Monday, July 18, 2005

FAQ

Why write MCB Watch?

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) claim to be the major representative voice of "moderate", "mainstream" Islam in the UK. They have a high profile in the media and have been courted by government. However, it is my thesis that they are much more radical and extremist than they at first appear. This is demonstrated by multiple lines of evidence, including (a) radical organisations among their affiliates; (b) some of their connections to extremist political movements; (c) their inability to enage in any form of constructive self-criticism; (d) their demonisation of opponents — including Muslim opponents.

Aren't you just trying to destroy the MCB?

No, I believe the concept of the MCB — an umbrella body and a voice for moderate Muslims — is laudable, achievable, and needed. It is simply that the MCB is not it.

You're just a right-wing, pro-Zionist, Islamophobe!

Ad hominem attacks just make those who use them look infantile.

"Right wing"? Well, at the last general election I voted Lib Dem. I was previously a Labour Party member but the Iraq war caused me to quit my membership. So if we must use labels, I'm a left-of-centre-optimist.

"Pro-Zionist"? Actually I believe in a two-state solution, probably enforced by some kind of international body such as the UN. This is, in my view, the only way a solution that is fair and equitable to both sides can be reached and maintained. Is that achievable? Well, I did say I'm an optimist. This position also results in diatribe from the extremes on both sides in the debate.

"Islamophobe"? I'm doing a PhD, part-time, in Islamics and couldn't personally see the point in spending six years researching something you hate. There are far better things to do. I do however think some Muslims need to reform and modernise their interpretation of Islam.

Do you have a hidden agenda?

I'd have thought the agenda of MCB Watch is pretty transparent.

Can I use your material?

Yes, take whatever's helpful. I'd prefer it if you could cite MCB Watch, as I'd like more readers, but I'm more concerned about getting our material out there.

What's your name?

Andy.

What's your full name?

Having had one death threat too many in the past, I'm keeping a degree of privacy.

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