Dead Men Left

Friday, July 15, 2005

Salma Yaqoob in the Guardian

Salma Yaqoob:

Because what is undeniable is that the shoddy theology - no matter how "unIslamic" and easily condemned by most Muslims - is driven by political injustices. It is the boiling anger and hurt that is shaping the interpretation of religious texts into such grotesque distortions. Such extreme interpretations exist only in specific political circumstances - they certainly do not predate them, and the religious/political equation breaks down if there is no injustice to drive it.

This leaves British Muslims in a very difficult place. To bring in these wider questions requires them to dissent from the government line. This is difficult for them, keen as they are to avoid further marginalisation. However, if Muslim leaders succumb to the pressure of censorship and fail to visibly oppose the government on certain foreign policy issues, the gap between the leaders and those they seek to represent and influence will widen, increasing the possibility of more dangerous routes being adopted by the disillusioned.

I was particularly angered by the way in which various Muslim Labour MPs had been co-opted by Blair as the necessary support for his Basil Fawlty approach to tackling terrorism. It is an absurd position: we are expected to pretend that the London bombings nothing to do with the war, and did not grow out of the "boiling anger and hurt" felt at political injustices. Instead, preventing further atrocities becomes a matter for the Muslim population alone. It is a stupid and dangerous approach precisely because it exacerbates the original problem. That we are all being effectively placed at still greater risk to cover Blair's sorry arse is maddening. (On which, see also Steve Bell's excellent cartoon.)