On Saturday this caper is takng place in my old stamping ground of London E1:
It is of course organised by the
Popular Front of Judea Hizb ut-Tahrir. Now these are nasty but essentially harmless in terms of their stated aim because a global Islamic caliphate is not going to happen. I know about this shindig because I’m on Peter Tatchell’s mailing list (for reasons too obscure to go into). He has this to say…
“Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamist and fundamentalist organisation which seeks to impose its supremacist interpretation of Islam on the whole world. It opposes democracy and has the goal of establishing a global religious dictatorship, a caliphate. Non-Islamic political parties would be illegal. Gender apartheid and the segregation of men and women would become mandatory,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell will join Saturday’s protest at 12 noon in the Mile End Road, outside Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Caliphate Conference. The protest is organised by the newly-formed Alliance Against Extremism, which includes Muslim campaigners.
If you’re mooching down the Mile End Road on Saturday drop by*. Why did I bold the last bit about Muslims?
Hizb ut-Tahrir is guilty of extreme intolerance towards Muslims who do not share its harsh, fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. It advocates the execution of Muslims who turn away from their faith or convert to another religion.
That’s why. This is not why (quoting Tatchell again)…
The anti-humanitarian views of Hizb ut-Tahrir are not shared by most Muslims in Britain. Its extreme fundamentalist policies are stoking Islamophobic prejudice.
The simple truth of the matter is that whilst Muslims protesting against the lunatic fringe (in much the same way almost all conservative US Christians think Fred Phelps is nucking futz to put it charitably) is excellent news the real core issue is not Islamophobia or at least it shouldn’t be. The real deal and the real reason why Muslims ought to organise against the likes of Hizb is that whilst a global caliphate is a very long way off (to put it optimistically for them) small scale enclaves of de-facto sharia (as defined by the likes of Hizb) are not and whilst that will not directly matter a jot to the likes of me it will matter a lot to Muslims living within these nano-caliphates. I’m talking about things like this. Creeping and localized sharia which will inevitably be run by a local thugocracy like a miniature Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. One does wonder at times if the Archbishop of Canterbury ever gets north of the water. Muslims living in these areas will be the ones to suffer. It’ll start with the newsagents with Frankie Vaughn on the top shelf, and next will be the corner shops with fridges full of Stella or the curry houses where you can get a lager. It will proceed to anything deemed immoral by the self-appointed guardians. It will destroy small businesses that can’t segregate male and female customers (almost all of them). To the likes of Hizb this is a feature and not a bug. It is an excuse for them to circle the wagons ever tighter. Perhaps to set-up their own welfare schemes for their co-religionists they have otherwise made destitute and now stick to “the rules”. I think you can guess where the money for that will come from can’t you? A totally reliant client-base is something all totalitarians cherish is it not? It is essentially a blue-print for centripetal ghettoization - ghettoes imposed from the prejudice within rather than from the prejudice without.
It’s very sad and very dangerous. Perhaps I was lucky to live in E1 in the mid-90s when it was just all to various. I don’t know exactly now because I haven’t been back for years but what I do know is that if British Muslims don’t act against the likes of Hizb then their future is bleak in many places. If history has taught us anything it is that a relatively small proportion of highly motivated zealots can terrorise the majority and this even more so when operating at a local scale. This has nothing to do with Islam or indeed any other belief system - it is lamentably general. Muslims are therefore going to have to (and as that QMSU article hints will) step up to the plate. This partly because they will suffer first and hardest from the creation of Islamist nano-states but also because, to judge by the gnomic pronouncements of the Archbishop and the rest of the great and the er… good, nobody else will.
*pictures would be nice. Recall they exalt in and fear the image.