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    Muslim community representatives


    by Sunny
    6th April, 2006 at 2:49 pm    

    I find Osama Saeed from the Muslim Association of Britain has a bone to pick with me, via David T. He asks me to prove some of what I said in my article yesterday.

    He says:

    I wonder if there is actually any evidence of this last point - that being part of a community robs people of any sense of decency? Would people really see others planning bombings and the such but do nothing about it? Has anyone actually ever been lampooned for speaking out against Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and his ilk?

    It’s also intellectually incoherent to speak out against the idea of community, while simultaneously expecting Muslims to act like a community by condemning factions within them. Make your mind up time.

    Yes, actually there are plenty of examples. The most illuminating one is the spat between the Muslim Council of Britain and Q-News magazine.

    When the Observer’s Martin Bright did a piece on the MCB last year, he quoted Abdul-Rehman Malik, contributing editor of Muslim magazine Q-News, as: “You cannot be equivocal about innocent people. An innocent person in Tel Aviv is the same as an innocent person in Baghdad or London. The MCB has never clarified any of the critical issues and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

    The MCB was furious by what they internally called “a betrayal”. In response Inayat Bunglawala issued a press release in which they dismissed Q-News’ opinions because he was someone “from the tiny circulation and very sporadically published magazine, Q-News.” What prats.

    And just to show that this was not a one-off, when the New Statesman profiled Fareena Alam from Q-News recently, Bunglawala dismissed them again! Read from the 5th para.

    That is the most brazen example of someone standing up to the MCB, though privately many have said similarly to me that it’s difficult to say anything which may be negative.

    The way many keep attacking Zia Sardar as “too outspoken” is another example.

    Another great place to find examples of this is the MPAC website. See this article where they condemn Anjem Choudhary. The comments include:

    1) i sometimes wonder what does MPAC actually stand for?Could it be Muslim Public Arrests Committee?Why is MPAC so keen on getting muslims arrested?
    ….
    2) What the hell is mpac doing? enough with this sucking up bullshit. try reading hadith or quran you fools you know those books that build up our DEEN. How can you turn another muslim over to the police? Is this the munafiq public affairs committee?
    ….
    3) MPAC and others went overboard in their haste to condemn, just so that they could look good in front of the cameras on that particular day. That day was a shameful day for MPAC.

    4) Bad advice? Infiltration? Zeal? Frustration? Stupidity? Ignorance? Cowardice? Hot-headedness? Uncle-Tomitis? Take your pick. Every muslim org in the UK suffers from at least one of the above. The truth is that the ‘placard gang’ and mpac are on opposite sides of the same spectrum. Sadly the spectrum is constructed by the zionists. The ultimate con!

    Is that enough examples for you Osama? MPAC though are famous for calling everyone and anyone “sell-outs”, who does not follow their specific agenda. So the bullshit their followers come up with is not surprising to be honest.

    One the second point, Saeed says its incoherent for me to demand that all Muslims condemn the bombings. Actually, I didn’t ask for that anywhere in my article. I would like people to find a way of dealing with terrorists, not just condemning them. But either way I would rather we not have organisations such as the MCB or MAB seeking to represent everyone so they can thrust more segregation down their throats.


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    1. Refresh — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

      Sunny,

      Don’t know what the protocol should be. David T quotes you as a basis of a thread. Someone else responds to it. You in turn then use that as a basis for starting yet another Muslim thread.

      Perhaps you could give us some respite and actually respond on David T thread.

      David T is on a roll using your articles on Harry’s Place, so I guess unless we get some understanding on this protocol, we are likely to see an exponential growth in the Sunny/David T ping pong.

    2. Refresh — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      Also I can see that there is every prospect of this ping-pong of debate becoming ever more incoherent, as it certainly has in the other place.

    3. Sunny — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:16 pm  

      Two points in addition:
      1) The MPAC article mentioned there is by no means the only that has such opinions. Any article about condeming mosque leaders, Hizb ut Tahrir is filled with similar tripe.

      2) This is by no means a Muslim specific problem. Accusations of being a “sell-out” are so prevalent in Sikh and Hindu communities too that its just getting silly.

    4. Sunny — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

      Resfresh - David T made different points to the one I wanted to make and I thought I might as well do this thread because it will serve as a good example in the future. But yeah, I agree I’m overdosing on these threads too.

      Anyone know of any good sex scandals? :(

    5. Eric — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:36 pm  

      Why not start one with that tennis player you keep posting pictures of? :-)

    6. raz — on 6th April, 2006 at 3:59 pm  

      Actually Sunny is an atheist if I’m not mistaken.

    7. Refresh — on 6th April, 2006 at 4:01 pm  

      Not sure you can handle it.

      Remember this thread:

      Let’s talk about sex baby…

      Nine words precisely and it was back to being a muslim thread.

    8. Sunny — on 6th April, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

      Eric - Sania Mirza! haha! We get so many people coming on here because of her, it’s unreal…

      Raz - I wouldn’t say that. In the past I used to call myself one. Right now its much more muddled than that.

      Refresh - I know… but I had you going for nine words at least :D

    9. Jay Singh — on 6th April, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      Why don’t you just have a week set aside without any mention of Islam or any other religion for that matter? Just a week of fun without reference to any of that stuff.

    10. raz — on 6th April, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

      “Right now its much more muddled than that”

      Sounds complicated.

      I’d like to see PP focus more on Asian issues than purely religious ones. For instance, there’s been very little coverage of Sri Lanka on here. Yes, in our cultures religion can be an important factor, but really PP is in danger of become oversaturated - in particular with regards to Islam.

    11. Jay Singh — on 6th April, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

      Religion free zone for one week please!

    12. Sunny — on 6th April, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

      Ok, let’s see how it goes. Less emphasis on religious issue for a bit. Still can’t believe how many fell for my HuT April Fools joke though!

    13. Siddhartha Singh — on 6th April, 2006 at 5:29 pm  

      sharp intake of breath!!!

    14. Justforfun — on 6th April, 2006 at 6:52 pm  

      A bit of food for the soul instead of religion ;-) - less heartburn.

      http://kalyanvarma.net/photography/gallery.php

      Here are some pics of the subcontinent’s wildlife.

      Justforfun

      PS - going back for the first time in 10years and my 8yr old daughter is an outdoor type - anyone know where there is any wildlife left, I think I’ll try the Western Ghats down Kerala way.

    15. David T — on 6th April, 2006 at 7:54 pm  

      Anyone for plant photography?

    16. Justforfun — on 6th April, 2006 at 8:52 pm  

      “Anyone for plant photography? ”

      sure - http://www.floralimages.co.uk

      For something different - Every plant you can think of that grows in the UK

      Justforfun

      PS - Sunny - I promise no more hijacking this thread.

    17. Bikhair — on 6th April, 2006 at 9:34 pm  

      Sunny,

      “What the hell is mpac doing? enough with this sucking up bullshit. try reading hadith or quran you fools you know those books that build up our DEEN. How can you turn another muslim over to the police? Is this the munafiq public affairs committee?”

      If any one of them says this, take them at their word and have them prove their statements about the above sources. You have to use what they say against them.

    18. Bikhair — on 6th April, 2006 at 9:37 pm  

      Sunny,

      I fell for your April Fools day joke. I feel outsmarted. Such a rare occasion, I may have to right this down.

    19. Sid D H Arthur — on 6th April, 2006 at 11:16 pm  

      Sunny

      Bit of a strange post this one. Osama Saeed’s question is whether Muslims accuse other Muslims for speaking out againtst Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri etc. Arch villians. Which of course they don’t.

      And then you go on to tell us about other Muslims having public spats with each other and to illustrate you show some examples to hold up to robustly demolish Osama Saeed’s arguments.

      In this regard you mention two unimportant incindets from the long running public feud between Fareena Alam and the MCB. You briefly mention Ziauddin Sardar. And then you finish off with quotes taken from an article on the MPACuk site which demands for the arrest of Muslim troublemakers. What is strange here is that you have copied four of the COMMENTS from from that article from people who are denouncing this very call for arrests as examples people using the term “sellouts”.

      There is danger of falling into a conceptual trap here.

      First of all, if we are already agreed that these unelected “community” organisations such as the MCB and MPAKuk etc are NOT representives of the Muslim community why does it matter to us their their events of politicking with journalists. Fareena is a great lady, but what has that got to do with Muslims in Britain? Especally since the story is a about the non-entity MCB?

      Secondly, since when was it OK to judge a community’s voice by the comments left on a Community Organisation’s website. And, just to remind ourselves, another of those unelected Community organisation at that? Blog editors such as David T from HP and yourself are always quick to remind us that you can’t be made responsible for dodgy comments on your blogs. So how come you feel it necessary to use comments on another blog to justify your argument?

    20. Osama Saeed — on 6th April, 2006 at 11:21 pm  

      Sunny, I suppose this whole debate depends very much on what you term as “publicly speak[ing] out against extremist elements” (sounds like you expecting Muslims to collectively condem/deal with extremists to me). For you that extremist element is the MCB, and I guess that’s where we differ.

    21. Sunny — on 7th April, 2006 at 1:29 am  

      The point of this post is pretty straightforward. In all our communities there is a culture of silence about the extremist elements. And I don’t mean the likes of the MCB, though I think they’re as bigoted as most Asians generally are. Hell, I trust as them as far as I can throw the Sikh Federation or the Hindu Forum crew. They all come from the same conservative reactionary ‘chip on shoulder’ backgrounds.

      No, the real extremists are the Hizb ut Tahrir kind… the Khalistani badboys (previously part of Shere Panjab), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad/Narendra Modi people. Those are the real problem. The extremists that our own communities tolerate, even work with sometimes towards common goals, and definitely do not seek to get rid of.

      Osama - you’re not talking to a white boy here who has no real understanding of communal politics. I used to see the HuT brothers come almost everyday into the flat of my uni mates and try and get them politicised. I used to love chatting to them, it was good to understand their mindset and sharpen my own arguments. I can’t tell you the amount of times people tried to convert me.

      I’ve seen Al-Muhajiroun grow like a cancer while everyone avoided talking about them. It’s only been since 9/11 that the MCB started issuing press releases by the day. Does that make any difference on the ground? I think we both know the answer to that.

      It’s those extremist elements they don’t want to tackle. What does it mean when the MCB publicly condemns Al-Ghurabaa on the BBC website? It’s a token gesture. In mosques it means very little doesn’t it.

      This is what Q-News said above… that if you tolerate those elements for long enough, sooner or later they’re going to become too big for their boots and bite you in the butt. And what do they get for speaking out? Rebukes from the MCB and underhand tactics to undermine Q-News. Is that what you guys refer to as open dialogue in condeming extremists?

      The MCB comments show the same thing. Muslims don’t want to tackle the extremist elements because it sounds like a sign of disunity. And they think right now they need unity more than anything else.

      But that’s rubbish. Right now what they need to do is go back to the roots. As Tariq Ramadan keeps saying, they need more Islam, not less. If Islam is a religion of peace and love, then people need to practice it too, not just keep repeating it like a mantra in the hope that others will believe it.

      In India and here there are plenty of secular organisations that will take on religious Hindu fanatics. There was the http://www.Awaazsaw.org report a few years back and there has been other work since. In the Muslim community only a few like Zia Sardar and Fareena Alam have the balls to speak out and stick to their guns. Just issuing press releases doesn’t cut it Osama. The day I see the MAB take on Hizb, I’ll cut you some slack.

    22. Osama — on 7th April, 2006 at 1:47 am  

      People like me have been engaged in arguments with the likes of the hizb for 10-15 years now. It may be in the media post 9/11 but believe me, these guys were a bane of the existence for those in the mainstream a long time before that. You want to see MAB and others take them on? Clearly you know nothing about people like Azzam Tamimi. Hizb members used to go to his talks just to heckle him, such was their hatred for his sharp tongue against them. And boy did he blow his top!

    23. Sunny — on 7th April, 2006 at 2:14 am  

      It may be that you did take them on…. and I believe so did Mpac. But since 7/7 that seems to have totally gone out of the window.

      Rather than work on a strategy of isolating extremists, everywhere Hizb have used campaigns (‘Stop Islamophobia, Shabina Begum etc) to further their own agenda. Predictably, you guys get caught because Hizb are better at latching on to campaigns and using them to show how much “they care”.

      I know Iqbal Sacranie etc have no love lost for Hizb either…. the way they come to heckle or disrupt meetings is the same as the way I watched Khalistanis (an org called the AKJ in particular) come and try to take over the BOSS (British Org of Sikh Students) events.

      But that is different to taking them on openly and trying to isolate them. They’ve even become best friends with MPAC these days, truly the height of stupidity when at the core, the two organisations have diametrically opposed aims. I’m talking about here and now, not 10 years ago mate.

    24. Sunny — on 7th April, 2006 at 2:32 am  

      Justforfun - that photography link you posted really was ace… thanks!

    25. zahed — on 7th April, 2006 at 9:21 am  

      Sunny, as usual you’ve nailed it.

      The desire to openly challenge HuT and their ilk just vanished (despite a few token statements and the nevertheless counterproductive attempt to ban HuT). It reminds me a bit about the Church of Scientology in that the mystique and power they wield thrives only in a climate of intimidation and the suppression of debate.

      Groups like the MCB, while caught in the middle, employ the same tactics and have no response when challenged other than to engage in repeated ad hominem attacks. Imagine if they had to continue these public defenses on a weekly basis… their credibilty would run out faster than their ability to find synonyms for “sellout.”

    26. Siddhartha Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 2:04 pm  

      In India and here there are plenty of secular organisations that will take on religious Hindu fanatics. There was the http://www.Awaazsaw.org report a few years back and there has been other work since. In the Muslim community only a few like Zia Sardar and Fareena Alam have the balls to speak out and stick to their guns. Just issuing press releases doesn’t cut it Osama.

      Sunny, you’re not making sense here. In India (as in Bangladesh and I expect, in Pakistan), there are also secular organisations who take on Muslim fanatics. You’re right there are none in the UK. (I may be mistaken) But at least we do have Fareena Alam and Ziauddin Sardar. This suggests that the Muslim community isn’t a polarised mass, heaving in unison with the same religious identity transposed over all other identities. Furthermore, why come you’re not tackling the lack of secular orgs in the Sikh and Hindu communities that are tackling their fundamentalist grouposcules?

      The day I see the MAB take on Hizb, I’ll cut you some slack.

      Sunny do the math. How many of these Muslim groups are elected and how many official members do they actually have? How far are al Ghuraaba and the MAB from actually implementing a Shariah-based Khalifah in the UK? I’d make the educated guess of a million light years?

      I can tell you that to most workaday Muslims, these organisations are immaterial to their poliics. In spite of what David T would have us believe, they’re NOT representative. So it means little to nothing whether the MAB take on the Hizb or whether they go clubbing together or whatever!

    27. Anand — on 7th April, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      Siddhartha Singh

      Awaaz are a British organisation based in Southall who monitor the funding of RSS and VHP from British based organisations. I think the point Sunny makes is that Hindu extremists in Britain are being tackled at monetary and ideological source here in the UK.

    28. Anand — on 7th April, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

      Furthermore, why come you’re not tackling the lack of secular orgs in the Sikh and Hindu communities that are tackling their fundamentalist grouposcules?

      See above. Plus there is the fact that they don’t present an immediate threat to the very lives of people in Britain through their ideological succour and cultivation of hatreds towards non Muslims to the extent of drawing as Muslim extremism does - communalising British society and threatening counter growth by racists against all ethnic minorities. Blood and guts and bombs give this particular fascism a priority I would say.

    29. Jay Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

      Sid

      Sunny has had run ins with Sikh and Hindu right wingers himself. Look at the thread below in which a follower of Jasdev Rai decided to have a hissy fit at him. But Anand makes a point - the reality is that in the UK they are relative small fry and trivial in terms of their irritation or ideological factor. Call it bias if you like, but that’s the way it is on the whole.

    30. Siddhartha Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 3:23 pm  

      Anand
      Good call. We have to be careful about Islamic extrenists because they have a otherworldly knack of detonating themselves and innocents along with them.

      But at the same time we can’t be lazy either because we’re dealing with people’s lives here. Even if I hate the HuT, I am loathed to call them terrorists. I would want to know their exact teachings, their distortions and their lies but I cannot accuse them of terrorism unless I have solild and conclusive proof to do so.

      HT have surfaced in Bangladesh. And there are real terrorists in BD who are doing real damage. But there is no way I or anyone else can claim for there to be any culpability by HT simply because they have vaguely similar ideologies because I know there to be no evidence. Even if I wish there to be so, there is no link.

      Likewise in the UK. Either there is a real non-tenacious link between HT and the 7/7 bombers or they are just a group of Muslim nutters. Can we deal with conclusive proof and not visceral opinions please.

    31. Siddhartha Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

      Looks like outside of the rarefied atmosphere of Harry’s Place, in the absence of the fawning coterie of furiously clapping Tomahawks, David T’s ideas about Islamic Politics in Britain gets a good slapping by commenters on his first post on CommentIsFree. Gratifying to know that outside of the HP echo chamber his ideas are as popularly embraced as the “glamorous” FoFE March and as tenable as al-Ghuraaba becoming the Shareefs of Londonistan.

      Rock the Casbah!
      Good weekend everyone ;-)

    32. Jay Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

      Oh I don’t know, Sid, I think Mr T does good work and makes some excellent points.

    33. Refresh — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

      Are we done? Can we go back to the flowers, and leave David T to run muslim threads in the other place?

      Word of advice David T - most of us are fully aware writing anything about muslims will generate traffic, easy pickings. And as usual people pick their ‘blogs’ by virtue of their prejudices, as we do with newspapers. The measure of it is more the followers you have, I would be most unhappy to see PP dragged to that level.

      Sunny, sorry it had to be said. Genuine debate is where it has to go.

    34. Sunny — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

      Siddhartha - HuT are part of what is the converter belt of terrorism. They feed the kids propaganda “our sisters are being raped in Checnya, Palestine, Kashmir brothers - what are you doing about it??” yada yada… A twit with half a brain can see through it, but some don’t. Eventually they’ll get pissed off with HuT’s inaction and sitting around organising debates and get pushed into “supporting their brothers” elsewhere.

      I watched Hizb and Al Muhajiroun throughout uni trying to not only split Asian students as friends, but also divide Muslims into groups so they could pretend to be their friends.

      You’re dismissing them as a small issue, but here we have Fosis, who are friends with Osama Saeed’s MAB trying to get them back on campus. Do these people never learn?
      http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/politics/story/0,,1745990,00.html

      Osama says he has opposed them since about 10-15 years. Maybe he could tell us why they’re such best friends now.

      When people like Al-M circulate leaflets calling for Muslim boys to convert Sikh and Hindu girls in return for money, then you know there is a wider problem than just blowing up people.

    35. Sunny — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:24 pm  

      Sunny, sorry it had to be said. Genuine debate is where it has to go.

      Refresh - sometimes I feel a bit sad that you play down the problems of inter-faith dialogue in our community so much.

    36. Jay Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 5:32 pm  

      Hizb ut Tahrir and other organisations like them have done a lot to damage intra-Asian friendships especially on college and university campuses - despite all their spiel about Israel, on street level they like to goad and incite hatred against Sikhs and Hindus. They leave a very very bitter taste in the mouth.

    37. Refresh — on 7th April, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

      Sunny,

      I hope I don’t underplay them. Nor should we overdo it.

      I would like to see more about the roots of the problem and frankly speaking it goes quite a way back.

      There is a view that HuT are a tool of some agency. Similarly there have been similar nods and winks to others.

      My despair comes from the complete failure of muslims to have an independent view and not led by some deceitful force playing on natural sympathies and inherent desire for justice. I’ve said elsewhere, they are drifting and long way from home.

      I recall one of the US secretary’s of state (long before any 911), I think Caspar Weinberger, who was more than happy that muslim’s ‘should have more sharia’.

      Why?

      There is also the view that the Soviet Union could have been brought down by ‘stirring’ up the soviet muslims against the state. There are other things that need to be understood.

      Muslims being played for fools and those useful idiots who feed their intellect where each day is an April Fools day, will be challenged, but with a confidence that is not yet there.

    38. raz — on 7th April, 2006 at 8:39 pm  

      Ouch, DavidT got smacked down.

    39. BevanKieran — on 7th April, 2006 at 8:41 pm  

      There is a view that HuT are a tool of some agency.

      hmm….reminds me

      http://www.respectcoalition.org/index.php?aid=102

      “Most people think that Hizb-ut-Tahrir is an MI5 creation,” she (Salma Yaqoob) adds.

      That would be one way of destroying their credibility. Though in terms of conspiracy thoeries that would be as nutty as suggesting MPACuk are a Mossad run zionist propaganda machine. They should be dissembled with arguments and their full agenda exposed, as Sunny has done recently.

      With regards to involvement in universities, hizb are active operating under various pseudonyms. The NUS ban is simply not worth the paper it is written on. Freedom of speech does override any objections based simply on grounds detesting the organisation for their racism etc. It is effective against the BNP where a proposed meeting would have the strong likelihood of public disorder. Outside the blogosphere most people are unaware of who the hizb are and so such a situation would not arise.

    40. Sajn — on 7th April, 2006 at 10:11 pm  

      Sunny the only people who take Al-M and Omar Bakri seriously are the British media and people like you. The guy is and always has been regarded as a joke within the wider Muslim community.

    41. Jay Singh — on 7th April, 2006 at 10:42 pm  

      I don’t think Mr T got smacked down at all.

    42. Osama — on 8th April, 2006 at 12:14 am  

      Sunny, I genuinely don’t think Muslim orgs have a problem taking on looney ideas if and when they present themselves. The situation with HT is an odd one. I have to admit at this point that you don’t get a lot of them where I’m based in Glasgow. But from what I’ve seen from afar, HT have changed. I know there will be sneering from Harry’s Place and the like on this one, but they are a radically different organisation from 10 years ago. They’ve gone through various period of being quiet and inward looking to very aggressive. It’s been my observation that the idiotic ideas have gone. Some may say that leopards don’t change their spots. Certainly I would like to see them apologise for many of their actions over a sustained period of time, and a renounciation of it. In the absence of that, I think it is fair to speculate that in the battle of ideas with HT, the balanced middle path of the Muslim community won out.

    43. jamal — on 8th April, 2006 at 12:30 am  

      Osama was right in arguing that being part of a community cannot be argued to ‘rob people of any sense of decency’. Just as their is bad in every community,there is good also. I have never heard of people condemning any other religious based communities.

    44. Sunny — on 8th April, 2006 at 3:03 pm  

      Refresh:
      My despair comes from the complete failure of muslims to have an independent view and not led by some deceitful force playing on natural sympathies and inherent desire for justice. I’ve said elsewhere, they are drifting and long way from home.

      Yes, totally agreed, and this is what annoys me about not only the HuT types, but some of the anti-war types too. I was vehementaly anti-war, and still am. But I don’t equate that to blowing up myself in London and taking innocent people with me.

      When people justify the terrorist bombings in London with the Iraq war, they’re using a deceitful way of justifying one murder with another. It would be like how the Gujarat massacres in India were supposedly justified by the burning of the train in Godhra.

      The MAB types also play this deceitful game of playing up the victim mentality so Muslims can be pushed into supporting an agenda. You hate the Iraq war? Fine, so do I. But don’t tryt and compare it the London bombings.

      Muslims being played for fools and those useful idiots who feed their intellect where each day is an April Fools day, will be challenged, but with a confidence that is not yet there.

      That confidence will come by openly challenging bigots from within the community and seeking to build bridges with others. Unless we are open to other people’s criticisms and ideas, then we remain without confidence. Calling everyone ‘Islamophobic’ does not help any debate.

      Sajn:
      . The guy is and always has been regarded as a joke within the wider Muslim community.
      I have no doubt about that. In fact even HuT are ignored in most of the Muslim debates/meetings I’ve been at. But there is a difference between ignoring them and actually taking them on and openly cutting them down to size. That does not happen with HuT. That is my point.

      Osama:
      But from what I’ve seen from afar, HT have changed. I know there will be sneering from Harry’s Place and the like on this one, but they are a radically different organisation from 10 years ago

      You seem to be changing your argument with every post. First it was that there was no evidence of people of people being told off for raising their voice. Then it was that you had been fighting HuT… and now you’re saying they’ve become nice guys.

      Maybe you’re agreeing with my previous sentiment that soon HuT will have fluffy bunnies and rainbows on their website.

      Unfortunately I’m not sure I believe it. They have changed their public image, but around the world their supporters keep getting caught for distributing racist and bigoted literature against “non-believers”.

      The Shabina Begum discussion was a great example. I laughed when they were castigating the British for ‘freedom of expression’ when it was not about that issue and they don’t believe in it themselves!

      I’m not doubting they are different to when Omar Bakri was head honcho, but until very recently they had documents on their websites asking for Jews to be killed, urging brothers to fight in Iraq and all sorts of other “non-violent” activities. So why exactly should I believe you they’re suddenly like the CND?

    45. Sunny — on 8th April, 2006 at 3:06 pm  

      Jamal:
      I have never heard of people condemning any other religious based communities.

      When Sikhs were using their religion to engage in terrorist activities, they were castigated in India. When Hindus went on a rampage against Muslims in India then there was plenty of condemnation of that community - the loudest of which came from the Hindu-Indian community itself. In fact if it wasn’t for the newspapers in India who reported on and gathered evidence on the massacres, the VHP would have walked away scot-free.

      So try and have some perspective sometimes, it would be nice. When people use their religion to kill innocent people, then that religion will be blamed. Rather than hating others for blaming the religion, maybe you should spend more time fighting Muslims who use their religion for war instead of peace.

    46. Jay Singh — on 8th April, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

      Jamal

      You are basically asking for a free pass when religion and politics are mixed. This is combustible my friend.

      Mix religion and politics and you cannot expect or ask for people to lay off when you put that mix into the public debate - not any more. It is the MAB and MCB and Islamists like them and partisans like yourself and Osama Saeed who do that in your politics - you cannot invoke respect and religious sensitivity when you bind them together and make them the mainstay of your politics - not now, not in 2006, not in the UK, not after 7/7 - no way. Sunny gave some comparisons and they refute what you say about people picking on Islam out of some irrationalism.

      Whenever religion and politics combine you have to get a thick skin if you are the one that accepts as a fait accompli that they are one and the same.

      It is because the organisations that put Islam out there as a sectarian cause and seek to privelige it and its discourse over all others that it gets this attention - unlike any other religion or social group in the whole UK. That individual Muslims get their feelings hurt in the intellectual crossfire is sad but cannot be used a reason for people not to engage and criticise, especially given the arrogance of organisations like the MAB who in the aftermath of the suicide bombings in London sought to seek leverage and made wicked and truly sinister linkages of cause and effect between Iraq and Palestine and the terrorist slaughter.

      As Sunny has said, that is an obscenity and organisations that deal in religious politics of this kind cannot expect to be treated with respect (which really means ‘dont criticise us or we’ll get more alienated etc etc etc) but should come out in the open and get ready to debate and justify now in the full light of day - without invoking the rascals excuse of strengthening the big Muslim persecution complex. Keep your religion out of politics and you won’t get criticised - simple as that. Sorry.

    47. Osama — on 11th April, 2006 at 12:29 am  

      Sunny said: “I have no doubt about that. In fact even HuT are ignored in most of the Muslim debates/meetings I’ve been at. But there is a difference between ignoring them and actually taking them on and openly cutting them down to size. That does not happen with HuT. That is my point.”

      I go back to my original point. If Muslims are not a community then why is it my job to go around doing anything at all with HT?

    48. Sunny — on 11th April, 2006 at 12:35 am  

      Osama - you continue to fudge the issue. I’m talking about self-appointed ‘community representatives’ here, like the MCB and MAB. Those are the people I’m pointing a finger at… who say they represent and want to take the people forward, but do nothing to tackle extremism.

    49. Sid D H Arthur — on 11th April, 2006 at 12:40 am  

      And while we’re talking about Indian writers we like, I think Upamanyu Chatterjee is fucking ace.

    50. Sid D H Arthur — on 11th April, 2006 at 12:40 am  

      oops wrong thread. goodnight.

    51. Jay Singh — on 11th April, 2006 at 12:45 am  

      LoL!

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