"Britain's most powerful Islamic body is 'in denial' about the prevalence of extreme views among its members, one of its founders has told the BBC. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) pledged to tackle extremism 'head on' after the 7 July attacks in London. But in a BBC Panorama special, Mehbood [sic] Kantharia and other prominent British Muslims question the MCB's commitment to meeting this challenge."
"A Muslim accused of anti-Semitism is to be appointed to a government role in charge of rooting out extremism in the wake of last month's suicide bombings in London."
The witch-hunt of the MCB continues, with an attack on Inayat Bunglawala.
"These British bombers are a consequence of a misguided and catastrophic pursuit of multiculturalism", according to the Observer's strap to an article by William Pfaff. The author explains: "A half-century of a well-intentioned but catastrophically mistaken policy of multiculturalism, indifferent or even hostile to social and cultural integration, has produced in Britain and much of Europe a technologically educated but culturally and morally unassimilated immigrant demi-intelligentsia."
Admittedly, this is only one point in a rather rambling article – but it's evidently the point the Observer wants to highlight.
"The row between the Muslim Council of Britain and the BBC intensified last night as the corporation accused the MCB of putting pressure on interviewees on a controversial Panorama documentary to withdraw from the programme."
For Iqbal Sacranie's response to last week's Observer attack on the MCB, see here
The Observer also includes "a selection" of the responses they received to last week's witch-hunt of the MCB. See here Read it and ask yourself, does this selection reflect an earlier statement by Rafael Behr
at the Observer blog that "the overwhelming balance of correspondence
we have received has been towards defence of the MCB and anger at the
tone and content of our story"? See here
"Pope Benedict XVI urges Muslim leadership to speak out against Muslim murderers global. Good. That's the Roman Catholic voice speaking forcefully to a silent Muslim 'leadership'. Where is the liberal Protestant voice in all this Islamic mayhem? Silent, just as the Muslim 'leadership'. The Roman Catholic pontiff is joined with Protestant evangelicals in asking why Muslim political and intelligentsia leaders have not castigated the Islamic fanatics. But the Protestant theological liberals, always boasting of their social conscience, remain muted. In that, they join the United Nations 'leadership'."
J. Grant Swank Jnr. at the Conservative Voice, 21 August 2005
"One searches for explanations for why so many horrific acts are committed in the name of Islam. The literature on the subject, constricted as it is by the constraints of political correctness, touches on a wide range of possible answers – poverty, Western imperialism, authoritarian political institutions – but neglects perhaps the most distinctive contemporary feature of Islam as a religion: its clergy's association with and encouragement of violence."
Bradley R. Gitz in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 21 August 2005
(Email address and password from BugMeNot.com – if you really want to read it.)
And since when did Islam have a clergy?
"On 15 July, Blair's Britain of the future was glimpsed when the police raided the Iqra Learning Centre and bookshop near Leeds. The Iqra Trust is a well-known charity that promotes Islam worldwide as 'a peaceful religion which covers every walk of life'. The police smashed down the door, wrecked the shop and took away anti-war literature which they described as 'anti-western'.
"Among this was, reportedly, a DVD of George Galloway addressing the US Senate and a New Statesman article of mine illustrated by a much-published photograph of a Palestinian man in Gaza attempting to shield his son from Israeli bullets before the boy was shot to death. The photograph was said to be 'working people up', meaning Muslim people."
John Pilger in the New Statesman, 22 August 2005
"Tory relic Lord Tebbit claims, in his mindless diatribe against Islam, that communities have to look forward alongside other communities rather than backwards to where they came from. In saying this, he exemplifies his own backwardness by harking back to a society that he imagines existed in Britain before multicultural society. In fact, such a society hadn't existed for at least 2,000 years. People from different cultures, with different religions and mother tongues, had arrived and settled throughout that time. They became part of society while retaining respect for their roots and keeping alive aspects of their own cultural heritage."
Over at Harry's Place, they're discussing Yusuf al-Qaradawi's non-existent call for the Crown Prince of Qatar to be stoned to death for attending a gay nightclub. Given that Harry's Place was one of the first to take up this story, you might have thought they'd feel obliged to ask whether it was accurate. But apparently not. Of course, we live in hope, but so far not a single one of the numerous contributors to the discussion has addressed this question.
Ah, the wonders of "Enlightenment values"! It's reassuring to know that the triumph of reason over irrational prejudice, a commitment to the serious study of empirical evidence, and other such gains of Western modernity are in safe hands among Harry and his friends.