That voice tended to be male, middle-aged, and mostly conservative

Watching that Newsnight segment again. One thing Maajid says in his film:

The media rightly sought to hear from the Muslim voice. But that voice tended to be male, middle-aged, and mostly conservative.

Then there’s a clip from Citizen Khan, then Adil Ray explains about Citizen Khan. I want Adil Ray for my new best friend. In the clip a guy asks Citizen Khan what he does and CK says “I’m a leader of the community.” Guy asks what that entails, exactly, and CK says “I lead the community.” I love that, because I’ve been putting “community leader” in scare quotes for years. If only the BBC would learn how idiotic that idea is.

He introduces us to Dr Mohammed Fahim of South Woodford mosque, and notes that he recognizes that those who shout the loudest are those who dominate the debate:

Unfortunately Muslims are not used to discuss or to respect the other opinion. It is either my way or the highway.

Then Maajid says another thing I’ve been saying for years:

There’s an increasing number of Muslims who use their faith identity to advance a progressive agenda, yet we seldom hear from them.

Why do we seldom hear from them? Why is it always the anti-progressive ones who dominate the coverage and the debate?

Why didn’t the BBC invite any of them to talk on Newsnight instead of Mo Ansar and Mehdi Hasan? Why not Omar Kuddus whom Maajid talks to after he says we seldom hear from them. Why not Sara Khan whom he talks to after that? Why not Gita Sahgal, Tehmina Kazi, Maryam Namazie?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, he does talk to Maryam in this film.

More, BBC. More progressives, less of people like Hasan and Ansar.


  1. RJW says

    Yes, it would be interesting to determine just how representative Moslem community “representatives” really are, where are all those silent ‘moderate’ Moslems?

    “Unfortunately Muslims are not used to discuss or to respect the other opinion. It is either my way or the highway.”

    “Islamophobes” have been saying that for years.

  2. says

    I guess it doesn’t get viewers or page hits to talk to Muslims who are middle of the road, never mind Muslims who are actively progressive.

    And… one of the things we should remember from American culture is that moderates and progressives are almost always marginalized for one reason or another. Muslims worldwide are represented by their most extreme elements, and in America a socially moderate and otherwise entirely standard “conservative” is currently sitting in the White House being called an “extreme liberal”.

  3. johnthedrunkard says

    Progressive Arabs, Persians, Pushtuns, Malaysians etc. are ‘progressive’ to the degree that they are secular. To speak of ‘progressive’ Muslims is like talking about the ‘moderates’ in Westboro Baptist.

    Human decency will show its face in the most unpromising places, but to keep the labels in place is probably counter productive.

    The ‘Community Leader’ problem is older than the BBC. Tammany Hall represented ‘Irish-American leadership’ for almost a century. The Gambinos and co. ‘represented’ Italian-Americans, whether they accepted it or not. Certainly the Klan ‘represented’ Americans south of the Manson-Nixon Line.

  4. rnilsson says

    I wish someone could finally explain to me where that Manson-Nixon line was, and how often the trains ran.
    Also, I believe I heard about Ms Tammany Hall, but never saw her pixur.

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