Thursday, June 21, 2007

"The Islamist Underworld"

In this short essay in The New Statesman, writer Ed Hussain makes a forceful point that unless the rising tide (aided by cyber warriors) of radical Islamist rhetoric, a prelude to jihadism, is stemmed in Britain, the carnage of Baghdad may well erupt in Bradford and Birmingham.

He also feels that his life is under threat for exposing some Islamist groups:

In my book, The Islamist, I try to reclaim Islam from Islamism and separate the ancient spiritual path from a post-colonial political ideology. Condemnation of the book, mainly by Islamists, has not ceased for over a month.

In Manchester in April, Hassan Butt, a one-time jihadist who is now opposed to extremism, was stabbed and beaten for speaking out against fanaticism. He now lives in hiding. Why was this not reported in the mainstream media?

The Islamist underworld is assisted greatly by cyberspace - from Baghdad to Birmingham, Islamists and their jihadist twin brothers exchange information and coded messages on the web. Before Hassan's stabbing, his interview with an American media outlet condemning terrorism had been circulated on the web.

In internet chatrooms and discussion threads the Islamists break news of beheadings in Iraq, the downing of US helicopters and discuss who is next on their agenda of killing and destruction. The mainstream media is bewilderingly unaware of this fast-moving, influential underworld.

Here's a very good review of Ed Hussain's book, The Islamist.

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