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