David T on the credulous “partnership” between the Metropolitan Police and the Muslim Brotherhood:
Azad Ali’s post entitled Defeating Extremism by Promoting Balance is a good example of how Islamists think about these issues. In the post, he argues that the only way to ‘deradicalise’ Muslims is to promote the thinking of an Al Qaeda related theoretician: Abdullah Azzam. Azzam’s slogan was “Jihad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogues.” However, Islamists urge us to accept him as a good role model for British Muslims: because in later life he argued that global jihad should not be carried out against civilians in their own countries. You might think this is crazy. Who would give such a man the time of day?
But Azad Ali is a founder member of the Muslim Safety Forum - where apparently he “leads on the Counter Terrorism work-team for the Forum - working with the Home Office, ACPO and Security Services.” He is a National Council member of Liberty, President of the Civil Service Islamic Society. He sits on the Strategic Stop & Search Committee and Police Use of Firearms Group with the Metropolitan Police, and is a member of the IPCC’s Community Advisory Group and the Home Office’s Trust and Confidence Community Panel.
These are the sort of people who [former anti-terrorist officer] Andy Hayman thinks we ought to be using as our secret weapon against jihadism. But many of the people with whom the Metropolitan Police were partnering in the Muslim Contact Unit are very close indeed, ideologically speaking, to the jihadists. What is the rationale? [Former Special Branch detective] Bob Lambert appears to have believed that the only way to get through to would-be British Muslim suicide bombers is for the police to say: “Yes, we recognise that blowing yourself up for God, and taking as many other people as possible with you, is a truly glorious and noble ambition. You’re right to want to do so. But don’t do it on the No. 30 bus in London, please.”
Kenan Malik on learned dishonesties and other emasculations:
In 1989 even the Ayatollah’s death sentence could not stop the publication of The Satanic Verses. Rushdie was forced into hiding for almost a decade. Translators and publishers were killed, bookshops bombed and Penguin staff forced to wear bomb-proof vests. Yet Penguin never wavered in its commitment to keep it published. Today, all it takes for a publisher to run for cover is a letter from an outraged academic. In the 20 years between the publication of The Satanic Verses and the withdrawal of The Jewel of Medina, the fatwa has in effect become internalised. […]
Twenty years ago, most liberals defended Rushdie’s right to publish The Satanic Verses despite the offence it caused many Muslims. Today, many argue that whatever may appear to be right in principle, in practice one must appease religious and cultural sensibilities because such sensibilities are so deeply felt. The avoidance of ‘cultural pain’ is seen as more important than what is regarded as an abstract right to freedom of expression. But such a policy creates the very problems to which it is supposedly a response. […] The lesson of the Rushdie Affair that has never been learnt is that liberals have made their own monsters. It is the liberal fear of giving offence that has helped create a culture in which people take offence so easily.