The War on Terror has produced industries which feed off misery and violence. Arms and fuel industries are the most obvious. With the response to attacks in the West defined by neoconservatives, and the focus being ideology, the psuedo-scientific counter-extremism industry has blossomed.
Every time an attack happens, these nefarious individuals and organisation, clearly established to lend credence to neoconservative policies of various shapes and hue, are rejuvenated. They feed off violence. The attacks in Orlando a couple of days ago once again brought these organisations and individuals back into action.
Maajid Nawaz, as per form, and sounding like a broken record, did not hesitate to drag Islam into the equation once more:
“Saying this has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is as blinded as saying this *is* Islam.
Clearly, this has *something* to do with Islam.
And liberals saying this has nothing to do with Islam is as ignorant as conservatives saying this has nothing to do with gun laws.
Both US gun laws and Islam today need reform”
This was fleshed out further in an article for the Daily Beast, where he reiterated his now routine script of,
- We have to name the ideology,
- It has something to do with Islam,
- Islam needs reform.
One does not need a degree in philosophy to see how pathetically irrational the set of premises and drawn conclusion are. US gun laws permit purchasing a weapon. Islam does not permit purchasing a weapon to unload into a group of people. The comparison is simply a false one. To apply the argument equally would mean to demand reformation of liberalism which underpins the rationale for individuals to possess the right to bear arms, not merely tweak the law.
This callous culturalist analysis which seeks to place any and all negative acts at the door of Islam can also be applied to his favoured ideology.
Setting aside the dubious “radicalisation” which saw the attacker declaring allegiance to Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and ISIS – three theologically opposing groups – reports suggest he “enjoyed clubs and the night life”, allegedly frequented the very bar that he targeted, where he would become drunk and “belligerent” – behaviours which are more likely to be found in secular liberal states, and Nawaz’s own predilections. If the various reports are to be believed, it seems it was the excesses of the modern Western ideology of liberalism which overwhelmingly dominated the perpetrator’s life, right up until his demise.
By Nawaz’s logic, this attack has *something* to do with Western culture and ideology. And like Nawaz, we can also conclude liberalism today needs a reform. Tenuous? I agree.
(Just to point out, there is a witness testimony which suggests that he carried out the attacks because the US had attacked “his country”. Foreign policy, in other words, is what drove his actions, which is also the reason why he spared black people in the club, saying they had “suffered enough”.)
The “liberal” Nawaz’s strained effort of encouraging political leaders to link the faith identity of Muslims to terrorist attacks is a part of the concerted effort to coerce a deformation of Islam. As he himself misleadingly states, “this also has something to do with Islam, which also needs reform today”. However, in doing so, Nawaz continues to operate as a mouthpiece for the stigmatisation of Muslim minorities in the Western world, ironically considering his ostensible championing of liberalism and human rights, in contravention of international human rights norms related to minorities.
The 2015 recommendations by the UN Forum on Minority Issues at its eighth session state,
“Political leaders should publicly challenge discrimination while refraining from making statements linking religion, nationality, language, race or ethnicity to criminal behaviour, irregular migration or terrorism.”
Of course, adhering to such recommendations wouldn’t go down well with his neocon friends like Douglas Murray. Nor his coffers for that matter.