Quilliam and the ‘Muslim world’

“The reality is that, despite the paranoia of the Quilliam Foundation, ‘Muslim world’ is not a phrase conceived exclusively by radical Islamists for nefarious propaganda purposes, which we have then been duped and deceived into using. Nor is it a phrase without real meaning, purpose or import. On the contrary, in a world of multiple identities, both individual and collective, to refer to the Muslim world is to simplify, clarify and identify.

“As someone who has often used the phrase ‘Muslim world’ myself, I take great personal offence in now being told by Ed Husain and his patronising thinktank chums that I for one am bolstering the repulsive and divisive ‘al-Qaeda narrative’ by doing so. ‘Muslim world’ is a perfectly valid, alternative description of the ‘Muslim majority countries’ and ‘Muslim communities’ so beloved by the Quilliam Foundation, and not an Islamist conspiracy theory in any shape or form.

“There is also an element of hypocrisy in this latest Quilliam position, as there are numerous references to the ‘Muslim world’ on its own website from, among others, its director Maajid Nawaz. Did he not get the memo?”

Mehdi Hasan at Comment is Free, 7 June 2009