“Blair’s Bombs” in the Land of War – Islamic Theology Rules – OK?
Comment at end of page
4th July, 2007
Oh help! The politically correct classes are all in an intellectual muddle. What DO we call the “Islamo-Fascists” now? We wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, would we, while they’re trying to wipe us and our way of life off the map!?
Even The Telegraph is at it – although it’s Andrew Marr – so presumably not an editorial. I’ve posted there, so let’s see how politically correct they are. Let’s see if they print me!
I’d love to be a fly-on-the-wall at BNP HQ right now! They must be whooping for joy!
3rd July, 2007
As the bombers return to Britain, Hassan Butt, who was once a member of radical group Al-Muhajiroun, raising funds for extremists and calling for attacks on British citizens, explains why he was wrong.
Mr Butt, the writer of this article, appeared on Newsnight last night, repeating some of his message, but not really having sufficient time to emphasise the main strand of the problem. That is, that the Islamic religion is flawed per se, due to the quiet acceptance of much of its tenets by many, whilst they renounce “terrorism” as being “un-Islamic”. It is clear that many DO NOT do so, because of pulled allegiances, historical tribalism, lack of true leadership willing to denounce interpretation or modernise it, or simple fear.
In his speech to the Labour party conference last year Mr Blair called the Islamist terrorist creed ‘perverted’ and ‘not true Islam’. If he still believes this, I am not sure, but if he does, I may have uncovered an area in which I disagree with him.
As he goes off to try to bring together warring factions in the Middle East, his task could not be of more importance or more delicate; I understand that. Meanwhile it falls to the “new” government to tackle this growing concern at home. Over to you Mr Brown.
2nd July, 2007
THESE ARE NOT “BLAIR’S BOMBS”
The exceptional, unusual, brave and honest article pasted in full below, appeared in yesterday’s Observer.
In this politically correct country why does it depend on a man who has seen the error of his ways to tell it ‘like it is”? Why don’t we KNOW this already?
Would we sit back and wait for an everyday common or garden criminal to tell us how to treat or punish criminals?
WE ALL LIVE IN THE “LAND OF WAR”
Until a few days ago, unless I am badly mistaken, we had a prime minister who understood the writer’s message. But Blair’s lips had been effectively sealed by the blame gamers whose blame would have grown in intensity and in HIS direction if he had mentioned any of this. His freedom to act was seriously curtailed by our liberal establishment.
In the same way as the puerile amongst us label Iraq “Blair’s War”, (The Independent take note), we have fallen for the trap laid by terrorists. Now that Tony Blair has left the domestic political scene, we may finally come to understand that neither HE nor WE nor ANY western government is to blame for terrorist actions.
This article, hopefully not the last to help us clarify the picture, is a first step in this re-assessment. Let the papers start to tell it clearly and fairly from now on.
Alastair Campbell was right. Blair’s attack on the feral beasts was too, too soft.
I despair. And if I despair there’s something VERY wrong.
I have included the e-mail address of the writer as it was published in the Observer’s article. Presumably he is open to communication.
Sunday July 1, 2007, The Observer
My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror
“When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology.
Friday’s attempt to cause mass destruction in London with strategically placed car bombs is so reminiscent of other recent British Islamic extremist plots that it is likely to have been carried out by my former peers.And as with previous terror attacks, people are again articulating the line that violence carried out by Muslims is all to do with foreign policy. For example, yesterday on Radio 4’s Today programme, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: ‘What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.’
He then refused to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and said that the Muslim Brotherhood and those who give a religious mandate to suicide bombings in Palestine were genuinely representative of Islam.
I left the BJN in February 2006, but if I were still fighting for their cause, I’d be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July bombings, and I were both part of the BJN – I met him on two occasions – and though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world.
How did this continuing violence come to be the means of promoting this (flawed) utopian goal? How do Islamic radicals justify such terror in the name of their religion? There isn’t enough room to outline everything here, but the foundation of extremist reasoning rests upon a dualistic model of the world. Many Muslims may or may not agree with secularism but at the moment, formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion. There is no ‘rendering unto Caesar’ in Islamic theology because state and religion are considered to be one and the same. The centuries-old reasoning of Islamic jurists also extends to the world stage where the rules of interaction between Dar ul-Islam (the Land of Islam) and Dar ul-Kufr (the Land of Unbelief) have been set down to cover almost every matter of trade, peace and war.
What radicals and extremists do is to take these premises two steps further. Their first step has been to reason that since there is no Islamic state in existence, the whole world must be Dar ul-Kufr. Step two: since Islam must declare war on unbelief, they have declared war upon the whole world. Many of my former peers, myself included, were taught by Pakistani and British radical preachers that this reclassification of the globe as a Land of War (Dar ul-Harb) allows any Muslim to destroy the sanctity of the five rights that every human is granted under Islam: life, wealth, land, mind and belief. In Dar ul-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians.
This understanding of the global battlefield has been a source of friction for Muslims living in Britain. For decades, radicals have been exploiting these tensions between Islamic theology and the modern secular state for their benefit, typically by starting debate with the question: ‘Are you British or Muslim?’ But the main reason why radicals have managed to increase their following is because most Islamic institutions in Britain just don’t want to talk about theology. They refuse to broach the difficult and often complex topic of violence within Islam and instead repeat the mantra that Islam is peace, focus on Islam as personal, and hope that all of this debate will go away.
This has left the territory of ideas open for radicals to claim as their own. I should know because, as a former extremist recruiter, every time mosque authorities banned us from their grounds, it felt like a moral and religious victory.
Outside Britain, there are those who try to reverse this two-step revisionism. A handful of scholars from the Middle East has tried to put radicalism back in the box by saying that the rules of war devised by Islamic jurists were always conceived with the existence of an Islamic state in mind, a state which would supposedly regulate jihad in a responsible Islamic fashion. In other words, individual Muslims don’t have the authority to go around declaring global war in the name of Islam.
But there is a more fundamental reasoning that has struck me and a number of other people who have recently left radical Islamic networks as a far more potent argument because it involves stepping out of this dogmatic paradigm and recognising the reality of the world: Muslims don’t actually live in the bipolar world of the Middle Ages any more.
The fact is that Muslims in Britain are citizens of this country. We are no longer migrants in a Land of Unbelief. For my generation, we were born here, raised here, schooled here, we work here and we’ll stay here. But more than that, on a historically unprecedented scale, Muslims in Britain have been allowed to assert their religious identity through clothing, the construction of mosques, the building of cemeteries and equal rights in law.
However, it isn’t enough for Muslims to say that because they feel at home in Britain they can simply ignore those passages of the Koran which instruct on killing unbelievers. By refusing to challenge centuries-old theological arguments, the tensions between Islamic theology and the modern world grow larger every day. It may be difficult to swallow but the reason why Abu Qatada – the Islamic scholar whom Palestinian militants recently called to be released in exchange for the kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston – has a following is because he is extremely learned and his religious rulings are well argued. His opinions, though I now thoroughly disagree with them, have validity within the broad canon of Islam.
Since leaving the BJN, many Muslims have accused me of being a traitor. If I knew of any impending attack, then I would have no hesitation in going to the police, but I have not gone to the authorities, as some reports have suggested, and become an informer.
I believe that the issue of terrorism can be easily demystified if Muslims and non-Muslims start openly to discuss the ideas that fuel terrorism. (The Muslim community in Britain must slap itself awake from this state of denial and realise there is no shame in admitting the extremism within our families, communities and worldwide co-religionists.) However, demystification will not be achieved if the only bridges of engagement that are formed are between the BJN and the security services.
If our country is going to take on radicals and violent extremists, Muslim scholars must go back to the books and come forward with a refashioned set of rules and a revised understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims whose homes and souls are firmly planted in what I’d like to term the Land of Co-existence. And when this new theological territory is opened up, Western Muslims will be able to liberate themselves from defunct models of the world, rewrite the rules of interaction and perhaps we will discover that the concept of killing in the name of Islam is no more than an anachronism.”