segunda-feira, 2 de julho de 2007

Nick Cohen: «The unholy alliance that damns Rushdie»

«On 23 June 2005, Sir Derek Plumbly, the British ambassador to Egypt, wrote to the Foreign Office's political director, John Sawers, about his colleagues' determination to 'engage' with the radical Islamists in the Muslim Brotherhood. Its motto is: 'Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our constitution. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.' Hassan al-Banna, its founder, was an admirer of European fascism and its most terrible ideologist, Syed Qutb, inspired the wave of Sunni terror that is sweeping the world.

If you haven't read The Islamist, Ed Husain's memoir of his life on the religious right, it is worth doing so because he uses his inside knowledge to describe how Labour placated reactionaries who hated every progressive principle the centre-left holds. To take one of many examples, Husain tells how his journey into the wilds began when he joined the east London mosque, which was controlled by Jamat-e-Islami, the Muslim Brotherhood's south Asian sister organisation. After his disillusionment with far-right politics, he returned to the mosque bookshop and found Qutb's work on sale: '... with chapter headings such as "The virtues of killing a non-believer" and ideas such as "attacking the non-believers in their territories is a collective and individual duty". Just as I had done as a 16-year-old, hundreds of young Muslims are buying these books from Islamist mosques in Britain and imbibing the idea that killing non-believers is not only acceptable but the duty of a good Muslim.'
Labour's indulging of Jamat and the Muslim Brotherhood is over. Engagement for engagement's sake led nowhere and ministers got nothing in return for going along with the Islamists. The MCB was too willing to blame the 7/7 attacks on Iraq, while its refusal to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day showed that it had no commitment to either multiculturalism or anti-fascism. In the end, Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly and Tony McNulty at the Home Office shrugged their shoulders and walked away. Government policy is now to support British Muslims who uphold liberal values and oppose those who do not. Rushdie's knighthood was a sign of the changing mood. Labour politicians might have tried to impose a veto a few years ago; instead, they said: 'Are we going to allow British policy to be decided by dictatorial bigots, who want to inflame religious passion to divert attention from their own corruption?'
(Nick Cohen no The Observer; ler na íntegra.)

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