Here is an open letter in The Guardian from UK Muslim leaders to Gordon Brown. The Guardian’s editor’s note, in italics below, says that the British government “should not alter its foreign policy in order to placate Islamist extremists,” but there isn’t any such statement in the letter itself. The letter itself is clearly saying just the opposite: that Britain should change its policies toward Israel and the Islamic world, and urge the United States to do so as well — and Britain should do this in view of the fact that “the anger within UK Muslim communities has reached acute levels of intensity.”
In other words, abandon Israel and lie down in front of the global jihad — or else. And it is noteworthy that one of the signers of this thinly veiled threat of further jihad violence against Britain is none other than the vaunted “moderate” Ed Husain, whose deceptions I discussed here. Is Ed Husain still fooling anyone? Probably, but he isn’t fooling (cue Homeric epithet) the incomparable Melanie Phillips, who deftly eviscerates his latest deceptions about Israel and Gaza here, and concludes:
The British government has invested huge hopes in Ed Husain as an attractive and plausible antidote to Islamist extremism in Britain. But how can anyone now believe anything he has ever said when he promulgates such a gross libel as the canard of Israel’s “˜massacre” of hundreds of “˜innocent’ Gazans? How can the government believe that Ed Husain will de-radicalise British Muslims when through articles such as this one he is inciting them to yet more hatred of Israel, the west’s forward salient against Islamist aggression?
They shouldn’t, and they must not, but they probably will.
“‘We are witnessing a time of great danger’: Leading Muslim counter-extremism advisers urge Gordon Brown to hold Israel accountable for its attacks on Gaza,” from The Guardian, January 8 (thanks to Yann):
More than a dozen of the government’s leading Muslim counter-extremism advisers have signed a joint letter to Gordon Brown to warn that Israeli actions in Gaza are damaging the British government’s efforts to tackle religious extremism at home. The 14 signatories — which include several prominent moderate Muslim community leaders — say that while the British government should not alter its foreign policy in order to placate Islamist extremists, it should also avoid taking actions which will play into the hands of radicals.
Dear Gordon Brown
As friends of the UK government and firm allies in the government’s efforts to tackle extremism at home and abroad, we write to express our acute concern about the possible repercussions of the serious on-going conflict in Gaza.
We wholeheartedly support your calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire that must include the immediate cessation of Israeli aerial and ground assaults, an end to all rocket attacks into Israel and a total lift of the siege of Gaza. For that to be a viable objective, we believe the UK, the US and our European allies must demonstrate uncompromising leadership in reinstating a workable peace process in the Middle East.
As you are aware, the anger within UK Muslim communities has reached acute levels of intensity. The Israeli government’s use of disproportionate force to combat threats to its security has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict. For Muslims in the UK and abroad, we run the risk of potentially creating a loss of faith in the political process.
We agree with your statement on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme (4 January 2009) that we are witnessing a time of great danger. We must do our utmost to prevent permanent damage to relations with Muslim-majority countries, and to work together to ensure such an escalation of violence does not happen again.
A strong transatlantic relationship has been of immense strategic value to the United Kingdom, but we now believe it is imperative that we make our differences and views clear. We urge you to make concerted and successful efforts to convince the US administration of the dangers of its current approach and to ensure that the incoming Obama administration forges a more enlightened direction. The current partisan and simplified narrative emanating from the White House is of serious and direct harm to relations between the UK, North America and Arab countries. It is also potentially undermining our national interests.
We also believe that the UK — bilaterally and as part of the EU — has an important role to demonstrate to Israel that the threshold of acceptable behaviour has been perilously transgressed. We believe the time has come to suspend the EU-Israel upgrade process until the present conflict has been brought to an end. The UK should make clear to Israel, publicly and privately, that genuine and lasting improvements in the occupied territories are a prerequisite for continued political support.
In view of the urgency of the situation, we would like to relay our concerns to you in person at your earliest convenience. It would provide us with an opportunity to subsequently inform our national and global networks of the UK government’s efforts to hold Israel accountable to its obligations under the peace process and to ensure that effective negotiation triumphs over violence on all sides.
Dr Tahir Abbas
Parvin Ali OBE
Dr Usama Hasan
Aftab Ahmad Malik
Dr Zahoor Qureshi
Zareena Roohi Ahmed