Tory MEP demonstrates understanding of Islamism

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan shows that there are at least some members of his party who don’t automatically lose their grip on reason when faced with the phenomenon of political Islam (as commentators at, say, Conservative Home invariably do). In a post on his Telegraph blog Hannan notes:

Many North African governments include what might loosely be termed Islamist groups: the PJD in Morocco, Ennahda in Tunisia, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and so on. Yet the idea, sometimes promulgated by Western writers, that these parties are branches of a single Islamist movement, is quite misleading. Despite facing similar challenges, and sharing a language, they are almost wholly focused on their domestic affairs, and have little to do with one another. They vary enormously in their approaches to politics. Indeed, the more you discover about them, the more you realise that Islamist is a wholly inadequate label. To posit a continuum between salafist radicals, who want a sharia-based theocracy, and pluralist Muslim parties that see themselves as local equivalents of Europe’s Christian Democrats, is preposterous.

Paul Goodman (who holds the view that “Al Qaeda and the [Muslim] Brotherhood aren’t separated by a firewall in ideological terms. Rather, they’re like different rooms that are linked none the less by a common corridor”) might perhaps take note.