Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mehdi Hasan: Muslim Apologist Regarding The Woolwich Butchers

So we have enlightened Muslims like Tarek Fatah who believes that Islam needs to evolve if the world is to survive the 21st century; and one of the only ways that will happen is if Islam renounces the doctrine of  jihad. On the other hand we have Muslim apologists like Mehdi Hasan- the political director of the Huffington Post UK- who refuses to accept that there are evil Muslims in the world who are killing in the name of Allah. This is exactly the type of Muslim Fatah condemns.

Hasan's response to the two Muslims who butchered a young soldier in Woolwich, England is the polar opposite of Fatah's.  Hasan, like most Muslims, is in denial. Quoting the Quran (Chapter 5 verse 32) "Whosoever killeth a human being it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind," he then launches into a lecture on how these two "supposedly" Muslim men "suspected of ambushing, murdering and mutilating an unarmed, off-duty soldier" while shouting "Allaho Akbar" were "brazenly violating the injunction of their own holy book."  As if they (and all their fellow extremists who wantonly kill) weren't actually Muslims at all. And "suspected" of murdering?  No allegations here, they were caught red-handed in their barbaric act. Unlike Fatah who says enough with the 'armed jihad', Hasan condones jihad, as per his religion, "in self defence and if sanctioned by a legitimate government."

Unlike most Muslims, Fatah believes these terrorist attacks do have a basis in Islam:

As a Muslim, I can say without fear, the latest terror attack has a basis in Islam and it's time for us Muslims to dig our heads out of the sand.

Hasan represents those who believe they don't.

Yet conventional wisdom still says the religion of Islam is behind violent extremism and radicalisation; that Muslims don't do enough to denounce terror; that imams and mosques incite hate and holy war. As is so often the case, the conventional wisdom is wrong. I have been a Muslim all my life and visited mosques across Europe, North America and the UK. Never, not once, have I come across an imam preaching violence against the West or justifying the murder of innocents.

Then he brings up Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

Many of my fellow Muslims want consistency from politicians and the press. When Anders Breivik, self-styled member of an 'international Christian military order', massacred 77 innocent Norwegians, most them children, in July 2011, did we indict Christianity? Sadly, we hold Islam and Muslims to a separate standard - despite the fact that, nowadays, (self-) radicalisation tends to be an online phenomenon; what the experts call the 'third wave' of al-Qaeda-inspired extremism has no need for either UK mosques or Pakistani training camps.
There is no consistency, so to speak, because it doesn't warrant it. Breivik was one case versus how many thousands of incidents, over the years, of Muslims killing others in the name of Allah, including fellow Muslims? No comparison whatsoever.

He then demonstrates classic denial about Islam being responsible for most of the violence in the world, today.

Listen to Olivier Roy, one of Europe's pre-eminent experts on extremism: "The process of violent radicalisation has little to do with religious practice." Read the classified briefing note prepared by the MI5's Behaviourial Science Unit in June 2008. "Far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly," reported the Guardian's Alan Travis, who obtained a copy of the document. "Very few have been brought up in strongly religious households...there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation."
Uh, wrong.  And then:

Yet on TV news channels, on newspaper comment pages, on social networks, everyone is either a terrorism expert, an Islam expert, or both. Some cut and paste verses from the Koran out of context; others unthinkingly demand 'reform' of Islam. Few want to discuss the role of British foreign policy in helping to radicalise these young, disaffected individuals. Meanwhile, former CIA official Marc Sageman says that, "11 and a half years after 9/11, we still don't know" what turns young men towards terror.
I'll tell you this, though: it isn't my faith or the faith of 1.6billion other Muslims. 
Sure, blame it on foreign policy, blame it on anything other than the fact that these animals make a choice, based on Islamic doctrine, to wage armed jihad against anyone they deem to be an infidel. They're not being inspired by the Bible, or the Bhagavad Gita. And it is a choice to self-radicalize or allow oneself to be influenced by some imam in some neighborhood mosque. Although he might not have visited any such mosque during his travels, they do exist.

Until people like Hasan become more like Fatah, we will continue to have a problem with Islam.

Read the full commentary here.

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