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Well Another Year over Short-Sword Fighting In Defense of Political Islam

Posted by on Jan 18th, 2008 and filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

YVONNE RIDLEY

I’M NOT sure if someone has given every village idiot my email or telephone number but it seems as though I’ve been inundated by fools who know nothing about Islam but think they do; those who should know better and don’t and various forms of pond life who attack Muslims with their every breath.

Sadly, the fashion for being Islamophobic is stronger than ever in the media and it doesn’t help when you have more self-confessed extremists and Islamists scuttling to kiss and tell their stories than a pack of WAGS* passed their sell-by date. Don’t those folk from Panorama (so eager to broadcast confession from so-called extremists) realise that viewers are finding yet another so-called self-flagellating funds coming out rather boring. This unburdening of the soul from confused brothers (it’s always brothers isn’t it?) is about as interesting as counting deck chairs in London’s Hyde Park.

I’m not usually one for naming names, but I’ll make an exception in Ed Hussain’s case … after all he wrote a load of rubbish about me in his book without so much as picking up the phone for a well informed chat. He says I embraced Islamism and not Islam – bearing in mind I’ve never met him how can he make such an arrogant statement? I’m not sure about his credibility as a reliable source either … this is Ed the Confessor after all – a man who was in the thrall of Omar Bakri Muhammad for a few years before he finally realised that may be there was something fake about the sheikh!

The Ed Hussains of this world have, like any Kings Cross hooker, a short shelf life and I believe he will find out just how fickle is the media. Like yesterday’s fish and chip papers he will be consigned to the bin while another fantasist with a book to flog takes his place. I’m sure there will be more in 2008.

When his phone stops ringing and he’s no longer invited as the token Muslim to cocktail parties by the Notting Hill set or the even more fickle Islington crowd, maybe then he will have time to reflect on the damage he’s done to the Muslim community. And I’m not talking about Muslims like myself who can usually stand up for themselves. I’m talking about those quiet, timid brothers and sisters who are afraid as they turn every street corner for fear of being confronted by some Islamophobic thug with hate in his eyes … a hate inadvertently fuelled by the likes of Ed Hussain and his ilk. And that hatred is very real.

Sometimes the hatred is spawned from an irrational fear that every Muslim must be a terrorist in the making. Ah yes, I can hear the squeals of protest now. Look, I’m not the one burying my head in the sand. Yes, terrorism is real and people die through terrorism but let’s get it into perspective. The cause of terrorism is NOT Islam and here’s the proof.

There were 498 terrorist attacks across Europe in 2006 but the truth is Islamists carried out only ONE of them. The Basque Separatist group ETA topped the league table with 136 terrorist strikes resulting in the death of two in Madrid. Now given the perpetual warnings in our daily newspapers, radio bulletins and TV channels these statistics might come as a surprise but if you want to check out the full report, it is available on Europol’s website.

The reality is that had Islamists been behind 136 attacks we would have read it on the front pages of every daily newspaper across Europe and Ed Hussain would have been in every TV newsroom opining on the latest statistics while plugging his book. My late great Aunt Lizzie had a fantastic saying and it is something Ed Hussain should take on board. In fact, since the season of goodwill is in full swing take it free of charge, bro: “Say now’t and people will just think you’re stupid. Open your mouth and they’ll know you’re stupid.”

Terrorism in Europe as these latest statistics show has no connection with Islam or Islamists. And as for what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan – well it was the Americans who brought in the advent of suicide bombers as well as the new wave of al-Qaida recruits. It is a fact. Suicide bombing is a new phenomenon in those countries and came on the scene long after Uncle Sam set up camp. American and British foreign policy have done more to radicalise young people than any ranting cleric. Instead of feigning concern about the actions of those who are (legitimately under international law) defending Muslim lands abroad, perhaps Ed Hussain and the other Uncle Toms might like to take some responsibility next time a sister is attacked in the street because some yob sees her hijab and thinks she’s a Muslim extremist.

*WAGS – Wives and girlfriends of sporting celebrities.

(Yvonne Ridley is a senior, award winning journalist, peace activist and presenter for The Agenda show on Press TV.)

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