Understanding Islamism

A Policy Exchange Project

Die Welt reports Islamists appointed to the Berlin Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism

The German daily Die Welt has published an in-depth report alleging that Islamist associated individuals have been appointed to a new Berlin State Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism. Formed in February of this year, the six-person commission has been tasked with making “recommendations for a further development of prevention work on anti-Muslim racism”. However, Die Welt alleges that two of the members have Islamist connections, with the chairman—Mohamad Hajjaj—said to have been active in associations regarded as Islamist by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

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France’s Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalisation opposes the term Islamophobia

The French government’s Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalisation has released a statement through a series of posts on Twitter expressing opposition to the term “Islamophobia”. While the statement stresses that there are many acts of discrimination against Muslims, and that the French state seeks to fight these, it argues that the term “Islamophobia” is inappropriate on the grounds that it conflates bigotry with legitimate criticism of religion. Significantly, in one of the tweets, the interministerial committee also states that, “the term ‘#islamophobia’ was imposed by the Islamists with the aim of prohibiting any form of criticism of radical Islam”. Furthermore, the interministerial committee’s statement argues that the term is used to introduce a “crime of blasphemy”, suggesting that the term “puts a target on those who exercise their fundamental right” to free expression.

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Why Muslims like me are worried about the Batley protests

To some, the persecution of a schoolteacher who showed his pupils an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed may seem like a local quarrel. Does it really matter, many Britons will ask, that a few dozen men gathered at the gates of a school in West Yorkshire? Surely it will blow over before long, goes the thinking.

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Campaign Groups and Muslim Organisations Respond to Events at Batley Grammar School

Imam Qari Asim MBE, trustee of Light Foundation said:
“Protests outside of Batley Grammar school have caused alarm in communities. I sympathise with the parents and pupils because sadly, this is not the first time we have seen offensive images of Prophet Muhammad being used.
Muslims love the Prophet more than themselves and so we must be mindful and sensitive to the deep pain and hurt it causes to the Muslim community worldwide. Like all communities, regardless of faith, Muslims respect freedom of speech but to safeguard pupils.

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Message circulated online names teacher in Charlie Hebdo cartoon allegations at Yorkshire school

Claims have emerged that images of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were recently shown during a class at Batley Grammar School, Yorkshire. It is reported that a member of staff has been suspended in relation to the incident.

A message shared over social media has encouraged protests at the school in response to the allegations.

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Banned preacher Zakir Naik suggests ‘good non-Muslims’ are still going to hell

A newly released video clip available on the YouTube channel of the India-born popular Islamist preacher Zakir Naik, sees Naik indicate that ‘righteous’ non-Muslims, such as Mother Teresa, would go to hell. Zakir Naik was banned from entry to the UK in June 2010. Theresa May, then Home Secretary, said that visiting the UK was “a privilege, not a right”, adding that “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour”.

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Latest Publications

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Latest Blogs

London Rally in Support of the Militant Group Hashd Al-Sha’bi

London Rally in Support of the Militant Group Hashd Al-Sha’bi

On Sunday, 27 September 2020, a car rally took place through central London, “in solidarity with and in appreciation of the Hashd Al-Sha’bi” (also known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, PMF). The Hashd Al-Sha’bi, which was formed in 2014 when the conflict with ISIS began, is an Iraqi umbrella organisation comprised of 40 (mostly Shi’a) militia groups. The three main factions within Hashd Al-Sha’bi owe their allegiances to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and Muqtada al-Sadr.

Muslim Brotherhood statement welcomes “Intifada” in a response to Macron’s remarks

Muslim Brotherhood statement welcomes “Intifada” in a response to Macron’s remarks

On the 30 October, the Muslim Brotherhood’s London-based weekly bulletin Risalat Al-Ikhwan published a statement titled: ‘On French and European offences against Islam, its Prophet and Book’. Among other matters, the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement praises the uprising [intifada] of the peoples of the Muslim world and the defence of their sanctities “by every peaceful civilised means”. An intifada is best understood as a sustained ‘uprising’. It may or may not be intermittent, and is often marked by violence – although the level of violence may vary.

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

A lesson from Vienna in countering Islamist extremism

Austria (with which I should declare I have family ties) is perhaps more widely known for Apfelstrudel, the Salzburg Festival, alpine resorts and Conchita Würst than as a European policy leader. It’s been a while since Bruno Kreisky’s edgy Middle East activism or Vienna’s early – and highly effective – engagement with conflict issues in the former Yugoslavia. On most issues, the country has largely been content to position itself in the middle of the EU pack. All perfectly sensible.

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