Monday, May 31, 2004

Blair Loses the Muslim Vote

Updated with Internet Archive pages, extra links and text: 15 July 2005

I first wrote this article back in May 2004, when the Guardian was reporting on opposition to Tony Blair among Muslims, taking the Islamist extremists of the Muslim Association of Britain, as the authentic voice of British Islam.
Last night, 14 July 2005, their spokesman appeared on Newsnight. I suppose that you wouldn't expect any better of the BBC either.

The MAB have, since I first posted, seemed to think the better of having major personalities of terrorism such as Sayyid Qutb of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers and Sheik Yassin of HAMAS, both of unblessed memory, eulegised on their website. Fortunately, the missing links are available through the internet archive.

London Anti-war March

The Guardian reports today [Note - originally written on 31 May 2004] on the consequences of the Iraq war, the Israel-Palestine conflict and the anti-terrorism crackdown for Muslim support. In particular, it mentions the role of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), which seemed to provide most of the organisation behind the big London anti-war protests of last year:
The association, which formed part of the Stop the War coalition, has published tactical voting guidance on its website, suggesting which candidates should be backed in certain areas.
Among the shining exemplars held up as examples of moral greatness are Said Qutb (Internet Archive link here), described by Paul Berman and as "the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into Al Qaeda, their Karl Marx (to put it that way), their guide".

The MAB write of his book Signposts, the founding manifesto of the modern Islamist terrorists in Egypt that became al-Qaeda:
It was after he was introduced to Maududi’s ideas, especially his emphasis on Islam being a complete way of life, and establishment of Allah’s order on earth as every Muslim’s primary responsibility that Qutb changed into a revolutionary. His two years sojourn (1948-1950) in the US opened his eyes to the malise of the western culture and non-Islamic ideologies
After his return to Egypt he resigned his job in the Education directorate and devoted himself to the idea of bringing a total change in the political system. Ikhwan gained ideological vitality when Sayyid Qutb in his jail cell wrote a book in which he revised Hassan al-Banna Shahid’s dream of establishing an Islamic state in Egypt after the nation was thoroughly Islamized. Sayyid Qutb recommended that a revlutionary vanguard should first establish an Islamic state and then, from above impose Islamization on Egyptian society that had deviated to Arab nationalistic ideologies.
Sounds like the textbook description of Qutb to me: He was disgusted by American culture, and so advocated the overthrow of Muslim regimes, which he labelled as apostates in a state of "Jahilia", pre-Islamic paganism or idolatory.

Another one of their plaster saints is the late and unlamented Sheik Yassin (Internet Archive link here) who, according to their website:
Sheikh Yassin himself has proved a powerful inspiration for young Palestinians disillusioned with the collapse of peace hopes.

He has inspired them to offer up their lives, promising that suicide bombers who are willing to die for the sake of the dignity of Palestinians and in the service of a longer-term victory will achieve martyrdom.
It looks like the Greens, Lib Dems, Respect and anyone else with this outfit's endorsement shouldn't spend much time in moral self-congratulation, given the MAB's open support for major terrorist figures.

How about a little full disclosure from the Guardian as well, or is a little basic web browsing beyond them?

I myself had confused them with the Muslim Council of Britain, who were in the news in March for condemning terrorism and encouraging Muslims in Britain to assist the police in fighting it.

Nick Cohen has been on their case for some time as shown in these articles in the New Statesman: First, Second and Third