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UK’s Counter-Extremism Tzar Gets It Right

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Nihad Awad speaks at a press conference CAIR called about Islamophobia. CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) is an Islamist group and linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Nihad Awad speaks at a news conference CAIR called about Islamophobia. CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) is an Islamist group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Awad is the founder and executive director of the organization. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The UK’s counter-extremism tzar got it right about Islamophobia – and it’s about time someone in the upper echelons did.

Sara Khan, who was appointed to tackle radicalization in UK’s Muslim communities, said Islamists and other extremists (including their sympathizers):

“weaponize Islamophobia in an attempt to shut down legitimate debate about Islamic extremism while undermining the general struggle against anti-Muslim hatred.”

“Use and abuse” of the language of human rights is “perhaps the most concerning” strategy of these groups, she said.

“Groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, for example — who traditionally rally against what they perceive to be Western human rights — increasingly and cynically use human rights to promote Islamist ideology,” Khan added.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a Salafi movement that calls for the establishment of a caliphate run by sharia (Islamic) law. It is banned in many countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Islamophobia, defined as an unwarranted fear of Muslims, is  a term frequently used by Islamist groups and their allies to label critics of Islamist extremism as bigots in order to stifle criticism.

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood front group, recalled being at a group meeting in the early 1990s when the group came up with the idea to use “Islamophobia” as a political weapon.

“This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived…for the purpose of beating down critics,” he said.

“Any critic of the radical Islamic wing is branded as an enemy. You cannot disagree with them…There is no debate with these people,” he stated in a film called The Grand Deception.

“Any time you condemn them, any time you point out their machinations or their deceit, they are going to label you an Islamophobe and who wants to be that? It is just a technique to stigmatize their critics.”

Tahir Gora, a member of the a member of the Coalition of Progressive Muslim Canadian Organizations, said, “This ‘Islamophobia’ term is another tactic used by traditional Islamic organizations to overlook their responsibilities in terms of intermingling in the U.S., Canada and other Western countries.”

In a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post titled “How Muslims Created Islamophobia,” Gora warned against the “preaching of the addiction of victimhood.”

 

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UK: Top Muslim Activist to Head Counter Extremism Drive

Top Muslim Lawyer: Muslim Orgs Impede Counterterror 

‘Islamophobia’: A Strategy Devised Before 9/11

On Allegations of Islamophobia

 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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