Sara Khan in her contribution to the Hope Not Hate report, State of Hate 2017, dedicates a whole page for Imam Shakeel Begg to prove both “Islamist extremism” and her subservient utility before neocons. Imam Shakeel Begg of Lewisham Islamic Centre took the BBC to court after Andrew Neil labelled the Imam an “extremist”. Against numerous positive character references, the court held that the Imam was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who was in reality an “extremist”.
Scrutinising the case is important. Like PREVENT, a bogus theoretical model to determine whether Islamic beliefs are “extreme” is used to label the Imam an “extremist”. Such cases enable an ideological state to pick and choose “extremist” beliefs based on the prevailing climate of prejudice against the Muslim minority.
The judgment is already being paraded in the neocon media and think-tanks run by hate preachers. It is being used in an McCarthyistic fashion to bully charities that choose to share a platform with the Imam. This sets a dangerous precedent for Islamic scholars of all mainstream persuasions.
This is the third piece in the series exploring the neocon “mode of thinking” based upon Tony Blair’s essay. The first piece can be accessed here. The second piece is available here.
What becomes evident is that, though other factors exist for violence, for Blair, they are trivial compared to the threat of Islamism. Be it extremism of other faiths now, or Christian barbarity of the past. “We are dealing with the present” we are told. And in the present, we have the Boko Haram and ISIS.
Blair writes that they are fanatic, and “thus it is hard to envisage compromise with such people. They have no reasonable demands upon which we can negotiate.” Therefore there is no alternative except to fight such people:
“At a certain point, once they know superior and determined force is being used against them, some of them at least may be prepared to change.”
In other words, take a leaf out of Israel’s book and bomb the people into compliance. Ironically, a month after Blair writing his neocon manual for World War III, ISIS have been negotiating with States and releasing prisoners whilst the Boko Haram have negotiated a truce.
The feed for these groups are the “spectrum”. And herein lies Blair’s blatant imperialistic design. “Islamism” he defines as a “politicisation of religion to an intense and all-encompassing degree”. It is an ideology and a theology derived from Salafist thinking, he claims. It isn’t. An analysis of contemporary Islamic political movements (most of which are reactions formed in the colonialist/Nation State paradigm) is beyond the scope of this piece however, suffice to say, an outright rejection of an Islamic political and military ascendancy denies 1300 years of Islamic history in which Islam ruled through the Caliphate. The existence and the preference for a khilafa within the Islamic paradigm is a position adopted by all four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence.