Gina Khan and Maajid Nawaz flagged up this post by Amjad Khan at Left Foot Forward on Facebook. (The post is at LFF, the flagging up was at FB. God language is hard to do.) It argues that it’s not good enough for Muslims to say that groups like ISIS or al-Qaeda don’t represent them.
The first reason is that it doesn’t stop them. Most Nigerians hate Boko Haram, but Boko Haram doesn’t give a shit, and goes right on murdering and enslaving people.
The second point to be made is that statements such ‘they don’t represent me’ are only useful if they are a precursor to a sustained effort to challenge and undermine jihadism. In my experience, this is rarely the case, in fact, the opposite tends to be true.
Such statements tend to be another way of saying ‘this is none of my business because I don’t agree with them’. By merely declaring jihadists not representative of Muslims at large, many Muslims are in fact refusing to take ownership of the problem and merely performing a PR exercise.
I think that’s true but I also sympathize with Muslims who think they shouldn’t have to keep saying ‘they don’t represent me’. I’m ambivalent, as so often. It’s not my fault or my doing that there are some feminists who think there’s such a thing as “women’s way of knowing” and I shouldn’t have to keep saying that’s not my feminism. But then, reality is what it is, and sometimes we have to do things we shouldn’t have to do.
Muslims either go into conspiratorial mode or convince themselves that it is not their problem when faced with jihadi excesses.
And yet the very same people will then say they are concerned about Islamophobia and the Palestinian cause because it affects fellow Muslims and that they have concerns about the global Muslim community.
How can one be concerned about the global Muslim community and not want to tackle jihadism which, in the grand scheme of things, has killed far more Muslims tha[n] anyone else?
Rather than offering such shallow condemnations, we as Muslims need to stop being solely concerned with the image of Islam and Muslims and recognise that challenging jihadists and associated extremists proactively will do more to rehabilitate the image of Islam than shallow ‘not in my name’ statements.
Well that’s a point. Difference feminists haven’t been engaging in campaigns of mass murder, nor have they been stoning women to death, nor have they been sentencing and executing “adulterous” couples, nor have they been enslaving Nigerian schoolgirls by the hundreds. If they had been, I would be pretty damn motivated to do everything I could to oppose and stop them. I do believe in globalism and universalism, so I do think that murders in Afghanistan or Somalia matter every bit as much as murders in Canada or Scotland. Never mind the global Muslim community or the global feminist community; just join hands to defend the global community of human beings, vulnerable before armed gangs of zealots.