The Daily Mail wants to start a culture war, apparently

The Daily Mail’s attempt to start a culture war appears to be unstoppable, even in the face of hard facts.

The Daily Mail’s attempt to start a culture war appears to be unstoppable, even in the face of hard facts

The Daily Mail’s attempts to create division in the UK have been well documented and need not be repeated here. Their deluded worldview is derided by the left and all too often treated as a joke.

But in doing so, we sometimes forget that this worldview has consequences, especially when the paper’s claims are as erroneous as they are in today’s paper.

An article by Dr Taj Hargey entitled ‘Why aren’t British Muslims condemning the maniacs in the name of Islam’ laments the alleged lack of British Muslims condemning the recent activities of IS in Iraq.

Leaving aside the question of whether it is even right that moderate Muslims should have to condemn the actions of their extremist counterparts (I didn’t recall many Christians condemning the atrocities committed by Christian extremists on Muslims in the Central African Republic in February) the article is resoundingly false.

The piece talks conspiratorially of ‘500 British Muslims’ now fighting in Syria and Iraq, ‘brainwashed acolytes on the streets of London’ and even ‘the black Jihadi flag of fundamentalism’ flying above an estate in Tower Hamlets.

This is intended to leave the reader in no doubt: there is a dark cloud of Islamic extremism looming across the country and we should be fearful of its imminent downpour.

Of course this is all rubbish. The Muslim community have been emphatic in condemning the Islamic State and have been doing so for months. Particular highlights that the article conveniently omits include:

  • The high level meeting at Westminster in July where Muslim leaders from across the UK met to ‘vehemently condemn IS’, an organisation it argued was ‘abhorrent to all Islamic values and principles, and cannot be considered as representative of any denomination within Islam’.

  • The Muslim Council of Britain stating that the ‘depth and scale of barbarity of ISIS is unconscionable’.

  • British Muslim Forum (an organisation representing 600 Sunni mosques across the UK) condemning ‘what is happening in Iraq with the utmost force’. It is also worth repeating their strong response to the 7/7 bombings, certainly relevant again: ‘We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism in the world. We pray for peace, security and harmony to triumph in multicultural Great Britain’.

  • An open letter from over 100 UK Imams urging British Muslims ‘not to fall prey to any form of sectarian divisions or social discord’ but to instead focus on the humanitarian effort. The letter also explicitly urged British Muslims not to go to Iraq or Syria.

  • Britain’s leading Shia organisation, the Al-Khoei Foundation, condemning IS with a prominent event held in August to ‘show our concern and condemnation of what is happening to the Christian community and all the diverse communities of Iraq who have been so brutally targeted by ISIS and its supporters’.

  • Maulana Mohammed Madni , Chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, condemning the actions of IS: In Mosul, there are women being raped by people saying they want an Islamic state. This is ISIS and this is not Islamic, it is only corruption’.

  • The rise of the #notinmyname hashtag amongst British Muslims.

  • The Solidarity Against ISIS protests which took place outside Parliament on Thursday and are planned again for this Saturday.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I have only highlighted the most prominent examples, but if this does not constitute condemnation then I don’t know what does. There are real concerns with this crisis, but lazy and contrived attempts to create division achieve nothing and should not be tolerated.

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25 Responses to “The Daily Mail wants to start a culture war, apparently”

  1. Liberal Take

    The Daily Mail is sowing seeds of division in British society because hate/bigotry is its niche, and controversy doesn’t pay too shabby either. This is the stuff genocides are made of…

  2. Andree

    Have you ever actually read the Koran and Muslim teachings? It specifically says that there are only 3 options available to Muslims in dealing with “infidels.” Those options are obtaining conversions, forcing the payment of a tax and the imposition of living in dhimmitude (as lesser beings that Muslims), or beheading. ISIS is really only following the Koran. I’ve seen protests in the UK with Muslims carrying posters saying “BEHEAD THOSE THAT INSULT ISLAM” and other similar warm and fuzzy sentiments. You also can’t believe a single thing that Muslims say to you regarding their beliefs. Muslims practice the Islamic customs of taqiyya and kitman – which is outright lying to non-Muslims in order to cover up their true intentions. But you are entirely free to believe that Muslims aren’t going to try to hack your head off like they did to Lee Rigby. Radical Islam will rear its head in the UK as soon as there are sufficient numbers to force Sharia and the destruction of democratic institutions. Wisdom learns the truth of those we invite inside of our borders… and ignores the presented evidence of their real intentions at their own peril.

  3. Yakoub Islam

    “Muslims practice the Islamic customs of taqiyya and kitman – which is outright lying to non-Muslims in order to cover up their true intentions.”

    An interested potted summary of 1400 years of Muslim scholarship from Andree. Just to start with the most obvious falsehood, the Muslim practice of dissemblance is traditionally restricted to Shi’a Muslims, and is justified entirely on the basis of the fear of persecution. But really, if 1.6 billion people were committed to the “destruction of democratic institutions”, do you think democracy would even exist anywhere in the world? Here lies the rub — in the face of simplistic narratives reducing Muslims to folk demons lies the reality of a politically and religiously complex and diverse set of peoples, who cannot be understood solely in terms of their faith tradition any more than Christians can. Obviously, the simply headline grabbing hate story, however misleading, too often gets the hearing. All I can do is ask educated readers to find out what Muslims actually think, e.g. J. Esposito, J. & D. Mogahed (2008) Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think (Gallup Press)

  4. Dave Roberts

    If I were the editor of the Daily Mail I would be consulting the lawyers over this article. ” The Daily Mail’s attempt to create division in the UK is well documented and need not be repeated here”. Where is your evidence?

    What you have said is that there is some kind of conspiracy at the top of the Daily Mail to create divisions within UK society without a shred of evidence to support this. You are accusing them of inciting racial and religious hatred when, under the editorship of David English, the paper was the moving force behind the Stephen Lawrence campaign.

    “Their deluded world view is well documented is derided by the left and all too often treated as a joke”. The only thing that is a joke is the left which has well and truly shot itself in both feet by its support for Islamist extremism. What this article says is that the fact that press statements are issued by a series of mosques means tat bombs haven’t gone off on buses and tubes in London and tat British born Jihadis aren’t at this moment beheading people across the Middle East.

    James Bloodworth. This is none of the best sites for rational debate on the centre left but you do yourselves a disservice with this rubbish.

  5. Ali

    Andree, You are mistaken, it doesn’t say that anywhere in the Quran. Sure, you can take some verses out of context like you can with just about any book, as it clearly says fighting is only in self defence and not when the other side is not fighting.

    Secondly, this article has to do with Muslims condemning ISIS, which the article shows has already been done. I guess we just can’t win!

  6. Matthew Blott

    I agree with those critical of Andree’s selective Koranic quotations – you can do much the same with the Bible – and the Daily Mail does thrive on bigotry. But I think the Mail article does have a point. Check this Pew research here for more info – some of it is quite disturbing. We shouldn’t be too alarmist but the complacency and indifference of the left to Islamism is a real issue.

  7. Boney N

    Watch the brilliant ‘vice news’ insider IS video on YouTube released a few days ago, filmed on the streets of the new Caliphate in what used to be Iraq/Syria – this gives a true, undiluted Sunni Muslim view of life, not some ‘publicly toned down to fool the kafir’ (Taqqiya) version by certain Western living Sunni Muslims.
    Under IS Sharia law there are three options for non Muslims .. a) convert b) pay a non Muslim tax c) be killed
    Some Christians still live in the new Caliphate, having chosen option b) in an IS run Sharia court.

  8. InbredBlockhead

    Ah yes the oh so moderate Muslims – They also serve, who only stand and wait.

  9. Cole

    What are you on about? Look at the list of organisations that opposes ISIS extremism. Blathering on about a handful of far lefties supporting extreme Islamism is the usual right wing trash.

  10. Guest

    Yes, thanks for highlighting your extremism, and the way you ignore perfectly peaceful believers, to label them all as the enemy. You spew PC garbage, attacking a group, and show your fanaticism.

    I’m sure YOU would like to start hacking heads off. And I am sure you oppose British democracy.

  11. Guest

    And of course your “solution” will involve totalitarian restrictions etc. to show you’re worse than any mere IS.

  12. Guest

    Yes, of course you think reporting should be illegal.
    And of course you come here to troll and try and disrupt discussion among the left.

  13. Guest

    The left isn’t. This is more propaganda from certain parts of the media.

    In fact, if you look at the people involved in inter-faith work, for example, you find a lot of people with left-wing views, and few with those from the right…

  14. madge hirsch

    Payment of jizya is an option only available to “people of the Book” ie Jews and Christians which is why the Yezidis get the choice of convert or die. ISIS are simply behaving like the original conquering Arab armies that swept out of Arabia after the death of Mohammed and subjugated all MENA, parts the Iberian peninsula, Persia and Sindh. The few remaining testimonies from that era about the savagery of the Saracens as they were then called chime eerily with those of the Yezidis and Christians today.

  15. Matthew Blott

    You obviously didn’t follow the Grauiad’s reporting on the “Trojan Horse” school affair.

  16. Guest

    Ah yes, because that means that there are no leftists in inter-faith work. And all leftists are satanists, blah blah.

    Same old, same old.

  17. Guest

    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”

    You’ve said that ‘sure, you can take some verses out of context’. Perhaps you could explain to us non-Muslims the exact context of the verses I’ve quoted and how that changes their meaning.

  18. Newsbot09

    Ah yes, got to keep closing down debate so you can run the country unchallenged, fascist! Unlike you, we believe in democracy.

  19. Dave Roberts

    What’s your solution?

  20. Cole

    Right-wingers believe in democracy? Give me a break…

  21. Leon Wolfeson

    Eh? I’m not a right winger.

  22. Guest

    For a start, rejecting totalitarianism.

    France shows what happens when you start going there…things like totalitarian restrictions on dress have divided how people live and now France’s Jews are fleeing in significant numbers after violence…

  23. Newsbot09

    Yes, of course deny your vicious racism.

  24. DDG

    There can only be freedom of belief for Muslims when they can declare openly that they no longer believe and are leaving the faith. Until that time comes, liberal, progressive, modernist Muslims have to deal with that element of unacceptable coercion.

    There were centuries of religious wars in Europe which ultimately yielded toleration. Now we have the intolerance of Muslims to address. There is a collision of cultures. Of course the Daily Mail will exploit it. They are a rightist tabloid newspaper. It’s what they do.

  25. Right

    Vicious racism? Since when was Islam a race? Oh…. That’s just the usually left response when you don’t have the intellect to bring up a decent argument

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