Saturday, March 14, 2009

Opinion: We Must Stop Appeasing Islamic Extremism

Ed Husain for the Telegraph.
It's comfortable for us to think that these are the actions of a small minority – but are they? The vile mob that hurled abuse against returning troops does not operate in a vacuum, somehow removed from other Muslims. Only two weeks ago, the same group of extremists openly marched in Tower Hamlets, Britain's most densely populated "Muslim area". Where was the local outrage against these bigots? The nearby east London Mosque – Europe's largest Muslim institution – sends groups of young vigilantes to hound local prostitutes and drug dealers, but it turns a blind eye to extremism.
Indeed, could it be comfort that drives the appeasement of Islam... we just don't want to believe it? The obvious question when the "tiny minority" argument is made... well where is the majority to denounce them?
The existing strategy, "Preventing Violent Extremism", has made it easy for non-violent extremists. It has meant that supporting Islamism, condemning parliamentary democracy, advocating the destruction of Israel and calling for jihad against British troops in Afghanistan or elsewhere has been tolerated because it is not directly violent. Contest 2 must explicitly break with this approach.
Yes, it is the foolish and ignorant policies of the government that makes the spread of this extremism possible. They are just harmless until they are actually making the bombs.

The Article:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

‘Where was the local outrage against these bigots?’
I found this line echoed some lines I read earlier.
Sam Harris:
‘By failing to live by the letter of the texts, while tolerating the irrationality of those who do, religious moderates betray faith and reason equally.’
‘Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible
for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.’
‘... Salman Rushdie. Many Westerners wondered why millions of "moderate" Muslims did not publicly disavow this fatwa. The answer follows directly from the tenets ...’
Richard Dawkins:
‘... [Sir Iqbal Sacranie] still stands by the remark he made when Salman Rushdie was condemned to death for writing a novel: ‘‘Death is perhaps too easy for him’’ ...’
‘But my point in this section is that even mild and moderate religion helps to provide the climate of faith in which extremism naturally flourishes.’
‘The teachings of 'moderate' religion, though not extremist in themselves, are an open invitation to extremism.’
Just to pick three of both. And Christopher Hitchens's remarks about the Pope and similar heads of mainstream movements are too numerous to list.