WTF Is “Radical Islam”?

Generally, sparring with morons online can be fun. Being told that I’m a pawn of the devil, or a self-hating Jew often makes me smile. But there are more disturbing moments. The ongoing fascist-style campaign to paint all people of Muslim descent as an evil threat to the Western World becomes ever-more reminiscent of what was done to the Jews across Europe and America in the 1930s. Usually, the offenders are semi-literate Bible-bashers, but increasingly, just as in the 30s, secular “liberals” can be found in the melee, swinging a punch or a kick.

Recently, for no apparent reason I could identify, I was accused by some fellow Atheists of “defending Islam”. Now, I’m not aware that I’ve ever “defended Islam”. In fact, that term itself has an Orwellian ring to it, like “supporting terror” or “promoting homosexuality”. It seems “defending Islam” is something that good, secular liberals everywhere must avoid, or face public condemnation. In response, I pointed out that defending Muslims from attack isn’t “defending Islam” – to which I was told: yes it is: because all Muslims uphold Islam, which (as any moron knows) is an evil ideology. I pointed out that I know people who identify as Muslim, but who don’t practise, or in some cases don’t even believe. But these Atheist defenders of rationality told me I was wrong: anybody who claims Muslim identity is bad by definition, I was told.

Fascist stuff indeed: identity, I’ve always believed, is for the individual to choose for himself, and nobody else to force upon him. In my own experience, I tend to feel most Jewish when I encounter anti-Semites (and least Jewish in the company of other Jews). And certainly, a similar transformation is taking place among European and American Muslims: hatred towards Muslims is growing at breakneck speed, and the more times someone has MUSLIM screamed at them, the more Muslim they will feel. Like Judaism, Islam is a deep culture, with its book, traditions and routines. I remember childhood Friday evenings lighting sabbath candles and being allowed a sip of red wine; the prayers and tastes of the Passover dinner; the unique smell of a room decked in fruit and leaves during Sukkot, the harvest festival. My nostalgia over those memories, and my feeling that I was enacting an ancient ritual, are still there, despite my Atheism – the Jewish religion still forms a part of my experience, memories and identity, although I reject its superstitious beliefs. Muslims likewise, both secular and religious, will remember the rituals, the tastes and smells, of their childhoods, and feel Muslim, however little they practise their religion.

The Nazi propaganda campaign against Jews was subtle and sophisticated. How do you persuade Europeans that a tiny minority could be a threat? Some conditions are required: first and foremost, the population must be ready and willing to believe. And indeed, hatred of Jews (and Muslims) is an old European (and Catholic) tradition, dating back many centuries. Next, you take some grains of truth. And then you build up layer after layer of lies.

Post-9/11, the far-right leaped into action and repeated Nazi methodology to the letter. The far-right British National Party didn’t mention Muslims at all prior to 9/11. Their target was “Asians”, but this hate campaign failed to gain much traction. Within days of 9/11, their leaflets were rewritten, and Muslims had replaced Asians as the threat. Those people attacking Muslims today use the Islamophobe’s favourite phrase: I’m not racist; Islam isn’t a race. But to attack Muslims in the UK means to attack Pakistanis, who have been the target of race hate since at least the 1970s. And French fascists now label North and West Africans (who they’ve always attacked) as Muslims. And Dutch or Spanish fascists now label Moroccans (who they’ve always attacked) as Muslims. Bit by bit, European and American fascists have clicked into gear with each other. The anti-Muslim messages have been standardised, strengthened and amplified.

Secular fascism has returned. The Muslim-hating Atheist spreads similar stories of hate to the Christian crusader. Of course, the secular fascist tends to be more intelligent, and more persuasive. Unlike the Christian fascist, the secular fascist can uphold gay rights and women’s rights without hypocrisy, and hence sound more compelling. Secular fascists can sound liberal, and then use their “liberalism” against Islam – or more accurately, against their definition of Islam. Or more accurately still, against Muslims, whatever they believe, and wherever they live. Because the target of European fascism isn’t a religion or ideology, but minority groups: fascism gains strength by demonising minorities. Pre-9/11, there was no coherent “threat” for fascists to unite around. 9/11 gave them a common narrative.

A favourite way to “confront Islam” (or bait Muslims) is to cherry-pick.

“Islam oppresses women”.

“How so?”

“Look at Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan.”

Note how these three countries are repeatedly chosen as examples, ignoring most of the other 50 Muslim countries. Never mind that Saudi Arabia is home to a fundamentalist cult, Wahhabism; or that war-torn Afghanistan is home to the ultra-conservative group, the Taliban; or that Iran is a theocracy. Never mind that these three countries have totally different cultures to each other. Never mind that the modern state of all three societies has nothing to do with Islam, and everything to do with 20th century Western and Russian foreign policy, with oil, and the American imperial war. In the mind of the moron, this argument is enough. Of course, anything can be “proved” this way: Christian countries have the world’s highest rates of rape. Therefore Christianity is the rapist religion – easy! But of course, fascism is doesn’t target Christians. It targets Muslims, Jews, Roma, blacks… any group that forms a distinct minority in the West.

This was the Nazi method by which the Jewish Problem was invented. The corruption of a Jewish financier, or the explosion of a Zionist bomb, or the “backwardness” of fundamentalist Judaism were unrelated issues. But a combination of clever propaganda and a moronic public turned them into the same thing. Never mind that most Jews who were eventually dragged into concentration camps were neither Zionists nor fundamentalists nor financiers. The Jewish Problem came to mean everything Jewish.

The modern equivalent of the Jewish Problem is Radical Islam. It is equally meaningless, equally misleading, and equally capable of persuading morons that a real threat exists. It is a term that can be stretched to include any group or event. The 9/11 attacks were by Radical Islam, not Saudi dissidents protesting against US occupation of Arab states. Radical Islam (not the conservative Taliban) stopped women from being educated in Afghanistan, and stops women from driving in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaida, a terrorist organistion, and Hizbollah, which exists to defend against terrorism, are both Radical Islam. It’s enough that both groups are Muslim (although in fact, Hizbollah also has Christian members – details always spoil a simple story). The peace-loving Muslim who prays 5 times a day and the loud-mouthed protester who burns poppies in protest at British involvement in Afghanistan, are both Radical Islam. Support for Iraqi insurgents (and why shouldn’t anyone support those fighting against invasion of their own land?) is Radical Islam, and so is a group of teenagers throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who are helping to destroy their village’s crops. Palestinian activists who belong to the secular Fatah movement are Radical Islam. British Muslims who come out to defend their streets against EDL street thugs are Radical Islam. Women in burqas or hijabs are Radical Islam. The conservative, Islamist government of Turkey is Radical Islam. The conservative Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt are Radical Islam.

Fascism has risen again in Europe, and real people are being hurt today in real attacks – that is the real result of fascists, both religious and secular, “confronting Islam”. When street thugs target Muslim homes and businesses, they don’t care whether the owners are religious or not, political or not. While we’re easily distracted by the moronic antics of street thugs like the EDL, the most dangerous fascism now, as in the 1930s, lives among the middle classes. Generally, fascism is most prevalent among religious conservatives, but secular liberals can be the most persuasive and dangerous advocates of fascism. Seeing some of my fellow Atheists joining the bullying campaign against ordinary people (whether religious or secular) saddens me, but doesn’t surprise me. After all, Atheism isn’t a movement – it’s simple a lack of belief in a god. I find the religious beliefs of Muslims (and Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists) to be ludicrous – but that debate must be one that accepts the right to believe. Using religious intolerance as a proxy for a race war isn’t a new trick – but apparently it’s one that is as powerful today as it always was.

33 thoughts on “WTF Is “Radical Islam”?”

  1. Funnily enough I’ve had an almost identical argument on Facebook with a strongly atheist friend of mine in Israel, just the other day.

    After he posted a Sam Harris video saying “Islam is not a religion of Peace”

    My point is that neither are the vast majority of religions, but he just read it as I was defending the evil Islam.

    Although he has a totally different colouring of views as he lives near the threat of rockets etc. I suppose….

    1. Thanks notjarvis. I also have cousins living within reach of Palestinian rocket attacks. However, attempts to say these acts are “Islamic” are the kind of ludicrous nonsense I was referring to. Palestinians have been forced off their land, bombed and are living in a state of daily siege. Their struggle is one for human rights, not a religious one. Israelis (I know from personal experience) are blind to the reality of the agony they are perpetrating.

  2. Excellent article, I guess some people will never stop with their ignorant remarks, just because they heard the word “radical” they assume all Muslims belong to this. These people need to be educated.

  3. i don’t think I’ve ever seen the islamist government of turkey, the counter-protests of EDl or women in burkhas being described as radical islam.

    and i think the problem is that the violent and oppressive groups are justifying their actions through the qu’ran, , which although may have been moral and somewhat socially progressive in its time is completely outdated today and theres no denying it allows for some terrible acts and ideas. and yes i am aware the other abrahamic religious books can just as easily read this way.

    furthermore i truly believe the vast majority of people in this country couldn’t give 2 shits about peoples religious beliefs.

    1. Disagree “sdfasdf” – I’ve often seen “Islamist” used as if it means terrorist or extremist. Yes, extremists justify their struggle with the Quran. What the far-right do is apply the logic that therefore ANYONE who follows the Quran is an extremist. It’s dumb logic, but it seems to work.

      I agree that most people couldn’t give a damn about people’s religious beliefs. That was no doubt also true in Nazi Germany, but didn’t prevent the Holocaust from taking place.

  4. I think the conflation of the “Jewish Problem” and the current issues relating to Islam and Muslim communities is not credible, simply because the circumstances are so enormously different. The relationship between Jews as individuals and communities was never a threat to the dominant communities, nor did Judaism propagate concepts that could be regarded as a threat. Jews were the traditional other, quite unlike Muslims and Islam. Reactionary factions built upon traditional antipathies in their response to Enlightenment and Industrialization, and the challenges that this posed the established order. In Germany despite overwhelming nationalism in WW1 among Jews, the far right blamed Jews for the failure. (German Jews in fact won 12 times as many Iron Crosses than their Christian counterparts, and were far more likely to volunteer for the Front) Jews overwhelming sought to identify with the nations they lived in and went out of their way to demonstrate loyalty. The Jewish reference point was always their weakness and vulnerability.

    Islam until fairly recently in historic terms has been a powerful imperialist force and this has shaped their self-perception and their expectations of relations with other faiths & communities. It was not until the mid 19thC that non-Muslims in the Muslim world stretching from the Moroccan Atlantic coast to the Indian Sub-Continent began to be afforded the semblance of rights as human beings. Where these changes occurred were as a result of external forces, and not internal reform. As a consequence such ideas did not become part of the fabric of Islam.

    As large numbers of Muslims migrated to the West, unlike their Jewish predecessors, they did not seek to assimilate and find accommodation with the dominant community. Their lack of comparable experience caused them not to create effective community leadership, having never previously needed to do so (unlike Jews). Such Muslim leaders that did appear tended to be introspective, relatively poorly educated and had a low level awareness of the sensitivities of the dominant communities. To compound this they brought with them traditional forms of education associated with the mosque that did not prepare their communities for co-existence with others on an equal basis.

    To compound that, the previous two centuries had been a succession of humiliations for Islamic communities, culminating in the experiences of the Arab / Israel wars. Over this period they had fallen from being a globally dominant force to being beaten by a “nation” that Islam described as being powerless. As such they became highly susceptible to adopting irrational excuses for their inadequacies, and sought refuges in ever more reactionary stances. In this respect they differed little from German Nazis, they blamed everyone, especially the Jews, except themselves.

    But the western countries that these Muslims found themselves were also subject to profound political / social / economic change, and the working class communities found themselves competing for public resources with immigrants. While liberal whites ignored the fundamental issues and condemned the poor for their alleged intolerance, they did not face any challenge to their lives from the presence of Muslims. They failed therefore to challenge the failure of Muslim leadership and the “radicalisation” of Muslim youth.

    Whereas ultra orthodox Jews tended to be few in number and never seemingly representative of the whole, fundamentalist Muslims were to the fore and seemingly set out to offend the majority communities. The leadership void allowed these extremists to claim they represented Muslims as a whole. The liberal middle-class white community ignored them initially and then in trying to appear tolerant indulged them. This embolden the extremists, and for young Muslims they heard no significant counter to their claims.

    Evidence of this can be seen in the responses to Holocaust Memorial Day, an event intended not to memorialise the death of 6 million Jews but to reiterate the commitment to values opposing genocide and intolerance. The refusal to participate a collective in this national event marked a profound distance between the majority community and what represented the Muslim community, and a rejection of the common experience. (It was also a deliberate affront to Jews as a community and often associated with frequent denials of the Holocaust) The subsequent calls for Sharia to be afforded equality with UK law by a few individuals attracted condemnation and highlighted division. Had effective leadership existed in the Muslim community such demands would never have surfaced or even being afforded any credibility.

    Each of these events was a gift for the Far Right. It was only with the terrorist attacks and complaints by the US and other allies that UK was ostensibly fostering Islamic extremism that the Muslim community began to form leadership to counter the influence of these radicals.

    In many respects this was like closing the door after the horse had bolted. Quite bizarrely EDL paraded with Israeli flags and individuals who claimed to be representing some “Jewish division”. This was bizarre simply because this was this first time that the hard right had associated publicly with Zionism and Jews. This reflects not the idea that the Jewish community has suddenly abandoned its left of centre traditions, but that EDL and the Far Right have identified that antisemitism is deeply rooted in the Muslim community in its expression of anti-Zionism and that by associating with Jews and Zionism EDL can mark its opposition to Islam. EDL has also recognised that its rejection of antisemitism provides it with legitimacy and association with core national values.

    EDL, BNP etc are fascists. But they are mirrored by prevailing attitudes among many in the Muslim community. Unfortunately there are those in the far left white community who political sympathies actually foster Muslim extremism and find excuses for it, even though they would condemn the same impulse in the white community. Until our society has the confidence to assert and enforce our core values, and demand that those who live here accord with them then we will always have these extremists pushing to the fore. All communities need effective and informed leadership that faces reality and collaborates for the common good.

    1. RSDavies – “Islam until fairly recently in historic terms has been a powerful imperialist force”

      You mean until about 700 years ago? That’s not very recent. The point I’m making is, EVERYTHING you say about Muslims (lack of will to assimilate, etc.) was said about Jews in the 1920s and 30s. It wasn’t true about them and it isn’t true about Muslims now.

      You’re right – there isn’t “effective leadership” in the Muslim community. Nor should there be. These people are British – why should they have separate leadership? If they did, it would be yet another excuse to attack them.

  5. The thing behind all this is biopolitics – it was biopolitics that fed the National Socialist system in Germany the ideology behind their policies and actions (RE: Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life). Can the Holocaust ever happen again in Europe against a new suspect community? Yes it can. The Roma are still picked on today, and the same propaganda used against the Jews are now aimed at the Muslims.

    This is because we live under biopolitical regulatory systems that needs an outside, hated group in order to keep the inside group inside the slave pen and not looking at the system around them.

    Those who wish to understand more about biopolitics should read the book I mentioned earlier, along with the works of Michel Foucault and Jasbir K Puar.

  6. Excellent blog MW – you could have been describing the loons at liveleak.com – a truly odious bunch of people.

  7. Great article! I must admit to ranting about the wearing of head scarves as totally reasonable because I considered it a feminist point. However, because I live in a very diverse part of Calgary (known to your typical Calgary, Alberta red-neck as ‘the hood’ because brown people live here) I have been learning a keen lesson about my own prejudices. The head scarf is often more of a cultural expression rather than a religious one. In fact, many women have taken to wearing the scarf as a protest to the misconceptions about the Muslim community that have cropped up since 9/11. It’s amazing how learning about another person’s culture by getting to know them has a habit of destroying generalisations we have latched on to.

    1. Agree Chantelle. We see a lot more hijabs in London than a decade ago. Seems to be a defiant response to finger-pointing at Muslims. I’ve known three women who have started to wear them, all by their own choice. I’d rather see a religion-free world but that’ll happen in its own time.

  8. Who are these people that use those three nations as examples of Islam oppressing women? British people in my experience, Right, Left or Centrist (where the truth more often than not lies) most often use the UK as an example.

    You don’t need to look outside the UK to see Islam oppressing women, both by Muslims and the authorities that allow religion precedence over freedom of the individual. Every time a woman is seen in a hijab, niqab or burkha, it is a wonderfully illustrative example of the oppression of women by that particular religion. Christians also oppress women and Judaism supports the sexual mutilation of infants. None deserve any respect or “protection” as far as oppression is being discussed. Certainly, the three monotheistic religions don’t need anyone fighting their battles on their behalf, as noble as you may feel you’re being!

    Often it is cited by the Left in particular that these bans on clothing are offensive and intrusive. This position is flawed: there is no argument that a woman is free to choose to wear clothing like the hijab or burkha. Women are conditioned to believe it is correct; this is quite different from a genuine freedom of choice.

    The French and Australian bans on religious clothing in public was a wonderful victory for women, rather than the targeting of Islam as the Left will claim. Human rights trumps religious rights without any riposte. I am no socialist and certainly no Right wing moron, but I will cheer every time I see a victory for human rights over religious rights, whether that religion is Islam or not.

    1. Steve, how do you know women are being forced to wear hijabs etc? Have you asked or did you assume that? I know a Muslim woman who is being pressured to wear a hijab by her sisters, who both decided to wear one. Their father/husbands had no say in the matter.

      This “oppressed women” thing is a fantastic way for Westerners to flaunt their superiority over Muslims, but reality is way more nuanced than “OMG they oppress women!”

      Perhaps Muslim women aren’t as weak and oppressed as you’ve been led to believe…? Have you thought to ask a Muslim woman what she thinks?

  9. RS Davies – did you just swallow the DEMOS papers on the Muslim communities of the UK and just regurgitated them verbatim on here?

    Seriously, myself and the vast majority of other Muslims I know are NOTHING like what you have portrayed here – we do not recognise ourselves in these biopolitically motivated reports at all. Not only are they highly inaccurate, but highly Orientalist and racist as well.

    Actually, I would advise you to read Edward W Said’s ‘Orientalism’ as a matter of priority.

    Moron Watch is spot on in this piece – I recognise everything he is writing here to be true. I spent 16 years of my life studying the Nazi Era and other similar dictatorships of the 20th century, and Moron Watch’s assessment of what is happening to the Muslims now in comparison to what was happening to the Jews in 1930s Germany is very accurate.

  10. Why would I be led to believe it? I live and work in Muslim societies and have done for the past six years. I spend two-three months of my year in the UK, the rest is spent in the Muslim world. I have wonderful first-hand experience of the wider Muslim world and it is my belief that Muslim men and women are among the most generous, friendly and considerate people in the world. However, a person or community can be all of those things AND oppress in other ways, especially their own people.

    I didn’t say MEN are oppressing women so please don’t twist my words to make your argument fit. I said Islam oppresses women…and the notion of women pressuring other women to wear coverings makes my point quite beautifully; women are overwhelmingly conditioned to think it’s correct, not that they have a genuine freedom of choice.

    “This “oppressed women” thing is a fantastic way for Westerners to flaunt their superiority over Muslims, but reality is way more nuanced than “OMG they oppress women!””

    What an awfully belligerent, simplistic way of ignoring genuine oppression; perfectly in keeping with the far-Left. How dare anyone tell me that my feelings towards the oppression of women and children in ALL religion is nothing more than a means to flaunt my superiority. Muslim, Christian, Jew, Scientologist…I do not care a jot as long as no one is treated as inferior, or children aren’t treated as property to be sexually mutilated. If you had been writing about the sexual mutilation of children in Judaism then I would swap “women” for “child” and make the same arguments. The fact it is Islam doesn’t give you the right to assume I am acting by some motive other than a concern for equality.

    Also, in my considerable experience of the Mulsim world outside of the UK, I would find it very difficult to be able to openly and honestly question a Muslim woman regarding coverings, because I would be unable to talk to her without a male “escort”. Maybe this is just because I am a Westerner? If it is, that’s a whole new argument relating to the perception of Westerners to the wider Muslim community, predominantly based on the teachings of Imams. If it’s not because I am a Westerner, then it is further proof of Islam oppressing women.

    I agree that there are lots of storng, independent Muslim women: Hirsi Ali is a good example because she is also the victm of death threats for speaking out against female oppression.

    I have no response to any other area of your blog, it is a good piece, but the idea that we should brush under the carpet or accept the oppression of human beings based on nothing more than the sex they are born into is repulsive and all religion – regardless of the colour of the skin of the people who predominantly practice it – should be held robustly accountable, open to scrutiny and prepared for confrontation however it may come. They are, after all, convinced they are in the right.

  11. I am Hindu, female, and grew up in Hyderabad, India. Hyderabad has a significant Muslim population, and is seen as a seat of Muslim high culture in the subcontinent. I went to a Christian-run all-women college popular with middle and upper classes. Several of my classmates were Muslim.

    Every morning, these girls would arrive at college very traditionally attired, wearing a black, face-covering head-to-toe veil of the Saudi kind. Most of them used to be driven there in cars or on motorbikes by dads or brothers. Once inside the gates of the college though, the fun would begin. The veils come off and go into bags, not to be worn again till closing hours, when dads and brothers would pick them up again. Some of the girls would “bunk” classes to go to the movies, or even meet boyfriends.

    Their attitude towards non-Muslim girls was perplexing, with justifications bordering on cognitive dissonance. They regraded their own religion and culture as superior, looked down at non-Muslims as spoilt, decadent people, and yet not only yearned for the freedoms we enjoyed, but also grabbed them at the first opportunity presented.

    This was the situation as of a decade and half ago, when I was college. I hear that now there is a stricter observance of the veil. I am not surprised. It reflects not only a male crackdown from above on deviation from custom, but also, victory of loyalty to faith over a desire for freedom, and a Muslim backlash against Westernization. What was happening was that non-Muslims were becoming less traditional, forsaking local mode of dress like saree and salwar-kameez for western attire like jeans and skirts.

    1. Well Miss Anon Hindu, while you’re here bashing Muslims, you might want to comment on mass slaughters of Christian and Muslim Indians by Hindus?

  12. i wish you had started the article with the line “I find the religious beliefs of Muslims.. to be ludicrous” then explained why that is the case.

    Then we could have compared and contrasted your thoughts on islam with the average edl supporter.

    The problem with intellectual snobbery (of which this article is a fine example) is it reveals more about the inadequacies of the author than the subject that they are supposedly addressing.

    The rest of the article is just pure… moronic

    1. But this wasn’t an article about religion. It was about bullying of Muslims using religion as an excuse. Try reading it again.

  13. moron watch 700 years ago? have you not heard of the ottoman empire. not particularly relevant but i though it should be corrected.

    and i also believe, not in a paranoid way, that a lot of immigrants from outside europe see british culture as a bad thing that they don’t want their children buying into. e.g. sex and excessive drinking and tbh its understandable, but this is seen as a result of our western ideas of individualism rather than just a northern european tradition of getting absolutely wankered. add in a wrathful god and it doesn’t bode well for cultural relations.

    1. You should really be terrified of Creeping Buddhism. After all, the Buddhist majority slaughtered 40,000 Tamils in Sri Lanka, and have raped and tortured many more. Don’t you think it’s strange that the biggest slaughter of recent years has been overlooked by most people? Or perhaps it doesn’t fit the Creeping Islam storyline? Do you wonder why communal violence in Kenya that killed 1,500 isn’t mentioned? Maybe it can’t be turned into a story about Muslims.

  14. Mornwatch,

    Why do you make a point of stating what the article is or isn’t about, even going so far as to suggest reading it again to keep on point…and then in your VERY NEXT post ask someone to go off subject in order to make a childish stab?

    AnonHindu didn’t “bash” anyone. She gave personal experiences and thoughts on those experiences. But of course, you need ANY negative mention of Islam to make your one-dimensional arguments eh? The childish, sarcastic responses are more in keeping with a spoiled child rather than someone confident enough in his own opinions to withstand reaction to a blog.

    It’s sadly – tragically – ironic that in your desperation to defend Islam – more than likely in attempts to ease your own conscience – you actually neglect most of the biggest sufferers of Islam – Muslim women and children. These are the people you are happy to ignore the suffering of, because it’s more important for you to need to attack the right than actually recognise where the REAL suffering is.

    Sadder still, is your reluctance to admit ANY problem with religious integration from an Islamic perspective, which is as dangerous and irresponsible as the right wing idiots you attack.

    I take my last post back. It’s not a good piece because your responses are repulsive. You are distorted, maligned and misinformed and your curt response to the excellent RS Davies’ myriad issues is indicative of someone with a personal agenda rather than wilful discussion and debate.

    Moron watch is, in fact, a moron without self awareness.

  15. As someone else pointed out the Ottoman Empire existed long after the Crusades and continued expansion into 18thC. Not until 1830 did France colonise any part of North Africa supplanting Muslim rule, and ending the Mediterranean slave trade.

    As for the issues relating to Jews in 1920’s & 30’s UK, as far as I am aware they were overwhelming committed to overt assimilation, compliance with British law and loyalty to the Crown. The Jewish community in UK did not produce any movements that promoted any activities against the UK populace, or indeed carry any out. No more did synagogues and other Jewish institutions distribute materials promoting genocide. Jewish leadership from the 17thC onward demonstrated effective & sensitive leadership that promoted community development and empowerment through assimilation.

    In respect of the need for Muslim community leadership rather “British” leadership, the need emanates from a community requirement for leaders who have credibility as coreligionists, common ethnic backgrounds etc to argue for change. Outsider “British” leaders cannot do that for the Muslim community as “British” leaders are not stakeholders in Islamic identities.

  16. Creeping Buddhism indeed! I think you are showing your true colours. People have told me that you are a Muslim masquerading behind your apparent Jewish heritage (as if that matters, because I am not prejudiced against either).

    The fact that you are employing the age old tactic of taqiyyah in your comment tell us a lot, and what’s more, that is a tactic predicted in http://somethingsurprising.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/should-intelligent-people-fear-islamism.html!

    Keep trying to change the subject in the hope that nobody notices if you like – but they do notice!

    1. “The fact that you are employing the age old tactic of taqiyyah” – oops, that phrase is straight out of the EDL playbook!

  17. I commented here because there is a claim that oppression of women (as in forcing the veil) is a phenomenon localized only to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan.

    I did not know the topic was killing of followers of one faith by followers of another faith. It is not my claim that Hindus have a clean record in this regard.

  18. Plasma Engineer, not only is MoronWatch a secret Muslim, I have it on good authority he is also an anti-colonial Kenyan communist.

    Nice blog post. But you forgot about the creeping influence of the Ottoman slave trade in Bromley.

    1. “Plasma Engineer, not only is MoronWatch a secret Muslim, I have it on good authority he is also an anti-colonial Kenyan communist.”

      Damn! Unmasked. I’m also a major advocate of the gay agenda.

  19. Why the obsession with the EDL? They are irrelevant, as would also be obvious if you had actually read what I wrote instead of getting excited about whether you are gay or not – because who cares about that? Oh yes – Muslims do. Pause for thought.

  20. Moronwatch.net: Where reason is consistently ignored in favour of defending archaic ideologies and fulfilling an unquenchable desire to assert faux-liberalism over any dissenting opinions. Bravo.

  21. And so ‘Plasma Engineer’ sums up political correctness, 2012 style: “If you’re unwilling to shit on Muslims, you must (nudge nudge, wink wink) be a Muslim yourself. Q.E.D.”

  22. READ IT AGAIN, YOU MORONS:

    “I think the conflation of the “Jewish Problem” and the current issues relating to Islam and Muslim communities is not credible, simply because the circumstances are so enormously different. The relationship between Jews as individuals and communities was never a threat to the dominant communities, nor did Judaism propagate concepts that could be regarded as a threat. Jews were the traditional other, quite unlike Muslims and Islam. Reactionary factions built upon traditional antipathies in their response to Enlightenment and Industrialization, and the challenges that this posed the established order. In Germany despite overwhelming nationalism in WW1 among Jews, the far right blamed Jews for the failure. (German Jews in fact won 12 times as many Iron Crosses than their Christian counterparts, and were far more likely to volunteer for the Front) Jews overwhelming sought to identify with the nations they lived in and went out of their way to demonstrate loyalty. The Jewish reference point was always their weakness and vulnerability.

    Islam until fairly recently in historic terms has been a powerful imperialist force and this has shaped their self-perception and their expectations of relations with other faiths & communities. It was not until the mid 19thC that non-Muslims in the Muslim world stretching from the Moroccan Atlantic coast to the Indian Sub-Continent began to be afforded the semblance of rights as human beings. Where these changes occurred were as a result of external forces, and not internal reform. As a consequence such ideas did not become part of the fabric of Islam.

    As large numbers of Muslims migrated to the West, unlike their Jewish predecessors, they did not seek to assimilate and find accommodation with the dominant community. Their lack of comparable experience caused them not to create effective community leadership, having never previously needed to do so (unlike Jews). Such Muslim leaders that did appear tended to be introspective, relatively poorly educated and had a low level awareness of the sensitivities of the dominant communities. To compound this they brought with them traditional forms of education associated with the mosque that did not prepare their communities for co-existence with others on an equal basis.

    To compound that, the previous two centuries had been a succession of humiliations for Islamic communities, culminating in the experiences of the Arab / Israel wars. Over this period they had fallen from being a globally dominant force to being beaten by a “nation” that Islam described as being powerless. As such they became highly susceptible to adopting irrational excuses for their inadequacies, and sought refuges in ever more reactionary stances. In this respect they differed little from German Nazis, they blamed everyone, especially the Jews, except themselves.

    But the western countries that these Muslims found themselves were also subject to profound political / social / economic change, and the working class communities found themselves competing for public resources with immigrants. While liberal whites ignored the fundamental issues and condemned the poor for their alleged intolerance, they did not face any challenge to their lives from the presence of Muslims. They failed therefore to challenge the failure of Muslim leadership and the “radicalisation” of Muslim youth.

    Whereas ultra orthodox Jews tended to be few in number and never seemingly representative of the whole, fundamentalist Muslims were to the fore and seemingly set out to offend the majority communities. The leadership void allowed these extremists to claim they represented Muslims as a whole. The liberal middle-class white community ignored them initially and then in trying to appear tolerant indulged them. This embolden the extremists, and for young Muslims they heard no significant counter to their claims.

    Evidence of this can be seen in the responses to Holocaust Memorial Day, an event intended not to memorialise the death of 6 million Jews but to reiterate the commitment to values opposing genocide and intolerance. The refusal to participate a collective in this national event marked a profound distance between the majority community and what represented the Muslim community, and a rejection of the common experience. (It was also a deliberate affront to Jews as a community and often associated with frequent denials of the Holocaust) The subsequent calls for Sharia to be afforded equality with UK law by a few individuals attracted condemnation and highlighted division. Had effective leadership existed in the Muslim community such demands would never have surfaced or even being afforded any credibility.

    Each of these events was a gift for the Far Right. It was only with the terrorist attacks and complaints by the US and other allies that UK was ostensibly fostering Islamic extremism that the Muslim community began to form leadership to counter the influence of these radicals.

    In many respects this was like closing the door after the horse had bolted. Quite bizarrely EDL paraded with Israeli flags and individuals who claimed to be representing some “Jewish division”. This was bizarre simply because this was this first time that the hard right had associated publicly with Zionism and Jews. This reflects not the idea that the Jewish community has suddenly abandoned its left of centre traditions, but that EDL and the Far Right have identified that antisemitism is deeply rooted in the Muslim community in its expression of anti-Zionism and that by associating with Jews and Zionism EDL can mark its opposition to Islam. EDL has also recognised that its rejection of antisemitism provides it with legitimacy and association with core national values.

    EDL, BNP etc are fascists. But they are mirrored by prevailing attitudes among many in the Muslim community. Unfortunately there are those in the far left white community who political sympathies actually foster Muslim extremism and find excuses for it, even though they would condemn the same impulse in the white community. Until our society has the confidence to assert and enforce our core values, and demand that those who live here accord with them then we will always have these extremists pushing to the fore. All communities need effective and informed leadership that faces reality and collaborates for the common good.”

Leave a Reply