All Is Not Well with Islam in the UK, and Politicians Are Afraid of Taking the Steps to Make Things Better

June 30 2021

In his new book Among the Mosques, Ed Husain—himself a British Muslim born into a devout family—argues that “all is not well” among the Muslims of the United Kingdom, even if they are by no means the monolithically intolerant and dangerous group right-wing bigots would make them out to be. Freddie Hayward reports on a recent conversation with Husain:

In town after town, [Husain] found mosques that discriminated against women and taught a highly literal interpretation of Islam. Husain also came across books by authors banned in parts of the Middle East for being extremist, and mosques that conducted Islamic marriages without legal registration and the protections that come with it.

Husain believes it is vital that the UK discusses the issues around Muslims’ place in wider society. . . . Why, then, does he think these conversations aren’t happening? “I think people don’t want to be seen to be picking on minorities,” he replies. “That’s a good thing, but that impulse shouldn’t then end in a place where we can’t have free conversations in a respectful manner.”

“Neglect and fear by the center-left and right of British politics makes this challenge grow and grow, not go away,” he warns. Husain . . . believes Keir Starmer, [the current head of the Labor party], is “terrified” of confronting the problem, and that Conservatives are also paralyzed by “fears of being accused of Islamophobia.”

Husain calls for an “inclusive patriotism” flowing from a reaffirmation of Britain’s liberal tradition and concepts such as equality [of the sexes], individual liberty, the rule of law, and racial parity. These values constitute modern Britain, he argues, and promoting them will undercut extremist views.

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Read more at New Statesman

More about: European Islam, Labor Party (UK), United Kingdom

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy