Monday, June 28, 2010

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on British Government Support for Islamism

From The Independent (UK):
Support for Islamicist terrorism is growing partly because more and more Muslims can see how the West plays its games – no rules, no accountability – and partly because it happily does business with Muslim despots and villains. Successive British governments have backed regressive Muslim movements and nations from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Saudi Arabia, arguably the world's most dangerous Islamic realm. The rulers of that kingdom are today our old best friends despite evidence showing the Saudis are funding Salafism across the globe. That Islamicist ideology is causing untold damage to the spirit of Islam, and spreads – but unlike the BP oil, our politicians do not believe they need to disable the source.

Domestic relations between Muslims and the state are built on the same dodgy model. Some key departmental British Muslim advisers follow Abul ala Maududi, a Pakistani revivalist, founder of the fanatical Jamat-i-Islam which fantasises about worldwide domination. Nobody checked how that determined the advice given. The Muslim Council of Britain, still excessively influential, has among its affiliates groups which promote Saudi religious ideologies. The result is all around us: enlightened Islam is pushed out, and in march the bearded and veiled ones with the blessings of the state.

In an interview in New Left Concept, the investigative journalist and author Mark Curtis discussed his new book, Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam. As in his earlier, remarkable books he uses previously classified documents to build up a deplorable picture: "7/7 and the present broader terrorist threat to Britain is to some degree a product of British foreign policy ... Throughout the post-war period Britain has covertly supported radical Islamic groups in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, Indonesia and Egypt ... I also think the policy of allowing London to act as a base for jihadist terrorists organising around the world has been intimately related to securing British foreign policy goals". And what might those be then? Ad hoc opportunism, Curtis calls it, a tradition that the ruling classes believe (misguidedly) has served them rather well.

Self-interest is how the whole world works and all nations can act ignobly to gain advantage over others. Just look at the latest, obnoxious global battles over oil and precious minerals. But for a sustainable future politicians need to take a long view, learn from past mistakes and consider unintended consequences. Britain doesn't do that. Believing itself to be frightfully clever and adroit, it beds down with disreputable characters and governments for short-term gain, undermining its own security and prospects.