Why Is Nobody Asking Muslims If Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali Are “Anti Muslim Extremists”?

In 2004 the British National Party (BNP), antisemitic and racist Holocaust deniers, ran a Jewish candidate in London’s local elections.  Mrs Pat Robertson’s (nee Feldman) candidacy was branded a “sick stunt” by Jewish community leaders and revealed to be a “gimmick” by the racist BNP ideologue and editor of the BNP’s Spearhead magazine John Tyndall, who describes the process from the inside:

And here is where it is time to examine the latest ‘gimmick’ employed by the current BNP leadership by its adoption of a Jewish candidate to contest a local government election in the Epping Forest area. I use the word ‘gimmick’ deliberately for that is precisely what it is – just as previous gimmicks have been used, notably the adoption of a candidate in Cumbria who was reported as rejoicing in his black son-in-law and half-black grandchild and the granting of a regular column to a Sikh writer in the party newspaper.

Whether unwitting tools or amoral and self-serving opportunists these “gimmicks” who are rich in propaganda value have routinely been hurried to the foreground using the same tried and tested formula: Fringe members of  a discriminated against and/or minority community are elevated and prioritised above the mainstream and grassroots community to front the oppressive agendas of the majority and/or powerful. Examples include

The rewards can be plentiful. William Keyes, the black American apartheid lobbyist earned $390,000 per year in the 1980s from the anti-black South African State. Similarly, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a black Somali, accepted a $250,000 award in 2015 from the ultra-Conservative Bradley Foundation (also Quilliam Foundation donors) who had financed the “race realist” Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve – A debunked study, widely denounced as racist, which explored supposed racial differences  in IQ.

The Islamophobic terrorist and mass-murderer Anders Breivik understood this dynamic well and he worshipped Hirsi Ali. From Breivik’s manifesto:

Because of her background she has made criticism of Islam acceptable to people who would otherwise find it difficult to digest the arguments she presents…She is an invaluable asset to the fight against global Jihad and as worthy of the Prize as any other living person

A prime example of this dynamic at work was the anti-Islam Gatestone Institute and Clarion Project’s so-called “Muslim Reform Movement”.  Gatestone were founded in 2011 by Sears fortune heiress and committed Zionist Nina “The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate” Rosenwald.  Breivik’s manifesto – which is an attempt to incite a legion of Islamophobes into terrorism – mentions/cites 25 of their authors, some such as “Fjordman”, an “especially central witness” repeatedly.

The  Clarion Project are tied at the hip to the Israeli-Government backed pro-settler and Jewish fundamentalist organisation Aish Hatorah.  Both groups propagate a singular anti-Islam/pro-Israel agenda with their respective stable of anti-Muslim extremists. The notion that they are sincere in their desire in reforming Islam is absurd yet they had 14 Muslims front their campaign, one of these being Quilliam’s Usama Hasan.

Hasan’s presence at the Dec 4th launch exposed the duplicitious nature of Nawaz’s Quilliam foundation. Just 3 days prior, Haras Rafiq, Quilliam’s Managing Director was being scolded by the Home Affairs Select Committee for Quilliam’s associations with the anti-Islam organisation The Gatestone Institute. He pleaded ignorance, appealed to plausible deniability but acknowledged the mistake. Rafiq vowed to discontinue any future associations (while Usama Hasan was presumably preparing for his Washington Trip to play a leading role in Gatestone’s event days later).

This Quilliam-Gatestone alliance continues up to the present day.  Below, we  have the darling of the New Atheist circuit Maajid Nawaz with Raheel Raza and Douglas Murray; both of Gatestone, at a Sept 2016 NSS event.

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To fully understand the workings of the Quilliam Foundation you need to peer behind the surface of its liberal facade.

Depending on which side of Nawaz’s mouth you listen to determines which side of the argument of his SLPC-listing you fall down on. Nawaz is largely despised by the Muslim community but it’s a myth that it’s due to his identification as a “liberal Muslim”. Rula Jebreal, Mehdi Hassan and Reza Aslan are all liberal Muslims  but are largely respected by the Community. Nawaz’s friction with British Muslims and beyond is due to his repeated validation and empowerment of anti-Islam extremists who in a climate of ever-rising  anti-Muslim hysteria increase the daily hardships faced by the already persecuted Muslim minority community.

Nawaz’s caping for anti-Muslim extremists like Hirsi Ali, Tarek Fatah, Douglas Murray (who has called to “make conditions for Muslims harder across the board” and Sam Harris (who has declared “Most Muslims are utterly deranged“) if not making Maajid Nawaz a clear-cut anti-Muslim extremist outright renders him at least their handmaiden.

Murray’s anti-Muslim extremism was deemed too exteme for the Conservative Party front-benchers and he was removed.  Yet his  extremism is validated by a supposed liberal Muslim countering-extremism.

This explains the anti-Muslim bigot/New Atheist pushback onto the SPLC.  Nawaz, whatever his intentions, is the prized asset of the “liberal” anti-Islam movement. The Muslim who denies the existence of Islamophobia is the goose that laid the golden egg. His embracing of the xenophobic and Islamophobia-denying new atheist movement gifts them the “some of my best friends are Muslim” card

The New Atheist currently leading the charge, having initiated a petition ironically to demand the SPLC self-censor is blogger Jerry Coyne. It’s an incredible act of chutzpah from Coyne who on his blog rails time-and-again against Christian Orgs receiving Templeton Funding; or as Coyne calls it a “bribe“. However, has been completely silent on Nawaz’s foundation having being in receipt of a Million dollars from the same foundation. It’s rank hypocrisy.

While Nawaz’s listing is complex Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s is rather more straightforward. While mitigating circumstances exist there is simply no refutation that a woman who wants to “crush Islam militarily” and calls for changing the US Constitution purely to discriminate against US Muslims is an extremist.

ali-extremism

Hirsi Ali is a lost cause, firmly embedded within the Neoconservative Lobby. She considers fascist junta leader Sisi a “reformer” and racist war criminal Netanyahu a “man of peace”. Her AHA Foundation was set up with a mysterious $425,000 gift from an anonymous donor – which she promptly staffed with war-hungry neocons and Zionists. She has little-to-no interest in “reforming” Islam. Her preference is to “crush” it.

While Nawaz has no traction within the Muslim community and the wounds are probably too deep to even consider any reconciliation he is uniquely positioned to counter the extremism of his anti-Islam financiers, friends, associates and new atheist followers.

Sadly, I suspect he’ll choose jetting all over the world in his three-piece-suits picking up cheques for confirming the biases of white and middle-class non-Muslims over making a positive impact on the lives of ordinary and decent persecuted Muslims. I hope to be proved wrong.

Part 2- Maajid Nawaz: Which Side Are You On?

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7 thoughts on “Why Is Nobody Asking Muslims If Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali Are “Anti Muslim Extremists”?

  1. Let me just say something ridiculously obvious: if 60% of Christians acted just like the WBC, supported their actions, and wanted to kill gay people, calling these bad ideas would accurately be an indictment of Christian theology in that paradigm. It would also not in any way mean you were against Christian people. This doesn’t mean that Christians wouldn’t claim that such indictments are against Christians as people, and many who lean WBC in the real world try to claim that their personal religious freedoms should allow them to persecute others.

    That is the current state of Islam. Common plausible interpretations of Islam promote fucked up ideas that are incompatible with secular societies, and often involve alarming human rights abuses. Just like WBC-style Christians, the people that hold these interpretations of Islam see secular societies as unusually opposed to their ability to express their own religion. The idea that they shouldn’t enact the dictates of Sharia because these dictates are incompatible with freedoms we all prefer in secular societies isn’t something they’ll embrace, not because they’re bad people, but because they hold bad ideas.

    I don’t really dispute that Ayaan could be described as Islamophobic. I mean, a friend of hers was murdered by an Islamic extremist who pinned a death threat towards her to the body. Any sane human being would be scared of people that want to kill them. She finds fault with Islam itself, though you can’t realistically claim that it’s a race thing. She also never said that Islam must be crushed militarily. In the exchange that’s quote from, ‘militarily’ was what someone else said.

    Maajid isn’t in the same boat. He does have reason to fear extremists, but he doesn’t, as you claim, deny that Muslims face legitimate persecution. He finds fault with common interpretations of Islam, and with people on the left that are actively dishonest about these interpretations and their compatibility with liberal societies.That position is neither extremist nor anti-Islam.

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    • I have some questions. Going to respond in stages. If that’s OK?

      I’ve just demonstrated that Ayaan is to the Right of racist neo Nazis on Muslims. Extremism confirmed.

      Am I correct in understanding that you believe that mitigating factors excuse her extremism?

      And if so, does that apply to everyone else, including Muslim extremists?

      For example, al-Baghdadi was considered “quiet” and “studious” by neighbours prior to the illegal war of aggression that seen him swept up by occupation forces, along with 90% of other Iraqis whose only crime was being an Iraqi Sunni. He was then held captive in the USA’s torture prisons at Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib for years.

      Isn’t applying mitigating circumstances to explain his anti-Western extremism y’know “”regressive”`?

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      • Regarding Ayaan, that was a concession, not a defense. Her personal experience has no bearing whatsoever on whether her ideas are good or bad.

        That said, your comparison is lacking. Ayaan’s ideas are at least somewhat rooted in real experiences, and are arguably rational. There’s a logical connection between having your life threatened for being critical of a religion, and exhibiting fear of that religion. There’s no real logical connection between being tortured and held captive for years and the belief that you should violently establish a caliphate. Seeing the West as an enemy is probably related to that experience, but the vast majority of violence perpetrated under his leadership has been directed at people in the Middle East, not against the West. Establishing a nation-state attempting to enforce one interpretation of Islam on everyone has destabilized the region and caused a LOT of death there. By comparison, the death toll in Europe and the US has been tiny.

        If you were aiming for a “gotcha” moment, you probably would have been better served by referencing Hamas. Violent opposition to Israel while making substantial attempts to protect their own people would make very little sense if not for the history of that region.

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  2. Outstanding article. Aayan hirsi ali is categorically an anti Muslim extremist. Maajid Nawaz is a little bit less so; I’d say he sympathizes with anti Muslim extremists but isnt one himself per se. He is however a provocateur with very little substance.

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    • Thanks for taking the time to say so Mike. Largely agree with you. I think Nawaz’s role is impossible to strictly define. Too much smoke and mirrors. Is he simply shilling for his patrons? Is he trying to make a positive change but is just inept? More questions than answers but for me, it’s very difficult to have any kind of trust in his sincerity.

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    • I hope that isn’t true. It’s obvious that certain ideas are incompatible with a pluralistic society where all are treated equally. White supremacists, for instance, obviously can’t be part of a pluralistic society. Maajid’s arguments are what convinced me that this wasn’t the case with Islam, and is only the case with some interpretations of Islam.

      I was aware of many Muslims who obviously participate productively in pluralistic societies around the world, but I’d assumed that these were primarily people that didn’t take their own faith seriously, since Islam is far more internally consistent than Judaism and Christianity, allowing for less wiggle room. A talk he was involved in convinced me that since Islam predates modern conceptions of statehood, it’s actually sort of absurd to pretend that a state run on Islamic ideals is a firm concept in general, let alone one supported by their prophet.

      This decision by the SPLC has thrown me off balance for precisely this reason. If Maajid’s interpretations are so far off that they can be called “anti-Islamic extremism,” then I need to re-examine my conclusion that Islam is compatible with a pluralistic society. That doesn’t mean that that conclusion is false, but putting effort into confirming or disconfirming it is discomforting.

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