Violent Jihad

Islamic Reformer Maajid Nawaz: You Know What’s Not Helpful to Me?

"Please stop saying" this obvious untruth.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | July 18, 2016

Maajid Nawaz is described by our own Shireen Qudosi as one of the good guys:  “Nawaz is a widely respected activist and co-founder of Quilliam, a UK-based counter-extremism think tank that has done exemplary work in the field,” she wrote here recently.  With that endorsement under his belt, let’s look at his plea for clarity after the Nice attack.

In the wake of the Nice attacks people are already saying: “But the terrorist wasn’t pious. See! It has nothing to do with Islam.”

Please stop.

Your good intentions towards us Muslims are only making the problem worse. This is as dangerous as saying it is everything to do with Islam….  This has something to do with Islam.

Nawaz says that the problem is not a failure of security, but the ease with which Islamists recruit in his community.  It’s simply not possible, he writes, to add enough security to any society to prevent the radicalization or terrorism of actors like the one in Nice.  The networks are too thin to disrupt effectively, since they have proven to be effective at recruiting with very sparse contact.  “All we can do is stop the supply of recruits – and there are far too many of those. No terrorist represents the values of all Muslims, of course, but we have allowed hardline Islamism to permeate our communities and mobilise the vulnerable.”

That additional layers of security are not the answer is a position also held by security expert and former Special Forces NCO Jim Hanson, who explained on Friday that there is simply no way to solve the violent jihad problem that way.  “Even in a police state, you couldn’t secure every gathering,” Hanson said.  There was nothing special about the truck used in the attack, and it’s just not possible to protect everyone from every dangerous object.

“You have to look at the people who are conducting these terror attacks,” he told ‘FOX & Friends.’ “It’s not guns, it’s not bombs, it’s not trucks,” but rather “the ideology of sharia and jihad that motivates them to kill.”

How does one defeat an ideology like this?  Nawaz has several initiatives underway.  One of them, Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE) seeks to convince Muslim families of the horrors associated with losing loved ones to these violent movements.  The hope is that families might then become mitigating agents against extremist infiltration in their communities.

On a more intellectual level, his Qulliam Foundation has set up a “Theology Team” to try to reform Islamic thought in a way that would neuter political Islamism.  Currently they are working on a program called #MyIslam that is aimed at promoting Muslim reformers as alternatives to radical, political Islamists.

The Quilliam Foundation is willing to say some controversial truths, as it did in publishing this piece highlighting the connection between Islamists and the radical left in the West.  Pointing out that the left ends up defending Muslims in ways that harm other minorities, including minorities within Islam but also especially gays and women, author Haydar Zaki says that the left’s attitude ends up being no better than the hard right’s.  “As the far-right’s orientalism can be condensed as ‘Muslims are barbarians’,” he writes, “the far-left’s neo-orientalism claims ‘Muslims are barbarians, but it’s just who they are and their culture.'”

Nawaz and Zaki both regard this sort of talk as a kind of bigotry.  Nawaz borrows George W. Bush’s line, calling it the bigotry of “low expectations.”  They think they can change Islam for the better, but not if people persist in denying that change is needed.



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