Not a driver but a vehicle

Mehdi Hasan wrote a very long piece for the New Statesman last week letting us know that Islamic State is not Islamic. The real, true, genuine, authentic, glorious Islam is a whole other thing altogether entirely.

The rise of Isis in Iraq and Syria has been a disaster for the public image of Islam – and a boon for the Islamophobia industry. Here, after all, is a group that calls itself Islamic State; that claims the support of Islamic texts to justify its medieval punishments, from the stoning of adulterers to the amputation of the hands of thieves; and that has a leader with a PhD in Islamic studies who declares himself to be a “caliph”, or ruler over all Muslims, and has even renamed himself in honour of the first Muslim caliph, Abu Bakr. [Read more…]

Sayeeda Warsi disappoints Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan interviews Sayeeda Warsi for the Huffington Post.

Given her work on Islamic finance issues, does she see herself as a Muslim minister, an advocate on behalf of Muslims within the government? “I am a British minister in the British cabinet who happens to be of the Muslim faith. I am not elected, as I keep being reminded by many right-wing blogs. I therefore don’t represent a constituency and I certainly don’t represent the British Muslim community.”

But she goes to chat with the pope as a Muslim – not someone who “happens to be of the Muslim faith” – and agree with him in opposing and hating secularism. Her religion is not a peripheral part of her job. She’s made it central herself. [Read more…]

Mehdi Hasan challenges the bigots, fanatics and reactionaries of the Islamic world

Fair’s fair. I looked around for more by Mehdi Hasan, and found a piece he did for Huffington Post UK last August, telling off the “blasphemy” laws in Pakistan. It’s much more liberal than what he’s been saying on Twitter for the past three days.

I, for one, am fed up with politicians, mullahs and mobs using my religion to further their own vicious and sectarian agendas. So here’s my own very simple message to the bigots, fanatics and reactionaries of the Islamic world: [Read more…]