This is a relatively old piece but much of the information in it is still very relevant. The writer and commentator Medhi Hasan is often wheeled out on the media as the prime example of a moderate Musilm. But just how moderate is Medhi Hasan? The Re-enlightenment blog thinks that Medhi is not very moderate at all which is an opinion that I share.
Here’s an excerpt from the Re-Enlightenment piece. Although it concentrates primarily on Medhi Hasan, it should never be forgotten that he his not the only Muslim who could be called a fake moderate . There are loads of them who put on suits and ties, speak nicely and say the right words about ‘inclusion’ and ‘cohesion’, but scratch the surface and many of them hold views that are just as rancid as the bearded and pyjama clad fanatics. The oily sharp-suited Islam salesmen such as Medhi Hasan may fool the naïve clots of the various ‘interfaith’ groups, but they don’t fool those of us who understand Islam or who understand Islam’s propensity to encourage its adherents to tell falsehoods to non Muslims in order to advance Islam.
Here’s the excerpt from the Re-Enlightenment article.
When is a moderate not a moderate?
To many observers the journalist and commentator Mehdi Hasan represents everything a moderate Muslim should be: well-dressed (no hooks for hands); well-spoken; well-educated (and impeccable left wing credentials coming courtesy of Oxford University, via private school); successful (political director of the Huffington Post in the UK); and…moderate.
But hold your winged horses for just a second. Is he in fact moderate? As ever, when it comes to religion and particularly Islam, things are never that simple. You have to use that big old lump between your ears and see where it takes you. Luckily we have the gifts of free conscience and free speech – for the time being at least. Let’s use them here and see what happens, shall we?
It’s fair to say that many people wear a different hat depending on their given audience. I know I do. No matter how much we like to convince ourselves otherwise, we all tend to speak very differently depending on whether we’re amongst friends, family, colleagues or strangers. But Mehdi Hasan seems to take this principle a bit further than most by deploying the cunning “Islamist mind trick” of toggling effortlessly between calm, articulate public discourse with the outside world and barking mad religious intolerance in the company of co-believers.
There’s a fantastic clip on YouTube which demonstrates this point rather perfectly. I really do urge you to watch it. Trust me, you’re not that busy. It switches beautifully between one of Hasan’s many appearances on BBC’s Question Time and what can only be described as a foam-mouthed tirade of undiluted Islamic hate.
In the clip Hasan talks of kuffar (infidels) as “cattle of no intelligence”. He’s not exactly going to win many awards for interfaith outreach with that one, is he? Similarly, he refers to kuffar as “animals, bending any rule to fulfil any desire”.
Pleasant chap, that Mehdi. Very moderate. Must remember to invite him over for a slice of lemon drizzle cake one of these days.
He also talks of how Islam must never bend, which isn’t the kind of language I like to hear from moderates. One of the key problems with Islam is that it’s often perceived as an “all or nothing” religion (and often it is indeed practised that way, with devastating consequences). This is something I explored in a previous post.
To hear a supposed moderate saying Islam must not bend doesn’t fill me with confidence. That’s because Islam needs to go through exactly the same process that other religions have generally gone through: it needs an Enlightenment and it needs to be secularised. Those things can only happen if Islam “bends”. And let’s just say that time is of the essence here because the most pressing question for us in practical terms is whether this happens before boneheaded jihadis get their paws on an atomic weapon (or, given their intellectual shortcomings, an unsophisticated dirty bomb).
Read the rest of this excellent piece here: