Douglas Murray takes exception to the Conservative Muslim Forum

Douglas ‘Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board’ Murray has in his latest blog for the Daily Telegraph website taken strong exception to the activities of the Conservative Muslim Forum. In particular, Murray is upset that the CMF gave a donation of £5000 to al-Khair – one of the organisations that was scheduled to have hosted Zakir Naik’s peace tour to the UK before he was banned by the Home office.

Murray asks:

‘So, do the Conservative Muslim Forum approve of the decision of the Home Secretary? Or do they think the invitation to this now-banned extremist from a charity they praised and financed should have gone ahead? If there is to be agreement within the Conservative Party I think we should probably be told.

‘And isn’t this yet another reminder that groups like the Conservative Muslim Forum within political parties are not merely an embarassment, but a liability?’

Murray likes to style himself as a champion of western civilisation and never tires of asserting its superior values especially in contrast with Islam. Like most peddlars of Islamophobic drivel though, Murray goes oddly silent about importance of free speech when it comes to Muslim speakers and his inaccurately named Centre for Social Cohesion regularly criticises university campuses for hosting Muslim speakers it disapproves of.

As for Murray’s objection to ‘groups like’ the CMF we wonder whether his disapproval also extends to the far more influential and wealthy outfit, the Conservative Friends of Israel? In his Channel Four documentary, ‘Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby’, Peter Oborne detailed the very extensive influence of the CFI over the Tory party and high command. Somehow, I doubt it.

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7 Responses to Douglas Murray takes exception to the Conservative Muslim Forum

  1. Glenn Greenwald says:

    I love how you characterize Zakir Naik’s speaking engagement as a ”peace tour”: this is a man who openly says that ”every Muslim should be a terrorist” (i.e. terrorize those who don’t submit to the ”justice” of Shari’a), says that Western women invite men to rape them by wearing revealing clothing, and whose writings have been featured as one of only three approved resources on Jamaat-ud-Duwa’s website. You know perfectly well, Inayat, that Jamaat-ud-Duwa is the parent organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was behind the Mumbai attacks. If you have any respect for Zakir Naik, I can only say shame on you. You should not even be in the UK.

  2. Sorry, Glenn, the ‘Peace Tour’ should have been in quotes as it is the name the organisers have given to the tour. See this link:

    http://www.apc2010.org/

    As regards the alleged quotes, the infamous ‘every Muslim should be a terrorist’ is actually from 1996 ie five years before 9/11. Naik was – rather clumsily I admit – saying that the USA is the No 1 terrorist nation on earth and that every Muslim should oppose its violent actions. I don’t accept that Naik was trying to defend, justify or in any way minimise the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA.

    Just because a speaker makes some controversial statements I don’t think they should be banned. We very properly have laws to deal with incitement to hatred and violence and they are more than sufficient to deal with any potential issues. Giving the government arbitrary powers to bar speakers from entering the UK is not very healthy in a democracy and that power can easily be abused by politicians.

  3. Glenn Greenwald says:

    Inayat, it does not matter if Zakir made that statement some years before 9/11. Terrorism was not acceptable then, and it is not now. In any case, he has never renounced that odious declaration. It was not only in the context of discussing Osama Bin Laden that he made such a statement (it is irrelevant whether he believes Osama Bin Laden is fighting in ‘self-defence’, as this is how jihadists the world over, from ash-Shabaab in Somalia to the Tehreek-e-Taliban in Waziristan, characterize their atrocities of jihad violence), he also says that Muslims should terrorize ‘anti-social’ elements of socety (i.e. those who do not wish to adhere to the ‘justice’ of Shari’a). He has inspired people such as Najibullah Zazi and Kafeel Ahmed. Would you allow Anwar Al-Awlaki into the UK? This isn’t simply a matter of making ‘controversial’ statements.

  4. Glenn, it is clear to me having watched the actual clip where Naik made those ‘terrorist’ comments that his usuage of the word was very clumsy: he seemed to be saying that every Muslim should confront anti-social elements ie every Muslim should be a ‘terrorist’ to a robber etc. Here is a video clip where Naik tries to explain what he meant:

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=messageOFmessengers&annotation_id=annotation_305507&feature=iv

    There is no question that Naik categorically denounces acts of terrorism so your comparison with Awlaqi holds no water. Awlaqi actively encourages acts of terrorism. So, in the end, it depends on how strong your commitment to freedom of expression really is. That is why the Zakir Naik affair has so clearly exposed the dual standards of polemicists like Douglas Murray who talk so much about the superior values of the West but when it comes down to it they don’t seem too keen on practicing what they preach.

  5. Glenn Greenwald says:

    Even granting your interpretation of Naik’s words, it is still inciting violence. It is not the business of any citizen to take the law into his/her own hands. And yes, the comparison with Anwar Al-Awlaki holds water: the fact that you decided to ignore my points that he has inspired terrorists like Najibullah Zazi and that his writings are featured on the website of the parent organization of the terroris group Lashkar-e-Taiba astounds me.

    Furthermore, Douglas Murray does not adhere to ”double standards”: he simply rejects the idea that those who espouse totalitarian ideas or directly incite violence should be given a platform.

  6. If Naik was really inciting violence then he could be prosecuted under our laws. Instead, you seem to prefer giving the government arbitrary powers to preemptively ban individuals. I prefer to uphold our traditions of free speech and then if people break the law let them account for their actions in a court of law.

    The stuff about Zazi and the terrorist websites is very poor I am afraid. So what if Naik’s writings are featured on those websites? What is he actually quoted as saying? Is he praising terrorist actions? It seems to me that you have very little actual knowledge about any of this but are relying on mischievous hostile newspaper reports about Naik.

  7. Peter Reynolds says:

    The Centre For Social Cohesion?

    It’s a sham, a disgrace and a subversive, Zionist propaganda factory.

    http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/the-centre-for-social-cohesion-a-zionist-deception/

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