Posted on May 7, 2013
October 8, 2013
Your reply makes great sense and I do appreciate it — indeed those are my instincts.
Many thanks again and keep up the great work.
October 6, 2013
Oh no, that did actually help. And I don’t think it’s n insignificant difference — not if violence is the worry.
Very enlightening blog this. I’ll be back, and many thanks.
October 7, 2013
Nice one Jason. Cheers!
Actually I do have one more question, based on a disagreement I’ve got into over at Harry’s Place, and it’s this:
If you could put a figure on the number of muslims in this country who qualify for the designation “far right”, what would that figure be, and how would you designate those muslims?
This may be too big a question to ask here, and if so I apologise! (Where else should I ask it do you think?)
But presumably some muslims here are not “far right”, and I’ve just been confronted with the argument that “99.9%” of muslims are, which seems unlikely to me.
To be honest Jason I wouldn’t know a figure. I’ve heard the ‘99% of em are extreme’ kind of talk endless times…often followed up with ‘They all follow the Quran don’t they?’ bollocks. All I know, coming from a heavily Muslim populated area, is most Muslims seem more worried about earning a few quid and surviving than they are about verses about adultery or punishments. And the Muslims I know personally (who would say they are practicing Muslims) just don’t get involved in any extreme gear as it’s of no importance to them whatsoever, just in the same way as you could know someone who goes to church, calls himself/herself a Christian but has fk all interest in some of the details in the Bible.
It’s just not a subject worth panicking about (or even talking about for me). Even within stricter strands of Islam there can can be so much variation in interpretations, some of which can compatible with secularism, free speech etc. Plus you can’t always nail down Sufis, Ahmadis etc. as the ‘good uns,’ you still get extremists within both of these groups.
I think it’s as simple as when someone utters something offensive or dangerous, mark them out for it. In the meantime, leave the innocent alone.
Woops, what I meant was, how would you designate the muslims who are not far right — I think of Ahmadiyyas and Sufis for example, and which others? The Ahmadiyyas as it happens do amount to 0.01% of the total muslim population of the country — but are there no other sizeable non-far-right communities?
October 4, 2013
Superb piece of work! I hope you got some kind of circulation with it.
I note the word “islamist” does pop up here — but elsewhere you seem to think it’s problematic, why would that be?
“Islamic far right” is very useful, and it points up the lunacy of Michael Meacher sharing a platform with JI, but “islamist” seems to be gaining some currency as a way to highlight that far right. Do you think the term should be avoided?
October 5, 2013
Hi Jason, cheers much for the comment mate.
I’d only use the term ‘Islamist’ meself to show that the group/individual in question are often referred to as Islamists by others. There’s a few reasons why I don’t use it –
I don’t think I’m in a position to tell Muslims, or anyone else, who has the correct interpretation of Islam. I don’t think a term incorporating ‘Islam’ into it is needed for progressive Muslims so I’m not sure why there’s a need for one at the other end. There isn’t a term for right-wing Christian parties (that I know of) so again, not sure why the need for Muslims. Course if Muslims themselves (like Qaradawi) are happy to use the term to describe their movements now and then, I’m happy to point that out.
Some people use the term very loosely or incorrectly too. You often see Salafis being referred to as ‘Islamists,’ though they could very much disagree with the Islamist’s poltical route to establish Islamic law.
In some situations and circles the mere mention of ‘Islamists’ lands you into accusations of anti-Muslim hatred or an annoying debate on what ‘Islamism’ means. I’d rather try and skip all of that and use a suitable adjective (once I’ve googled and found one) or stick to ‘far-right’ as it can make people ask ‘Why are they far-right?’ which allows you to provide reasons/evidence.
“the lunacy of Michael Meacher sharing a platform with JI”
Good title for a blog piece 🙂
… as it can make people ask ‘Why are they far-right?’ which allows you to provide reasons/evidence.
Ah, ok. Then the worldview fits right onto maps with which we’re all too familiar. It’s surprising how the sheer far-right-ness of Anjem Choudary, say, seemed to slip completely past Newsnight for many months.
But use of the word “Christianism” as an exact equivalent seems to be increasing modestly. What next? Jewishism? Jainismism? ^_^
You often see Salafis being referred to as ‘Islamists,’ though they could very much disagree with the Islamist’s poltical route to establish Islamic law.
Don’t want to press you, but more on that would interest me. The question of who is or isn’t “Wahhabi” or “Salafist” isn’t clear for me. I know there are people calling themselves Salafists who don’t get involved in politics, so I suspect you mean them. But do we in the West encounter those people?
There’s individuals who wouldn’t use the term ‘Salafi’ to describe themselves, someone like Haitham al-Haddad for example, yet would still be slung into the Salafi camp by non-Muslims and Muslims. Then there’s people like Abu Usamah at-Thahabi who I have heard describe himself as ‘Salafi.’ If ‘Islamist’ is to mean those wishing to establish Islamic law through the formation of political parties or organisations, then both the above would disagree with these methods as it would be seen as going against the example set by Muhammad – dawah should be the first step taken towards establishing Islamic law. Both Haddad and Usamah have spoken against what most people refer to as ‘Islamists.’ Haddad sees them as straying from the ‘middle path’ though is happy to still share platforms with them, while Usamah has on occasion given them an absolute slating, To some people on the outside this will probably be irrelevant, as both Salafi and Islamist will believe in the supremacy of Islamic law and believe that is should be established (even if by different methods) but in Islamic circles it can be a biggie. This isn’t to say that someone like Haddad thinks Muslims shouldn’t get involved in political matters (quite the opposite), just that forming Islamic political parties isn’t the correct way of going about things. Saying that, he has still stood by traditional Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Jama’at-e-Islami when push comes to shove.
Not sure if any of this is helping! I can give people who know much more about it a shout if needed 🙂