The site they’re sponsoring is called Radical Middle Way. They’re doing to counter the growing jihadist influence among British Muslims, which, as we have pointed out here many times, proceeds by presenting itself as “pure Islam” — an appeal to which moderates have yet to formulate an effective counter.
One immediate note of caution: the Radical Middle Way features audio of a talk by Hamza Yusuf. That’s right, the same Hamza Yusuf who invoked the Treaty of Hudaybiyya that Muhammad opportunistically signed and just as opportunistically broke — and told his audience: “There are times when you have to live like a sheep in order to live in the future like a lion.” Mr. Yusuf, are there times when you have to advocate a Radical Middle Way, only to reveal your leonine nature later?
“Al-Qa’eda is winning the war of ideas, says Reid,” by Patrick Hennessy and Melissa Kite in the Telegraph:
John Reid has issued a dire warning that the Government risks losing the “battle of ideas” with al-Qa’eda.
The Home Secretary spoke out at an emergency meeting of ministers and security officials amid an ever-growing threat from home-grown Islamist terror groups.
He called for an urgent but controversial escalation in the propaganda war and said al-Qa’eda’s so-called “single extremist narrative” was proving ever more attractive to young British Muslims.
The Government needed to do much more to win the “battle of ideas”, Mr Reid said. The meeting came as ministers “” including Jack Straw, Ruth Kelly and Phil Woolas “” started to take a much more aggressive stance against radical Islam.
Ministers have told The Sunday Telegraph that 30 terror plots are being investigated and that 1,500 young Muslims “” many more than previously estimated “” are suspects.
A key government weapon in the struggle to win hearts and minds is the decision to fund covertly an Islamic website appealing for moderation. A classic of New Labour terminology, it is called the Radical Middle Way. Government documents disclose that the site is “run as a grassroots initiative by Muslim organisations”. However, it has “most of its financial backing from the Foreign Office and Home Office”. The site uses video and podcasts to spread an “alternative message” to young Muslims. Some content is available through the iTunes website with no indication that it is effectively an arm of Government.
Around 100,000 CDs promoting moderation have also been funded and distributed free to Muslim students as an “antidote”, apparently, to the jihadist CDs circulated at universities and colleges.