First posted: 15 August 2013
A couple of weeks ago Mehdi Hasan (above) – who seems to be the only spokesman Muslims and Islam have in the UK (apart from the BBC's very own 'Mo' Ansar) – wrote an article for The Huffington Post in which he said that the British writer and conservative, Douglas Murray, "tried to smear" him. Fourteen words later Mehdi Hasan attempts to smear Douglas Murray with the word "neocon"! (I'm not saying that saying someone is a neocon is a smear. I'm saying that Hasan takes it to be a smear and hopes his readers do too.)
Virtually the entire article, "Douglas Murray, the EDL, Dodgy Videos and Me", is based on the argument – if it is an argument! – that if Douglas Murray supports the EDL in any way (whether he does so or not is not my concern here), then he's a 'fascist' and a 'racist' and therefore can't be trusted and shouldn't even be given any air-time. That EDL-Murray connection is rammed downed our throats repeatedly in this piece. But that's no surprise because when anyone criticises Islam (or Muslims as Muslims), Leftists and Islamophiles immediately and desperately attempt to find any connections whatsoever between that critic and the EDL (or with other 'far-right' groups) which, they believe, will automatically invalidate all of their arguments against Islam. Nonetheless, citing EDL – or any – connections are, in the end, nothing less than tarted-up examples of the ad hominem argument. A former public schoolboy (he's an old boy of Merchant Taylors' School) like Mehdi Hasan should know that. So it doesn't help either that after making much – very much! – of Douglas Murray's supposed EDL connections, he then informs us about Murray's connections with Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer – all for good measure. Yes! More smears from Hasan and more hypocrisy from Hasan.
One of the lowest points of Mehdi Hasan's article is when he uses the word 'fascist' about Murray's views and then the soundbite 'far-right' to describe Robert Spencer. And this man has the audacity to talk about smears? What a hypocrite! This man also often talks about his critics' easy use of the word 'Islamist' when referring to his good self? Again, what a hypocrite!
The irony is that in order to fight against these 'fascists', 'racists' and 'Islamophobes', Mehdi Hasan is quite willing to use fascistic words and fascistic political measures to do so – as Leftists very often do! That is, he mentioned the banning of Robert Spencer from the UK, which I presume he endorses. I also assume he either wants to ban the EDL or impose the infamous 'no platform policy' on the group. This is a policy which Leftists – often the same ones at different times – sometimes do and sometimes don't endorse. It all depends on how well their public arguments are going on their controversial demand that 'the oppressive capitalist State' censor politically incorrect views and ban non-conformist movements.
The YouTube 'Cattle Video'
Predictably, I suppose, Mehdi Hasan tackles the infamous video in which he calls all non-Muslims, or, as he puts it, "kaffar", nothing less than 'cattle' (though he does so only because Douglas Murray had referred to it). Clearly these comments on the video are aimed at his fans. That is, they are aimed at the people who read the 'progressive' Huffington Post and who are already sympathetic to his politics and causes. What I mean is that most of them won't check the video to see for themselves if Hasan's denials are actually true.
Like so many other people, I found Mehdi Hasan's arrogant and smug words repulsive. (Hasan is arrogant and smug most of the time. What do you expect from an ex-public schoolboy?) But they didn't repulse me half as much as his later claims that all his critics took his words 'out of context'! Ah! That old Muslim chestnut – out of context. You know, as in all the negative and violent passages in the Koran always being cited 'out of context'. That's strange. Have you noticed that the positive Koranic passages (of which there are few) are always quoted in context? To be accurate, Muslims never mention the 'necessary context' required for any citation of the positive passages.
What does context – if only in this case – actually mean anyway? The video makes it crystal clear what Hasan is saying because he says it plainly and unequivocally. What possible context could he be referring to? Is he referring to the context in which his despicable and arrogant comments about "kaffar" will be miraculously transformed into words of Islamic love, peace and deep cuddles to all non-Muslims? Do you really believe in such miracles?
And, no, the Koran doesn't use the word 'cattle' in a metaphorical way, as Hasan claims. However, I suppose it is evidently metaphorical in the strict sense that not even Muhammad could have believed that all kuffar are literally cattle. But that doesn't matter in the slightest! Comparing people to cattle, or saying they are like cattle, is equally bad and reprehensible. In fact, come to think of it, since the Koran and Muhammad, Muslims have stated that Christians and Jews are descended from pigs. (The more sophisticated version is that Christians were descended from pigs and Jews from apes.) So maybe Hasan was being literal after all!
In addition to all that, there is no evidence whatsoever which shows that Hasan was also aiming his comments at Muslims, as he claims. (For example, he refers to "atheists". Can Muslims be atheists?) Of course, even if the video doesn't shown that his comments were also aimed at Muslims, Hasan can still claim that this was nonetheless the case because it is impossible to prove otherwise. In other words, Mehdi Hasan is dissimulating again. Something he does most of the time.
The simple fact is that Mehdi Hasan has to distance himself from the video. He wouldn't have survived as the The Official Voice of All Muslims (along with 'Mo' Ansar) if that were not the case. So even if he still, in his Islamic heart, agrees with the entirety of what he said about kaffar on that video ('in context' or out of context), he could never admit to it. In any case, it's obvious that he would have had no idea at the time that this video would eventually become viral on YouTube. (Perhaps he didn't even know or realise it was being taped.)
Nonetheless, just in case some of you think it was a one-off and insist on giving all people – even Mehdi Hasan – the benefit of the doubt, there are another two videos in which Hasan refers to non-Muslims as "animals", etc. (Click here to see them.) It's also ironic that Hasan refers to Anjem Choudary – the UK's famous firebrand Islamist – in this article when he himself outshines Choudary in crudity and bigotry in these videos. As British television viewers will be well aware, Hasan's also a far better actor/ performer – primarily due, no doubt, to his public school training – than the dreary Choudary. (It's interesting too that even though Hasan is a 'progressive' – or Leftist – Shia Muslim, he can't resist having a go at the Sunni "Islamic Republic of Pakistan", as he puts it, in one of the videos.)
Hasan also claims that it's an "ancient speech". Is 2009 ancient? It's not if you compare to the truly ancient speech of Douglas Murray, from 2006, which Hasan quotes in this very article. I'm afraid Hasan is being hypocritical again.
And on those ancient speeches of Douglas Murray, Mehdi Hasan snidely comments that Anjem Choudary could also say "I was angry" (as Murray said about his earlier speeches) about some of the things he has said. Maybe – but he wouldn't! I doubt that Choudary would ever explain – let alone apologise for – anything he has said as an Islamist. In fact he never has so far. Instead Choudary has correctly claimed that everything he says is completely Islamic and in line which much – if not all – Islamic teachings and texts. In fact Choudary may be somewhat jealous of Hasan's 'cattle' speech and its notoriety.
What Mehdi Hasan actually said on the 'cattle' video:
"The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, 'a people of no intelligence'. Allah describes them as – not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of 'no intelligence' because they're incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Quran describes the atheists as 'cattle', as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world."
So perhaps the following is the 'true context' to what Hasan said:
“The People of the Book, the people of restricted belief, the dialectical and Marxist materialists who are not informed about the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran - they are described in the Quran as, quote, ‘people who have not been the beneficiaries of dawa’. Allah describes them as, not of no morality, not as people of no belief – but people of ‘a sceptical nature’ because they have not been allowed, in their secular and democratic societies, to add to their beliefs, to add to their scientific assumptions about this world, the truths and values of Islam and the glory of Allah. In this respect, the Quran describes the people of restricted belief as ‘unfortunate people’, as unfortunate people who go to night-clubs and university lectures but who never experience the virtues and pleasures of studying Islam and the Koran.”