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May 24, 2013



It is right to distinguish Islamism and Islam but wrong to suggest that they have nothing to do with each other. Islamism is a product of Islam in the much the same way as the Spanish Inquisition and the Anabaptists of Münster were a product of Christianity.


"Commentators, myself included (see above), tend to use "Islamism" when we wish to say something rude about Islam without seeming to condemn Muslims in general - as though we can distinguish good Islam from bad Islamism. I'm not sure we can. The answer, if we're worried about coming across as EDL supporters, is to make the clear distinction between the people and the belief. "


We badly need someone, a respected public figure, entertainer, churchman, even a senior politician, to say "there is something seriously wrong with Islam, it produces too many people like Michael Adebolajo".

Of course, the great majority probably think this, but such is the long dark shadow of persecutions from our not too distant European past, we have gone from one extreme to the other, and no one is brave enough to say it.


Here is another very good piece:


But when are we going to get figures of greater national recognition (and I say this with all due respect) than Mick Hartley, Mehrdad Amanpour, and Archbishop Cranmer, speaking out?!


I'm a bit uneasy with your conclusion that we can't tell between "good Islam and bad Islamism". There are, surely, many hundreds of thousands of apolitical Muslims. I have met many and my experience in London must extrapolate.

What do these people think about the Woolwich murder and what would they prefer if they were given a choice between their Islam and the hard-line alternative? They would choose the former, I think.

This leads me to think that while Islamism is to be feared and combatted, it will not be so potent as to politicise the "moderate" Muslim people.

Mick H

I don't disagree. Yes, most Muslims are on the whole apolitical, and I'm sure are horrified by Woolwich. Most Muslims are decent people, just as most of everyone are decent people.

I just don't think there's such a clear-cut distinction between Islam and Islamism as people like to make out. And I think the decent apolitical Muslims are always going to lose out if they get arguing with the hard-liners, because that's the nature of Islam - especially the "post-reformation" Islam of the Salafists and the Wahhabists and so on. It isn't a religion that can naturally or easily be incorporated into a secular state. I don't think that applies just to Islamism; I think it applies to Islam.


The Boston marathon bombers once attended a mosque where it was said that Martin Luther King was doing God's work. The brothers rather angrily argued that this could not be true since MLK was a Christian. Not only that, but his name should not even be mentioned in a mosque. What struck me about the story is that there was only a half-hearted attempt to stop them. Apparently, they had the best of the argument.

There is nothing similar in other religions. A fundamentalist Jew or christian would never say something like that about MLK, unless you went way down to the Westboro idiots.

What bothers me is that I think the situation with Islam is going to get worse.

Recruiting Animal

Dom has made some errors in the last comment.

"Tamerlan Tsarnaev was thrown out of the mosque -- the Islamic Society of Boston, in Cambridge -- about three months ago, after he stood up and shouted at the imam during a Friday prayer service, they said. The imam had held up slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of a man to emulate, recalled one worshiper who would give his name only as Muhammad."



He was told to remain quiet. That is not an argument that is going to win the day, and apparently it didn't change his mind. Tsarnaev's point, that a non Muslim should not be emulated, is fully supported by the Koran.

I suppose I was wrong to call it half-hearted.

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