As the Egyptian intellectual Abd al-Munim Said once observed, “The biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they keep us not only from the truth, but also from confronting our faults and problems.” They also make us look like loons. Can we give it a rest, please?
That’s a quote from a Mehdi Hasan article about conspiracy theories and why Muslims are so in thrall to them. Which is pretty funny when you know Hasan’s record of whinging about the grand and terrible conspiracy against Muslims such as this in the Guardian by him…Misreporting Muslims, …and of course who can forget this massive whinge...Mehdi Hasan: sanctions for ‘dishonest, demonising press coverage’ of Muslims….and today we have another….Life for British Muslims since 7/7 – abuse, suspicion and constant apologies
Mehdi is starting to look like a loon…please can you give it a rest!? Try confronting your faults and problems and stop blaming them on the immoral, stupid Kafir cattle.
Why examine the honourable Mehdi and his ranting? Allison Pearson in the Telegraph tells us that:
Ten years after the 7/7 bombings, the threat from terrorism is real and deadly – yet many Muslims still fail to accept our British liberal values, says Allison Pearson
Against that horrifying background, consider the complaint this week in the Guardian by the writer and editor, Mehdi Hasan. He says that since 7/7, British Muslims have met with discrimination – “subject to unprecedented scrutiny; tagged as a suspect community, the enemy within, a ‘fifth column’ (to quote Nigel Farage)”.
Well, yes. If substantial numbers of men from a certain group in society are presenting an unprecedented threat to a country, then scrutiny and suspicion do tend to be the result. As for discrimination, try lying on a beach in Tunisia and being shot dead for no reason other than not being Muslim.
I’m not sure that Hasan and commentators like him fully grasp the widespread dismay at the failure of many Muslims to accept the values of our society.
Indeed….what first peaked my interest was this in the New Statesman...the title annoyed me…
A decade after 7/7, our anti-terror efforts stopped attacks but lost the battle for hearts and minds
The writer of course means Muslim hearts and minds…but isn’t the truth that Muslims have lost the hearts and minds of the rest of the population, not just with the bombs that went off and the seemingly endless attempts to carry out more attacks but the relentless barrage of Muslim rhetoric, intimidation, threats and hectoring, the attempts to force Islam down everyones throat whilst crying out that they, the Muslims, are the real victims of 9/11 and 7/7?
Allison Pearson by coincidence has expressed exactly what I was thinking….and Hasan has popped up with the usual special pleading and claims of victimhood to confirm the thought.
The New Statesman article wasn’t what it initially seemed, yet another Hasan type litany of Muslim woes at the hands of the Kafir. What we actually got was a condemnation of the government strategy but not in the way Hasan and his cronies might want…it says we must change the narrative and make more of our Western values and emphasising what Muslims have here that they won’t have even in a notional ‘Muslim’ state……
The government’s Prevent strategy has one overarching goal: dissuading young British Muslims from supporting terrorism against the UK. That approach seems reasonable but has been poorly calibrated.
The focus on achieving security at home left the jihadist campaigns abroad largely unaddressed. Moreover, some preachers in the UK were allowed to promote radical views, in the hope that this might act as a “safety valve” for otherwise angry men, dissipating and deflecting their energies.
Some of the most basic ideas that define our society and our whole way of life were never promoted with enough vigour or conviction. Freedom of speech, religious liberty and protections for minorities have all been secured only because of Britain’s secular values. This is what gives religious conservatives the opportunity and right to practise their faith as they see fit while allowing others to live in freedom and dignity, too. This has never been robustly explained by our government, let alone celebrated by it.
“Regardless of being born and bred in the west, the epitome of democracy, our Islam was not washed away,” the Mannans said in their statement from Syria. Yet it was secular Britain that allowed them to live as free Muslims, pursuing whatever version of Islam they saw fit. Will such religious pluralism be tolerated in their new land?
This of course is what the BBC should have been doing all along…after all it is charged with maintaining civil society and cohesion…instead of which it has served to widen the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim, pandering to the rhetoric of the radicals and peddling their propaganda whilst all the time variously condemning the West both as it is today and its history telling Muslims they have been victims not just through present day actions in the Middle East but throughout history at the hands of the West.
To finish I’ll just raise a few points about Hasan’s latest article in which he uses the most blatant images and rhetorical tricks to try and twist the narrative his way.
He says ‘How about the Muslim residents of the three areas in Birmingham that in 2010 were to be surrounded by a “ring of steel” of 218 “spy cameras” as part of a counter-terrorism operation?.
Now Muslims and their apologists often make a comparison with Northern Ireland, Nicky Campbell is especially guilty of this, and yet there is no comparison…NI was about land and politics not religion. However Muslims often complain that no other group is treated as if they were terrorists….hmmm…have they not heard of NI? If they want to know what real anti-terror policies look like try NI when it had its 30,000 strong security force, its watch towers, its SAS ambushes, its military patrols, its peace walls, and yes, its CCTV…..and why not have all that if it keeps the peace on our streets on the Mainland? After all the good Giles Fraser suggests it might not be such a bad idea…in order to protect a ‘tolerant Islam’…
It might feel a little more convincingly like a Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, commissioned perhaps as a celebration of religious plurality, were it not for the seven tonnes of Russian-made BRDM-2 armoured personnel carrier stationed outside.
And maybe they are right to do all this. For Kazakhstan has, within its own set limits, developed a properly deserved reputation for religious toleration. For instance, a huge blue synagogue has been built on the outskirts of town, one of many. Forget all that rubbishy racist stuff about Borat and “The Running of the Jew” – this is a place of genuine diversity, where different faiths rub along remarkably well. Despite all the off-putting pomposity of the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, it’s not a totally unrealistic reflection of how things are here. Maybe there is something for that tank to protect.
Hasan tells us that ‘Depending on which poll you believe, a majority of Brits believe “Muslims create problems in the UK”, link “Islam with extremism” and would be “bothered” by the building of a big mosque in their neighbourhood.’
and Tweets this:
Trouble is there is this research from the Pew Foundation that suggests British Muslims are at odds with British society, if not supporting ISIS, or their methods….
Muslims Distrust Westerners More than Vice Versa
In particular, British Muslims stand apart from their coreligionists elsewhere in Europe. They receive the highest religious-cultural negativity score, indicating more negative attitudes.
Britain’s score, based on the perception of British Muslims of Western non-Muslims with regards to these characteristics, was higher than other European Muslims, and in fact, closer to the score (opinion) of Muslims in Muslim countries. British Muslims are more inclined to see a conflict between Islam and modernity; more likely to self-identify along religious lines than national lines; and more deeply concerned about the future of Muslims in Britain. When asked, “Is there a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a Modern society?”, almost half of British Muslims (49%) felt there was.
Hasan trumpets this.. .’In 2007 a fresh-faced MP spent two days at the home of a Muslim family in Birmingham and then wrote boldly of how it wasn’t possible to “bully people into feeling British: we have to inspire them”; “you can’t even start to talk about a truly integrated society while people are suffering racist … abuse … on a daily basis”.’
Indeed…let’s change that narrative from Muslims as victims and start to highlight all the good things the West has done for Muslims both here and abroad…..the BBC should start the ‘presses rolling’ straight away.