A Tale of Two Islamists: Anjem Choudary and Miqdaad Versi…
If Pinkie and The Brain were Islamists then Anjem Choudary (above left sporting… well we just can’t take him seriously) would most certainly be Pinkie and Miqdaad Versi (above right sporting his monobrow, half-hearted beard and low grade bank clerk spectacles) would certainly be The Brain.
Before his ‘Death to the West!’ days Anjem was a Southampton University first year drop out who preferred partying and getting stoned to studying, but he later completed a law degree as a mature student. He quickly worked his way up al-Muhajiroun a Wahabist organisation in the 1990s and has been regularly investigated and arrested by the police for recruiting terrorists to Islamist training centres since the turn of the millennium. Although Choudary became chairman of the British Society of Muslim Lawyers he was removed from the roll of solicitors in 2002. He was recently sentenced to five and a half years in prison following a conviction for inviting support for ISIS but was released on parole last month at great expense to the British taxpayer, after only having served half his term.
Versi’s background is a great deal more distinguished – he obtained a first class degree in Mathematics at Oxford where he graduated in 2007, and has since worked at the management consultancy firm Oliver Wyman Financial Services, within strategy at the Royal Bank of Scotland and currently as the CFO at Major Travel plc, while regularly appearing on TV as the public voice of the Muslim Council of Britain of which he is Assistant Secretary General, and writing for the Independent and Guardian.
ABOVE – Choudary in his happy hour Haram days, preaching death to the West and now, on parole with a humble coke
While bad boy Anjers likes to confront police officers in the street or march down Luton High Street with ‘UK Police Go To Hell!’ placards academic Versi prefers to spend his time methodically reviewing the media searching for his next ‘Islamophobic’ victim to attack while maliciously ‘correcting’ wrongthink and as we recently reported here telling the majority indiginous non Muslim British people that they must conform to Islam
Well-versed Versi (who I debated myself two years ago at a public meeting on Brexit in a mosque in Harrow) has the intelligence not only to understand, like Choudary, how to play victim politics but, more importantly he excels at public relations. He is perennially suited and softly spoken enough to infiltrate professional media circles, while engaging in strategic political diplomacy and alliance formation with Labour politicians and Remain liberals. He also knows where Choudary went wrong. But do not be fooled – Versi’s goal is the same as Choudary’s – a British caliphate and Sharia for all.
ABOVE – do not be fooled by Versi’s charming exterior
Because he is taken seriously and seen among many in the university educated liberal chattering classes as ‘one of their own’ monobrow Miqdaad (his facial hair may rival Iranian Princess anis-al-doleh ) is infinitely more dangerous than argy-bargy Anjem, a national joke. Beneath Versi’s softly spoken hamster-cheeks belies a vicious far right ideological belief system willing to destroy lives, careers and reputations all in the name of Islam. If you witness a grovelling apology issued in the media for slighting the sanctity of Islam in the UK you can be pretty sure Versi is behind it. As Versi boasted earlier this year: ‘I’ve personally complained and won corrections from national papers on more than 40 stories related to Islam and Muslims.’
The Gatestone Institute does not hold back: “Miqdaad Versi is happy to apply rigorous standards to others, but holds exceedingly lax standards himself so long as he can carry on his own campaigning work against the UK government’s counter-terrorism and counter-extremism programmes.”
‘Sadly for Versi, the British public’s security concerns are not caused by very slightly inaccurate media reports but rather by the deadly accurate bomb blasts and shooting attacks around the world which nobody needs to make up and nobody can fully cover over.’
Versi is also far more dangerous then Choudary as he is instrumental in the normalisation of Islamic immunity in Britain. This year he has pushed for an investigation into ‘Islamophobia’ in the Conservative Party and for criticism of Islam to be criminalised as a new ‘Islamophobia’ offence – the object is clear: silencing politicians and arresting members of the public who speak out about Islam. Versi means business – he is not an aggressive factionalist like Choudary but rather a calculating religious totalitarian pursuing a patient yet determined Islamic ‘Long March Through the Institutions’ towards a tyrannical Islam-compliant British state where critics of Islam, be they Jewish, Christian, atheist or ex Muslim are silenced with the full force of the law.
We can see from his article ‘Islamophobia is Real. Stop the Obessession over Semantics’ Versi’s dependence on the language of victimhood politics and, d’après Noam Chomsky, his understanding of the fundamental importance of semantics. A frustrated Versi writes:
‘In order to placate those bullies wishing to delegitimise claims of Islamophobia, there are some who are now naively providing cover for this type of bigotry by calling for the use of the term “anti-Muslim hatred” instead… However, Islamophobia goes far beyond mere hatred. As the latest Runnymede report states: “referring only to ‘anti-Muslim hate’ doesn’t fully capture the widespread (or structural) ways racial inequalities persist”
I have highlighted in bold the insidious use of doublespeak in this extract from Miqdaad’s article. The casuistry and craftwork here is quite something and extremely sinister. First of all his use of the term ‘bullies‘ is classic victimhood politics. As we know the term ‘Islamophobia‘ did not exist in mainstream discourse twenty years ago until it was introduced to shut down criticism of Islam and to bully critics of Islam. To claim that those who want to return to more honest language are ‘bullies’ is thus highly ironic.
Referencing opaque Marxist spiel regarding ‘structural ways inequalities exist’ quoted from the Islamic run Runnymede Trust to appear to give him academic authority, Versi also attempts to conflate ‘racial inequalities’ with Islam, deliberately broadening his victim identity group arsenal and in the process encouraging racial divison. We have seen this previously with Islamists infiltrating and taking over the organisation Stand Up To Racism attempting to make it all about Islam. While Jihadi John was dropped at the last minute as a speaker alongside Diane Abbott at the SUTR main conference last year, the organisation has nonetheless now become increasingly an Islamic front.
But what is most revealing is Versi’s general emotive objection to the differentiation between Muslims as individuals protected by law, and the ideology of Islam. If the objective is to shut down criticism of Islam the term ‘Islamophobia’ is more useful than ‘anti-Muslim hatred’. If one condemns Sahih Bukhari volume 5, book 58, verse 234 for example, one is criticising Islam but one is clearly not engaging in ‘anti-Muslim hatred’. The nebulous subjective parameters of ‘Islamophobia’ suit Versi perfectly. The broader question is this: are Muslims independent free thinking individuals at liberty to leave Islam, Miqdaad, or are they no more than collective robotic footsoldiers of Islam? Because a conflation of Islam and Muslim which the term ‘Islamophobia’ enables suggests you, Miqdaad, believe Muslims to be the latter. Not individuals but dehumanised automatons.
On Tommy Robinson Versi writes: “Defending his bigotry, the far-right activist Tommy Robinson declared “I’m not talking about Muslims, I’m talking about Islam.” Again the doublespeak is highlighted. It is Islam itself, which is far-right – as I demonstrate here. The problem for Versi is that Tommy knows his law. UK legislation makes a subtle but important distinction between criticising religion and abuse of individuals with protected characteristics. Section 29J Public Order Act 1986 inserted by the Religious and Racial Hatred Act 2006 states very clearly, under: ‘Protection of freedom of expression’:
“Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents”.
‘Islamophobia’ of course does not exist, in the same way that ‘Christianophobia’ does not exist, despite the daily genocide of Christians carried out by Muslims. The brutal murder of Egyptian Coptic Christians yesterday by Muslims was just the latest incident in a global Islamic war against Christianity. And yet Christianophobia does not exist.
As Christopher Hitchens explained ‘Islamophobia’ is a neologism, designed specifically to entrench victimhood politics. But if it did exist as a word it would of course be a misnomer. Those who fear Islam the most are non Muslim liberals and Muslims who wish to escape the religion but who are trapped in the faith for fear of ostracism, punishment or indeed death if they leave – apostacy in Islam carries the death penalty.
How did we arrive at such dystopia?
So called ‘community politics’ along Islamic faith-based lines first materialised in the UK when thousands of angry Muslims appeared on British streets following the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in 1988. That begged the question: who speaks for Muslims in the UK? The UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs was founded the same year, supposedly to preclude any repeat of the Satanic Verses affair. But as I will explain it has had the very opposite effect, fuelling ever more Islamic extremism by taking offence and amplyifying constructed offendedness every time Islam is criticised. The UKACIA was the forerunner of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) founded in 1997
ABOVE – Muslims protesting against Salman Rushdie and ‘Satanic Verses’ in 1989 and feminists who defended him (far right)
Henry Kissinger once – allegedly – said ‘who do I dial to call Europe?’ and in the same vein it was extremely useful for politicians to have one number to dial to reach the ‘Muslim Community’, one organisation whose representatives could be wheeled out for topical TV debates. But as Douglas Murray put it extremely well in his book The Strange Death of Europe, the ‘downsides should have been obvious from the start but were not…’
‘The model favoured those who were already politically active and engaged, while disadvantaging those too busy with their lives or careers to bother with community politics… The model favoured by the loud, the extreme, the offended and those like Jamaat that were already organised.’
As pro Israeli Muslim Home Secretary Sajid Javid put it the MCB does not represent Muslims in Britain. Interestingly Javid also claimed in 2012 that out of all the countries in the Middle East, he would choose Israel as home: “Only there, he said, would his children feel the ‘warm embrace of freedom and liberty'”
Once established as Britain’s Islamic ‘representative organisation’ the MCB would to justify it’s existence have to remain relevant and thus constantly find grievances and campaigns to keep itself busy. The effect has been polarisation rather than integration of Muslims into a secular country and culture with a Christian heritage. The MCB has highlighted division and promoted victim politics and worst of all helped to normalise far right extremist Islam in the UK. With the MCB, which uses Common Purpose associated language ‘for the common good’ as its motto, controlling more than a quarter of mosques in the UK this is serious business.
Most concerningly, perhaps, this extremist far right Islamic ideology is now permeating the youngest and most vulnerable in society. Schoolchildren are now told they must refer to Mohammed as the ‘prophet Mohammed pbuh’ while, due to MCB ‘guidance’, parents who refuse permission for their children to visit mosques are blacklisted by local authorities. MCB ‘guidance’ for schools states that parents of Muslim children should be allowed to withdraw their children from school activities involving mixed swimming, dance, sex and relationship education, music, drama, and figurative drawing on religious grounds. On farm visits, touching or feeding pigs should be prohibited. It also warns that pupils and parents may refuse to shake hands with the opposite sex during prize-giving ceremonies. Based on information from the MCB, Stoke-on-Trent City Council issued a Ramadan guide to ALL schools stating that schools should reschedule swimming lessons, sex education and exams so they are outside the month of Ramadan.
The MCB has also previously refused to attend the Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony calling for Holocaust Memorial Day to be scrapped, although it later reversed its policy undoubtedly considering on reflection that this presented ecumenical ‘let’s co-exist’ PR photo opportunities of imams, rabbis and bishops taken together. Do not be fooled. Speaking volumes about it’s radical intentions, while keeping extremist organisations like Jamiat-e-Ulema in its fold, the MCB has failed to recognise the relatively liberal and tolerant Ahmadiyya Muslim Community And most recently it has failed to speak out against the persecution of Asia Bibi in Pakistan.
Clearly the MCB has not encouraged integration as much as promoted Islamisation in the UK and entrenched religious division. This is an extremist organisation.