Fiyaz Mughal

Time to call out Islamism for what it is

This form of extremism is based on regressive and medieval foundations


Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the Islamic nation does not make 'donations' but executes 'financial Jihad.' (photo: Memri)

March 14, 2024 17:28

Islamism and Islamist extremism are based on some core regressive and medieval foundations. These involve the implementation of Sharia Law in its entirety into every facet of the social and legal life of states and where democracy and the rights of every individual are overturned so that they become part of a hierarchical system of rights.

These rights are based on “in-group” of people who interpret Islam through a brutal set of lenses, and the rest of the population who are to be subjugated and suppressed. In such states, minority rights are therefore suppressed and people “deemed not be Muslim enough” are usually the first to be killed or targeted.
Both Islamism and Islamist extremism are therefore based on hyper-authoritarianism and a belief that Jews and Christians should have lesser rights. Hindus, Sikhs and many others are at an even lower rung on this “rights based” ladder. The lowest rung is set for communities such as the Yazidis and one reason why the so called “Islamic State” targeted them for extermination and humiliation. When such ideology becomes part of the psyche of people, it is a short step towards targeting Jews and Christians with ferocious barbarism.
Let me be clear. As someone of Muslim heritage, Islamism and Islamist extremism should not be conflated and attached to every Muslim or the vast majority of Muslims across the globe.

However, let us not kid ourselves that it is limited to just a few thousand Muslims. It is a recurrent and significant problem that has shown itself in the appalling and murderous attack on Israel and the way that Islamists have taken hostages and treated innocent men, women and children.

The rage shown by Hamas has demonstrated to the world the vicious, rage-filled antisemitism of such groups. This Islamist driven Jew-hate breeds in parts of the United Kingdom. I know through personal experience that such antisemitism has grown over decades and infested minds of young people who should know better. Such individuals do not live beyond our borders. They live within the country we call home: the United Kingdom.
Hamas developed in 1989 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and through the so called “spiritual leadership” of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. The Muslim Brotherhood has a long history of agitating against other Muslim majority states. Subscribers to their ideology were involved in the murder of Sadat because he dared to make peace with Israel. The list of their bloodthirsty actions goes on and on and one thing links them all: a desire to see the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.
The attack on Israel was unprecedented in its ferocity and viciousness. Which means one thing and one thing alone. That Hamas must be removed once and for all, so that never again can we go through the cycles of violence that we have and whereby the people of Israel can finally have a border that is at peace. It is also important to connect with and empathise with the Palestinians in Gaza, many of whom never voted for Hamas and who are now suffering once again because of the decisions of the Islamist group. There is no alternative to the removal of Hamas and it has to happen now.
The pain of what we have all seen on our screens is unbearable and so will be the coming weeks and months as more people on both sides lose their lives because of the actions of Hamas. Now is the time for the removal of Hamas as a regional actor and with it, a refocussing of efforts against Islamist extremist groups.

We have been playing “whack-a-mole” with them for decades, but this must end. Many Muslims will stand with you in this new desire to take on Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and their offshoots. This also means holding Iran to account for its blessing and approval of this invasion by Hamas. Without the tacit approval by Iran, Hamas would never have attacked Israel.
Lastly, I have to say this and be explicit about this. Muslims like me want to go and help in Israel by distributing basic necessities where they are needed or in helping the injured to have someone with them to talk to. Or we can simply help in packing materials for communities that have been affected. We are ready and if Israel needs volunteers, I for one, will go. If that call comes, we will stand with you.


March 14, 2024 17:28

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