Thursday, 17 July 2008

Boomerangs and dominoes

More wonders at Harry’s Place. Following the events outlined in an earlier post here, where a UK Hamas activist threatened a writer on Harry’s Place with a libel suit, various UK journalists and politicians pulled out of an event organised by, amongst others, the same Hamas activist.

One organisation that didn’t pull out was think tank Demos, whose communications manager gave this justification yesterday, which led to this response by journalist Nick Cohen, which led to this infantile outburst from director of Demos Catherine Fieschi, which just might have something to do with her reported resignation today.


See also this post on Flesh is Grass about this story in particular, and Harry’s Place in general. Some excerpts:


I predict that people who for brevity I will pigeon-hole as New Stalinists and Islamist extremists, if and when they react, will try to make us believe that the BMI-Harry’s Place dispute is about whether British Muslims have a right to participate in public life. It isn’t - it’s about whether on not British society accepts a potentially disastrous Muslim Brotherhood bid for political influence in Britain. It would be very wrong and very prejudiced to assume that ordinary Muslims were part of this phenomenon of extremism. Ordinary Muslims are not the problem. The problem is when the self-appointed leaders of organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hisb-ut-Tahrir hijack Muslim political participation.


Harry’s Place is not Islamophobic, it is responding to the real threat of terror in the name of Islam without ever placing responsibility for this threat at the door of ordinary Muslims. It notes that many Muslim immigrants to this country moved here in flight from the ‘pure’ ultra-conservative (i.e. based on 12th century interpretation) varieties of Islam for which organisations like the British Muslim Initiative are conduits. Harry’s place is against discrimination on grounds of religion, sex, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. It never denies the rise and real threat of Islamophobia and maintains a focus (where it considers Islam) on Islamist extremists and a clear distinction between Muslims and the Muslim Council of Britain. When Harry’s Place attracts the Islamophobes, which seems to happen quite frequently to people who expose the Islamist extremists, it disowns the racists.
Read the full post here.

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