If the secularists, liberals, right-wing and neocons have distorted and attacked the noble Shar’ia of Islam then the likes of al-Muhajiroun in certain circumstances have certainly acted as a catalyst for those attacks.
In 2011, his little posse plastered “Sharia Zone” stickers around East London. The media picked it up straight away claiming it was “Islamic” extremists. In doing so, the noble Shar’ia was maligned and demonised and the various rulings within Islam also became, by association, “extreme”. The only people who benefited from the actions were the government, the far-right and neocon policy-makers as it reinforced their dubious Blairite narrative of “Islamist extremism” being the most evil thing ever known to humanity, forgetting of course that the massacres in World Word II and Sebrenica had secularist foundations and the perpetrators happened to be Christian.
David Selborne advised John Kerry to a similar narrative, with more than tinge of “we are the high and mighty with the moral high ground”. Blaming the violence of the Middle East on Islam, he regards it as the enemy. Iraq and Afghanistan were not a sufficient enough destruction to iron out this threat, clearly, as he mopes the fickle victories of the US. Of course, he ignores the fact that the violence today is a result of the rejection of the Western colonialist shackles which physically, spiritually, culturally and economically raped much of the Middle Eastern and Eastern lands. He also ignores the present day imperialism of his own country and her allies which has exasperated, not calmed the violence and violent mentalities around the world. It is the absence of Islam, not the presence, and unethical interventionism – black or otherwise, supporting of dictatorship regimes, currently routed in neoconservative thought and plaguing British politicians as well, which has caused much of the present day chaos and loss of innocent life. As Arun Kundnani states,
…the neoconservatives who shaped his foreign policy in the early years of the terror war did have a culturalist analysis of the Muslim problem. It was their analysis that was reflected in Bush’s characterization of the war on terror as a “crusade”. Bernard Lewis himself was a key adviser to the administration. And among members of the Christian Right, a key base of Bush’s support, the idea of an apocalyptic crusade against Islam was prevalent… In 2003, William Boysin, Bush’s deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence and an evangelical Christian, told a meeting in Oregon that the war on terror is a battle against Satan fought by “the army of God”. (Kundnani, 2014)
Which neatly brings us to the discussion of Britain First’s latest “crusade”. Britain First, like EDL came to prominence with their response to al-Muhajiroun’s activities, for which they were sentenced and imprisoned. An offshoot of the BNP, Britain First conducted “Christian Patrols” which Christian themselves rejected, fuelling tension and undermining community cohesion. Britain First has engaged in “activist” combat training. One wonders what type of “activism” they wish to engage in. And the recent report of Britain First’s “invasion of mosques” answers that question.
In what they called a “crusade”, members of Britain First (with some dressed in uniform) attempted to enter ten mosques in Bradford and appraoched “Asians” in an attempt to hand out Bibles and leaflets. The Labour councillor Nazam Azam highlighted that it caused an atmosphere of fear for their safety amongst the residents.
This is set to escalate as according to their Facebook update,
“Our intelligence team is at present compiling lists of home address’s of Bradford MPs, councillors, newspaper editors and Muslim community leaders/imams, and we will be visiting them all over the next couple of weeks… We will also continue our invasions of Bradford mosques, madrassas and community centres – we are only getting warmed up!”
The pretext (which Britain First uses to justify their extremism) of “grooming” is condemnable Islamically and rather hypocritical; considering Jimmy Saville (protected by the Police no less), Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Prince Andrew who incidentally knew about Epstein’s abuse of young girls and Max Clifford, are not Muslims, and are as white as party leader Paul Golding.
The fact is that Britain First’s terrorising tactics need to be dealt with by the government. Just as Islam4UK has been banned, Britain First needs to be assessed analysing their outlook and activities, which based upon their “combat” training and “crusader” rhetoric, does not look positive. They have insinuated killing the “enemy” which happens to be the Muslims (see image on the right). Envisaging the same with the words replaced with “Jihad” and the members having Islam as their faith then the outcome would be national crisis worhty of further liberty-erosion and demonisation of Islam. My recent article on the neocon discourse around, and policy formation of Hisba is a case in point. Indeed the government’s highlighting of “Islamist” extremism and the deeming of “Christianist” extremism of lesser risk is telling of state level discrimination of the Muslim minority.
The government has failed the Muslim minority in the past when enforcement authorities were incapable of ensuring the safety and security of Muslims and the wider public when MRDF organised the Family Fun Day at Legoland. The government, just as it reminds other nations about their obligations towards protecting Christian minorities, needs to be reminded of its international obligations regarding the protection of the Muslim minority of Britain. It has already failed the Muslim minority. With clear warning given of Britain First’s activities, the UK government needs to bear in mind the recommendations made in the Sixth session of the Forum on Minority Issues on “Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities”, (A/HRC/FMI/2013/3, 26–27, November 2013):
“Preventive measures should be taken against acts of violence directed against persons or religious sites belonging to religious minorities. In situations of extreme risk, appropriate preventive measures should be rapidly deployed by law enforcement bodies and adapted as the situation evolves. States should take all necessary measures to ensure protection for and prevent attacks and violence against advocates for religious minorities’ rights and those who fulfil leadership or community roles and may be at greater risk of violence”
Muslims will no longer await the response of the authorities in the face of a threat of violence; if the UK government fails to highlight this potential escalation, and fails in their obligations to protect a minority, then the only logical conclusion is that the Muslims take the responsibility in to their own hands and protect their places of worship and all members of the community themselves.