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.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.