 am  

      Avi,

      We disagree a wee bit about Afghanistan - if you recall at the time there was huge worldwide sympathy for the US after 9/11.

      However I agree wholeheartedly that that was completely squandered by what went after. Cowboy diplomacy and US exceptionalism. Specifically:

      the vindictive nature of Gitmo,

      the lies over WMDs in Iraq,

      the continuing belicose nature of the language being used over Iran,

      etc, etc.

      I also agree with you about where the UK and Europe ought to go.

    119. Avi Cohen — on 26th April, 2008 at 11:22 am  

      Douglas - I wholeheartedly agree with what you said and say about Afghanistan. I just think they lost an opportunity to expose the Taliban argument that they wanted to see evidence first.

      The sympathy was there and from this point on they started to lose it. As Al Gore said the whole world was with us and we squandered it.

    120. David Westbourne — on 13th May, 2008 at 9:44 pm  

      Why is it that all the top Muslim scholars agree on suicide bombing in Israel. From Qaradawi to Gomaa to Bouti to Bin Bayah.

      There must be something wrong with the Islamic scriptures as they can’t all come to the same conclusions.

      However, the salafist movement scholars (like late Bin Baaz) are against it. Very confusing.

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