Wednesday, 18 February 2009

What is an extremist? Bunglawala, for one

The new Contest 2 anti-extremism strategy sounds good news. The focus, it seems, will be on extremism, not just violent extremism, on the basis that extremism breeds violent extremism. Sensible enough.

So what is an extremist? These are some of the reported indicators:

• They advocate a caliphate, a pan-Islamic state encompassing many countries.

• They promote sharia law.

• They believe in jihad, or armed resistance, anywhere in the world. This would include armed resistance by Palestinians against the Israeli military.

• They argue that Islam bans homosexuality and that it is a sin against Allah.

• They fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Discussing this, Inayat Bunglawa at Comment is Free quotes with approval a response on a Muslim discusison group:

One point that is becoming clearer by the day is that the "extremists" as defined by Contest 2 are no longer a fringe element but rather those who believe in the fundamental aspects of Islam, ie the majority.

Well, quite. Some might say that this is the rather disturbing point, and why we are in, to use the language of the 1950's for a moment, such a pickle.

Incidentally, the Guardian loves Bunglawala; he's always writing on CiF. The fact that he has a long history of making anti-semitic comments* puts them off not at all. After all, this is the Guardian, and it's not like he's a real racist, is it?

*One example: this was his description of the chairman of Carlton Communications:

The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade and Alan Yentob.


dNo said...

Still a ramblin' man Stateside so excuse me if USA Today hasnt covered this one in depth...
Have we agreed that extremists are now only Muslims? Have we defeated the right wing, the Irish, the ALF, Rumsfeld, Richard and Judy, Plaid Cymru, ETA, the Shining Path, West Ham's Inter City Firm, the Trotskyites and the lone blogger?
Just wondering so i can be more vigilant and aid the war on terror by targeting my bullets more succinctly.

Jonny Mac said...

Yes, and yes. None of those people wants to kill us any more. Though I'm keeping a beady eye on Judy Finnegan.