My last article seems to have caused unsettlement amongst some quarters it seems. I was attacked for not verifying my information before “judging” people, although, my article refutes the statements made by brother Ahtsham Ali. Some have labelled me a “deobandit”, whilst others have called me a “wobbler”, whilst another thought it was some “brillo”. Ironic, to say the least, considering those who have made such claims failed to verify such “labels” themselves and “judged” me. For the record, I have defended Sufis and Salafis. My position is simple, I will defend Muslims where the attacker is using the Muslim as a proxy to attack Islam. Hence, I have defended Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad, spoke highly of Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa and written in defence of individuals who associate themselves with ISB and in so doing have established a track record of a non-sectarianist position.
ISB and reformation
As evident from the polished ISB website parading “British Islam” as increasingly clean-shaven jaw-bones and hijab-less heads, the Islam of ISB provides for a flavour which, in its endeavour to appeal to the masses of the British public, reduces Islam to insipidity, a shapeless gas which takes any form of its container and monochroming the Colour of Allah (al-Qur’an 2:139) which signifies Islam’s uniqueness, demarcating its own epistemological paradigm.
The platform speakers of ISB, to varying degrees, seek to deconstruct this colour, and through this deconstruction perpetuate confusion amongst people who will adopt a position more suited to their desires. Some balked at my comparison of this with the neocon agenda to deconstruct Islam, however the reading of the RAND corporation policy in “democratising Islam”, and the creation and actions of Radical Middleway for instance, to forge as part of British policy, a dumbed down version of Islam are testimony to this reductionist Islam being propounded.
The methodology employed is through the use of not modernism, but postermodernist decontructionism; i.e. that no one can monopolise the “truth” and that traditional assumptions, however established are merely constructed meanings. As such interpretations become open (Quilliam anyone?).
A quaint philosophy except that its application to Islam ignores the fact that the process of verification based upon unshakeable foundations and principles has been occurring for over 1400 years by thousands of individuals whose piety is unparalleled today.
I do not doubt ISB’s former president, Ahtsham Ali’s sincerity in his research, lectures and propagation. However there are some serious issues which reveal this underlying issue of deconstruction in his discourses, which contain a mixture of dangerous advice and in some cases inaccurate, misleading statements. This concoction then allows for the doors for reformation of Islam to be flung open, not in minor issues, but issues which would attack the very fundamentals of Islam, as Usama Hasan (who is defended by ISB) has already done.
“Living Islam”, Promoting Confusion