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'For God and Country'

'For God and Country'

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 10 2008


Replying in the October edition of Prospect Magazine to Ed Husain’s critique of his article ‘A Muslim Middle Way’ (Prospect Magazine, August 2008) Anshuman Mondal writes that:

‘Husain does not recognise the distinction between different forms of Muslim politics, because for him all Muslim politics, other than those of individual Muslims acting through secular organisations, are “Islamist” and therefore at the threshold of extremism. This vision of politics is restrictive and monochromatic, and is not consistent with Husain’s oft-repeated claims of pluralism.’

‘Husain advocates an apolitical form of Islam in which political engagement is undertaken on secular grounds; that religion should be a private not a public matter.’

By ignoring the distinctions between the varieties of Muslim involvement in politics, from Turkey’s AK and Saadet parties to the PAS in Malaysia, Husain contrives to present each and every variety of Muslim political engagement as kow towing to fundamentalists and would be terrorists. His endorsement for the banning of certain radical groups in the UK and the de-politicising of all forms of political activisim by Muslims, and by virtue of being Muslims, Mondal argues is but an attempt to proscribe the very parameters of pluralist politics that Husain himself espouses.

‘Why should Muslims be singled out as being unfit for “identity” politics? Is Husain arguing that gay organisations should not campaign for gay rights? Or feminists should not do so for women’s rights? Should ethnic minorities not campaign for greater equality?’, Mondal asks.


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