Thursday, June 28, 2007

More from Ed Husain

In the very-left-leaning New Statesman, Ed Husain blows the whistle on what he sees as

... an unchallenged, unreported Islamist underworld in the UK in which talk of jihad, bombings, stabbings, killings and executions is usual.

The article is a little hysterical and over-the-top for my liking. Husain seems to think Muslim kids are all a bunch of numbskulls who are easily influenced by what they read online. Surely he must realise that Muslim internet consumers are just as savvy as non-Muslim ones.

Further, I've seen plenty of violent rhetoric on conservative, Christian and even Jewish websites and forums. Does that mean conservatives are going around blowing themselves up?

There is a huge difference between someone who accepts part of the thinking of Syed Qutb or Maududi and someone who is prepared to blow themself up in Iraq or Tel Aviv. To suggest that ideology is the only factor is really quite simplistic. Husain would be wel-advised to read further on what actually inspired people to commit acts of suicidal terror. He might start with Robert Pape's work.

I'm no fan of political Islamism. But to put all the blame for terrorism on political Islamism goes a little over-the-top.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

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COMMENT/PROFILE: Mahbub (Ed) Husain and Islamic Zionism

Some years back, I wrote an article on Margo Kingston's webdiary in which I referred to political Islam as "Islamic Zionism". That really set the cat among the pidgeons, with some claiming that the similarities between political Islam and Zionism were only superficial.

Now Ed Husain, the author of The Islamist, has taken up that theme in a column for The Guardian. Here's his argument in a nutshell ...

... are Islamists and Zionists really all that different, despite their blatant enmity? I think not.

Zionism and Islamism are both political perversions of ancient Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Islam. They were both born out of protest and anger: Zionism in response to tsarist pogroms and Islamism as a retort to colonialism. The heavy political content of both ideologies came from men who had no theological training in the centuries-old traditional understanding of the Torah or the Koran.
This is an area that needs to be explored further. Political Islam is dangerous because it is a perversion. Yet more and more Jews are beginning to realise that political Judaism can be just as dangerous.

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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