Yesterday, I posted the YouTube videos of Intelligence Squared’s debate on whether “Europe is failing its Muslims” held in London on 23 February 2010. Douglas Murray has commented further on the debate on his Telegraph blog with these scathing remarks:
The debate has been edited down for broadcast. My one gripe about this (except for the BBC’s inevitable censorship of my criticisms of the Muslim Council of Britain among other government-paid Muslim-groups – as reported by the Evening Standard here) is that they cut one crucially relevant case study I gave.
One of the two clerics who whipped up hatred against Denmark around the world, in the wake of my colleague Flemming’s commission of depictions of the historical figure Mohammed, arrived in Denmark from Lebanon in the 1990s. He went to Denmark because he has a disabled son. The country which he came from could not look after his child but he knew that Denmark would. And it did. He repaid the society by inciting hatred and violence against it. When such cases can be repeated ad nauseum, it should hardly even have to be pointed out how obscene the motion Flemming and I found ourselves debating really was.
It is grotesque to argue that Europe has failed its Muslims. It has been made repeatedly obvious that it is Islam that has failed Europe, indeed that it is Islam that has failed Muslims. I am delighted that the audience in the hall on the night agreed. And that most of the audience around the world who have emailed me since transmission – currently including people from as far afield as Nigeria, Pakistan and Iraq – appear to agree with that too.
The extracts in the debate transcript to which Murray refers are as follows. Firstly, the maniac cleric who organised the cartoon protests against the country that gives him state benefits:
They also receive all the benefits, thank you, all the benefits, all the benefits of the welfare state. Sure there are things that people have got wrong, but it’s not a bad sign I would suggest, that people who come to this country with nothing, receive, in this country, National Health Service, receive welfare payments. Let me give you two examples quickly. Raed Hlayhel, a Danish Imam, one of the two incidentally that started the worldwide protest against my co-panellist, arrived in Denmark in the 1990s, he arrived there from Lebanon because his son was disabled, and he knew that Denmark would support his son. Denmark did. How did he repay it? By organising worldwide riots, lootings, murders and burnings. However, Denmark paid for his son. What happens in Britain? We have jokers, I hope that most of you’ll agree with this, like Anjem Choudary, of the now, finally banned group Al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK, who for years has been sitting here, on the welfare state, taking money from tax payers in this country, supporting his children, his wife and anyone else, whilst plotting and hating the people of this country. We have been paying people here, who hate us. I’d have thought that was an example of some considerable generosity, I’d say suicidal generosity, but there we go.
The former head of the Muslim Council of Britain supported the death penalty for the World’s most famous apostate and critic of Islam, while the current head doesn’t seem to be much better:
We’ve also had, from the Muslim communities in Europe a terrible failure of leadership. It’s striking to me that the Muslim Council of Britain, for instance, in this country, the last leader of that organisation said that death was too good for Salman Rushdie for the crime of writing a work of fiction. The current head of the Muslim Council of Britain, who I think if not here tonight, is certainly coming to dinner afterwards I see, seems not to be able to condemn stoning in all circumstances, for all time. I don’t know why even people paid by the government many millions of pounds can’t do this. Last year, when the Gaza operation began, paid people, including the heads of the Quilliam Foundation, a government funded organisation, signed a letter, co-signed a letter to the British Government saying that unless the British Government distances itself from Israel and American foreign policy, they couldn’t promise that other members of their religion mightn’t step outside the political process. What other organisation, what other religion blackmails the British state like this? Does any other minority in Europe behave like this? No, ladies and gentlemen, none.
Edmund Standing also posted a very helpful reply to my original post with two pieces by Daily Mail and Spectator journalist, Melanie Philips, exposing the two faces of Tariq Ramadan. In fact, Ramadan is a master of Islamist doublespeak who is in league with the jihadists:
Ramadan has been banned from entering the US because of his alleged association with extremists. The Geneva Islamic Centre, with which he is closely associated, has been linked to terrorists of the Algerian FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) and the GIA (Armed Islamic Group). A Spanish police report claimed that Ahmed Brahim, an al-Qa’ida leader jailed in Spain, was ‘in frequent contact’ with Ramadan, a claim he has denied.
Yet the Swiss activist has not only been allowed into Britain but is ensconced at St Antony’s College, Oxford as a research fellow and is much lionised by the British establishment, appearing at security seminars on Islamism and even serving as an adviser to the British Government on tackling Islamic extremism…
Ramadan’s message is highly seductive to a Western world terrified by Islamic radicalism. For Ramadan preaches the comforting message of an unthreatening Islam that can accommodate itself to modernity and to the West. He does so in a charismatic style combining high intellect, a winsome French accent and impossibly hip glamour. To the desperate British establishment, the picture he paints so beguilingly of a way out of the Islamist nightmare has made him into the rock star of the counter-terrorism circuit.
But closer scrutiny of what he actually says – and perhaps even more importantly, does not say – suggests the talented Mr Ramadan is an Islamist wolf in moderniser’s clothing. To the Islamic world he says one thing; to credulous Western audiences quite another in language that is slippery, opaque, manipulative and disingenuous…
Behind the honeyed words about reform and tolerance which have entranced his Western fan club, Ramadan has consistently lined himself up with the forces of obscurantism, intolerance, hatred and violence.
The first association he set up in 1994, the Muslim Men and Women of Switzerland, promoted confrontation and stirred up tension. He wrote the preface for a compilation of fatwas by the European Council for Fatwa whose president, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has said human bomb operations in Israel and Iraq are a religious duty…
The desperation to embrace this most devious ‘reformer’ is gravely misplaced. Truly moderate Muslims are undermined and indeed endangered by Ramadan at every turn. Far from offering a way to modernise Islam, he proposes instead to Islamise modernity.
I was tempted to comment on Ramadan in the original piece, but left him out for fear of making the post too long. However, these articles do not surprise me all. Anyone who reads Standing’s blog and Harry’s Place will know that so-called “moderate” Muslims usually have a dark side to them. Ingat Bunglawala and the Muslim Council of Britain anybody?
As I railed in my post on religious moderates, the central tenants and texts of Islam simply do not invite moderation in any way shape or form. Anyone who argues that the Koran and the Hadith are compatible with 21st century secular society is simply playing “hide the ball” with people who are ignorant of their contents. Alternatively, they are as brainwashed as those head-scarfed Muslim women in the audience. It seems that the only way Islam can be “liberalised” is to abandon it altogether.
Finally, I was one of the people from around the world who emailed my support to Murray after seeing the debate. I received a charming email in reply thanking me for blog post.
Tags: atheism, BBC World News, British Council, caricature, Centre for Social Cohesion, christopher hitchens, Danish cartoons, debate, Douglas Murray, Europe Is Failing Its Muslims, Flemming Rose, Ingat Bunglawala, Intelligence Squared, islam, Jyllands-Posten, MCB, mohammed, Muslim Council of Britain, neo conservatism, Petra Stienen, Prophet, Religion, sam harris, Tariq Ramadan, think tank