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

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.

Read more at New Statesman

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

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security