A letter to the editor of the observer...
Nick Cohen's recent article "Long live Grammars" included a bit at the end entitled "beating your head against a wall of hate" that wouldn't have been out of place in the Sun or Daily Mail. I was shocked to read it today, I have read a lot of Nick Cohen's articles and his book "Cruel Britannia" and have generally found them to be excellent.
When he cites Mohamed Naseem, the chairman of the Birmingham central Mosque, saying he wasn't sure if the Islamist atrocities were Islamist, as evidence that we are "up against totalitarianism" he alienates almost every Muslim in the world who renounce terrorism and do not consider it "Islamic" or "Islamist" in any way apart from the fact that these deranged people claim to be doing it in the name of Islam. Do we judge Christianity by David Koresh? No. You cannot allow your paper to encourage the idea that Islam is somehow inherently related to terror.
The other comments Cohen quoted, where Mr. Naseem states that he is not sure if Al Qaeda exist, as the main source of information is the CIA, which is not an entirely trustworthy source of information. This is really beyond doubt. Or is at worst, the product of a well founded lack of faith in the government (lies over WMD and Iraq), the intelligence services (very poor information, secretiveness), and the mainstream media (for failure to properly expose all the lies and deceit). It is a sad lack of trust, but it is not, unfortunately, unfounded. How Cohen is so sure of the information he has got, I do not know, unless of course he trusts entirely the information we get from our government and security services, in which case I am shocked by his naivety.
Using the fact that Mr Naseem donated money to George Galloway who "saluted the murderer of thousands of Muslims" to prove Mr. Naseen's totalitarian credentials is a really cheap shot too. Mr. Naseem's donation to Galloway is another sad reflection of our political system. Galloway is seen as someone who speaks out against Islamophobia, so it is not surprising that Muslims who feel unduly persecuted for their faith support him. Many politicians 'salute' or congratulate murderers of hundreds of thousands of Muslims or others, hey does it matter if the murdered are Muslims or not? What about Tony Blair and George Bush? Is everyone who salutes them, either out of genuine respect or for political expediency or protocol a ‘totalitarian’?
Having labeled anyone who is skeptical about the official version of the London bombings, the honesty of the CIA, or the Islamic credentials of the bombers as ‘totalitarian’. Cohen goes on to say that “the totalitarian mind needs conspiracies”, well what we have going on in London now is certainly some kind of conspiracy, someone is planting bombs on our underground and killing innocent people, who is behind it all and why they are doing it are shrouded in mystery. Nobody “needs” this kind of conspiracy, (apart from journalists of course) and nobody appreciates being labeled as a totalitarian or extremist or loony for daring to question the established version of events.
Nick Cohen should be ashamed of himself, first for this hate inspiring article and secondly for his blanket criticism of anyone who tries to question what we are being told, or the trustworthiness of official intelligence sources, who we are all aware, are economical with the truth at best. We are genuinely beating out head against a wall of hate and Nick Cohen is rapidly becoming a brick in that wall.
Yours, Benjamin Zeitlyn
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit,
Sattar Bhaban, 4th Floor, 3/3E, Bijoynagar, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Beating your head against a wall of hate
"Oh dear. The worthy attempts by Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Police to be multi-cultural and inclusive were rewarded last week with complete contempt. The city fathers realised it was time to give-up when Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham's Central Mosque, didn't just blame the Islamist atrocities on Tony Blair, but announced that he wasn't sure if the Islamist atrocities were Islamist atrocities.
'Where is the evidence that four youths whose pictures were caught on CCTV camera were the perpetrators?' he asked. 'How did we reject the possibility they were just innocent victims of this terrible happening?' Like the producers of the BBC's The Power of Nightmares, he wasn't at all sure al-Qaeda existed. 'The only information about this organisation is coming from the CIA. Now, the CIA is not known for telling the truth.' All he was certain of was that the murders were being used an excuse for 'Muslim bashing'.
His outburst is yet another sign that what we are up against is totalitarianism. Naseem has given thousands of pounds to Respect - the party which encapsulates the delirium on the liberal-left by combining Marxism-Leninism with religious fundamentalism. More telling than his willingness to back George Galloway, a politician who 'saluted' the murderer of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, was his refusal to admit the obvious.
The totalitarian mind needs conspiracies. If you believe that the working class, the Aryan race or the faithful are the true inheritors of the earth, you can't accept contradictory evidence. Crimes and defeats have to be the results of plots by the bourgeoisie, Jews, infidels, Freemasons, MI5 or the CIA. Admit doubt and the dogma crumbles. Our future security depends on how widespread totalitarian instincts have become. All I know is that my colleagues who talk to MI5 say it is getting virtually no cooperation."