David Cameron stopped well short of accusing Islam itself of playing a role in jihadist violence and aggressive displays of Islamic supremacism in the U.K. But he criticized the Birmingham Central Mosque directly, and one of its senior clerics is angry enough to try to sue the prime minister.
That raises a familiar set of questions: Why is outrage like this reserved for people reporting on and criticizing Islamic “extremism?” Where is this outrage when supposed “misunderstanders” of Islam abuse non-Muslims and women in ways that spokesmen and apologists tell us are heretical? Where is the outrage when they cause actual bloodshed, sometimes on a massive scale?
As ever, the true fury is reserved for cartoons, unbelievers demanding their rights, and now… David Cameron. “Muslim threat to sue David Cameron for libel,” by Macer Hall for the Express, February 9 (thanks to J):
A senior Muslim leader at one of Britain’s largest mosques is threatening to sue David Cameron for libel over his recent criticism of Islamic extremism.
Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, revealed that he was consulting lawyers.
He took exception to a suggestion by the PM that some worshippers at the mosque believed that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US were part of a Jewish conspiracy.
Mr Cameron cited the Birmingham mosque, attended up to 20,000 worshippers on holy days, as an example of one place where extremist ideas could be spread.
He said in an interview at the weekend: “You have to confront the extremism itself.
“You have to say to the people in Birmingham Central Mosque, or wherever, who are saying 9/11 is a Jewish conspiracy, that that is not an acceptable attitude to have.
“We don’t tolerate racism in our society, carried out by white people, we shouldn’t tolerate extremism carried out by other people.”
His remarks followed his controversial speech in Munich on Saturday arguing that multi-culturalism had been a failure in Britain and calling for a bigger effort in tackling the ideology of Islamic extremism.
But his singling out of the Birmingham mosque has angered Dr Naseem.
He said: “I have just instructed the mosque’s solicitors to take appropriate action. We will be taking advice about libel action.”
Mr Cameron has highlighted extremist attitudes among parts of Birmingham’s Muslim community before.
In 2007 after staying overnight in the city he blogged that some doubted the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks were caused by Muslims and wondered if videos of the London outrage were fake.
Accusations of fabrication are a common form of conspiracy paranoia in Islamic countries. Perhaps they are more understandable in the context of the Qur’an’s accusation that Jews and Christians undertook a massive effort to sanitize their own scriptures of references to Muhammad and insert non-Islamic teachings. That sets the stage for the expectation of grand fabrications (however far-fetched) by infidels of absolutely anything in order to defame Islam.