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Monday, May 14, 2007

There and back again

Melanie Phillips has a useful synopsis of Ed Husain's book 'The Islamist', the testimony of a man who made the journey from moderation to extremism and back again.

As MP notes, Tory leader David Cameron has spent two days with a Muslim family in Birmingham, and this now makes him an expert on British Asians (Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, hey, they're all brownish chappies, aren't they?). His expert advice is that we shouldn't use the word 'Islamist' in connection with terrorism at all.

We didn't call the IRA 'Catholic terrorists', you see. Well, that'll be because their declared ideology and aims had nothing to do with Roman Catholicism, Dave - not quite rocket science, I feel. By this logic we shouldn't have called them 'Republican terrorists' either, for fear of offending peaceful Republicans.

I think we should be punctilious about the distinction between 'Muslim' and 'Islamist', but Dave's step beyond this principle is the step that lands us up to our necks in Egyptian river water (gag adapted from Laban Tall's 'so deep in denial she should buy a felucca'). For the relationship between the two is of the 'A includes B' variety. Meaning that A doesn't imply B but B does imply A. As well as the various gradations of not-quite-B along the slippery slope which Ed Husain got stuck on.

I wonder who out of ChamberlainCameron and Husain is the better informed? Here's what Mel thinks:-

'Husain shows that Islam and Islamism are two different things: that it is perfectly possible to be a Muslim who derives spiritual solace from the faith in a way that threatens no-one — and that it is essential to distinguish such Muslims from Islamists and protect the former, along with all of us, from the latter. Muslims like Husain need our support, encouragement and protection. David Cameron’s words instead take the ground from under his feet.'


Anonymous said...
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Mr Grumpy said...

To anonymous: a troll is still a troll, even in verse.