Don’t kill the fattened calf for Ed & co

An unusually perceptive Ziauddin Sardar finally delivers a dissenting view of the media’s lionising of “Sir Edward Husain” and his clique in today’s Guardian, on the grounds that it ignores those who always resisted falling into the hands of the extremists:

The embrace of former extremists is a slap in the face for Muslims who have worked tirelessly to build a British Muslim identity and foster inclusion by constructive community activity. It’s another attempt at the marginalisation of the overwhelming majority who never had a moment’s doubt that Islam gives no sanction for such murderous and misguided perversion of belief.

I am troubled by the fact that former extremists are seen as the only people who know how to deal with extremism. Just because you have been an inmate of a mental hospital does not mean you are an expert in clinical psychology. But former extremists are being lionised because they confirm the basic tabloid prejudice that violence is a natural part of being a Muslim. So whose ignorance is being vindicated? Certainly the potential of an open, unapologetic belief in Islam as a valuable part of British society is not on the agenda.

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