Monday, June 09, 2008

The Unravelling

Kamal El Helbawy, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who helped bring in moderates at the Finsbury Park mosque in London, believes that Al Qaeda's days may be numbered: "No government, no police force, is achieving what these [religious] scholars are achieving. To defeat terrorism, to convince the radicals ... you have to persuade them that theirs is not the path to paradise."

Full, fascinating article 'The Unravelling' is here in The New Republic
The Sunday Times ran part of it, under the header Al Qa'ida -the cracks begin to show

I was pleased to see Dr Usama Hasan quoted prominently. Dr Usama Hasan was once a member of an extremist group and a fan of Bin Laden. Now he speaks out against extremism and Al Qa'ida at Leyton Mosque, where he is the imam. His journey from extremist to counter-extremist is one that is happening all over the world, as Muslim scholars add their voices to condemnation of Al Qa'idas toxic hate-propoganda and murderous tactics used against innocent Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

I have met Dr Usama and spoken with him several times.He is a man of sincerity and courage. He has asked me to speak at the Muslim debate and study group, City Circle on July 11th which is an honour.

3 Comments:

Anonymous a very public sociologist said...

It's not just a question of alienated Muslims having the wrong ideas - as these ideas make sense from the standpoint of their experience, the conditions which allow them to thrive have to be tackled. That said, engaging and critiquing extreme reactionary ideas has a part to play, and is something the left in general could do with taking on board while we're combating the BNP. By shouting 'Nazi' and 'fascist' we're not actually challenging their views, but I digress.

June 10, 2008 7:34 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Yes, engaging and debating and providing proof of why stuff is wrong is often better than chucking incendiary language about.

June 10, 2008 1:05 pm  
Blogger DAVE BONES said...

There is a critique of this piece in The Spectator here.

Both very interesting articles, also an interview with Omar Bakri last month here in the Asian Times Online.

June 13, 2008 1:41 am  

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