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Muslims Confront Islamism, Get Targeted by Islamists

by David J. Rusin  •  Feb 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

French imam Hassen Chalghoumi recently learned firsthand that Islamists despise non-Islamist Muslims as much as they do anyone else. Chalghoumi attracted their ire by coming out strongly in favor of a ban on face-covering veils, a prohibition that is moving closer to reality. Echoing President Nicolas Sarkozy, he described the niqab as a “prison for women, a tool of sexist domination and Islamist indoctrination” that “has no place in France.” Moreover, he explained:

Having French nationality means wanting to take part in society, at school, at work. But with a bit of cloth over their faces, what can these women share with us? If they want to wear the veil, they can go to a country where it’s the tradition, like Saudi Arabia.

Islamist reaction to his comments was swift and fierce, with a gang of nearly a hundred men storming his Paris mosque during a meeting of an organization focused on interfaith relations:

“They started to cry ‘Allah akbar’ and ‘God is great,'” recounted Chalghoumi. “Then they insulted me, my mosque, the Jewish community, and the [French] republic. They left after an hour and a half.”

According to a member of the Conference of Imams, the mob condemned Chalghoumi as an apostate and threatened him with “liquidation, this imam of the Jews.”

Chalghoumi is not the only moderate risking “liquidation.” Abadirh Abdi Hussein, a Muslim rapper in Sweden, had his head slashed by attackers displeased with his outspoken opposition to al-Shabaab, which has been recruiting young men to join the jihad in Somalia. And, as IW noted in January, Majed Moughni received a death threat after organizing a demonstration by Detroit-area Muslims to denounce the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing.

Undeterred by this atmosphere of intimidation, many other Muslims have gone on offense against radicalism in recent months. Among them:

  • The Muslim Canadian Congress called on lawmakers to ban the niqab, declaring it a “political issue promoted by extremists” that “has absolutely no place in Canada.”
  • Minhaj-ul-Quran, a Sufi Muslim organization operating in the UK, issued a fatwa against suicide bombings, labeling them “totally un-Islamic” and “violations of human rights.”

As the above examples suggest, at the core of the resurgent jihad is a conflict between an authoritarian interpretation of Islam and a more spiritual, secular interpretation. The fate of two worlds — the Western and the Islamic — will be shaped profoundly by the outcome.


Not Jolly Good II: Islamists Funded by the UK Government

by David J. Rusin  •  Dec 30, 2009 at 11:27 am

The British government’s history of employing Islamists and placing them in sensitive positions, the subject of the previous IW blog post, is only part of the problem. Equally troubling is the record of UK bureaucrats sending money to Islamists in the form of grants. Two recent scandals:

The TaxPayers’ Alliance released a report in September on the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) program, through which the government teams with private organizations in efforts — often highly misguided — to combat radicalization. But consider some recipients of the largess.

The study finds that “around £850,000 has been given to the Muslim Council of Britain’s official affiliates” over the past several years. Not only has the group heavy-handedly sought to implant Islam in public schools, but the government suspended links with it in early 2009 after one of its leaders signed a document indirectly “advocating attacks on the Royal Navy if it tries to stop arms for Hamas being smuggled into Gaza.” Then there is this embarrassing grantee:

One organization, the Muslim Welfare House (MWH), has received just under £50,000 in PVE funds over the last two years. The MWH is a member of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), which represents the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Europe. The FIOE has very close ties with Holocaust promoter and leading MB scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and his European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) was founded by the FIOE.


The MB connections with the MWH are strong and up until 2007, of the five registered owners of the MWH, three were also directors of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), the Brotherhood’s main presence in the United Kingdom.

One month later the Telegraph disclosed more funding follies: The government, through various programs, paid £113,411 in 2008 to a foundation operated by senior members of the international Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir. Specifically, the money has supported schools “where children are taught key elements of Hizb’s ideology from the age of five.” The Telegraph article goes on to outline the anti-Semitic and pro-jihad aspects of this ideology, summarizing Hizb ut-Tahrir’s separatist worldview as follows:

Hizb regards integration as “dangerous” and says that British Muslims should “fight assimilation” into British society. It wants to create a global Islamic superstate, or “caliphate,” initially in Muslim-majority countries and then across the rest of the world.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, responded to the report by accusing officials of “sleeping on the job.” He is far too polite. Only one adjective properly describes a government that funds those who seek its destruction: suicidal.