05 July 2007

This Weeks Little Atoms

On this weeks show Neil Denny and Padraig Reidy talk to the journalist Martin Bright.

Martin Bright began his journalistic career writing in very simple English for a magazine aimed at French school children. This experience has informed his style ever since. He worked for the BBC World Service, and The Guardian before joining the Observer as Education Correspondent. He went on to become Home Affairs Editor before becoming the New Statesman's political editor in 2005.

In 2006 Martin presented a documentary for Channel 4, "Who Representsents British Muslims?". He has written extensively on the governments tendency to accomodate Islamic reactionaries. These writings have been collected together by the think tank Policy Exchange and can be found and can be found here.

Tune in at 16:30 on friday at the usual place, Resonance 104.4FM in London, or on Resonance FM's Website.



Anonymous dave said...

Who represents British Muslims? You might as well ask, Who represents Britain? A government that's eagerly joined a war that's cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives against the 7000 or so westerners killed by Muslims in recent decades (half of them in invading Muslim lands unrelated to any prior aggression)? And yet you wail about a handful of fringe Islamist groups who represent nobody but themselves and a few hotheads?

As for British "flirtation" with Islamism, that's a phenomenon not of Blair's ultimately Islamophobe premiership but of Cold War promotion of recruitment & training networks for an earlier jihad, in 1980s Afghanistan - the one that gave us Mr bin Laden and his ISI-backed Peshawar supply "base". Nor was Sadat the first to "flirt" with the Muslim Brotherhood as the misnamed Mr Bright implies - the CIA had been there in the 1950s, similarly looking to counter Nasser's secular Arab nationalist appeal.

If you guys spent more time querying the policies that led to maybe 1.4 million Iraqi dead since 1991 and less whining about Muslims angered by this ongoing holocaust, you might be able to do more than contribute to the rising tide of Islamophobia that's spreading across the west in an echo of similarly murderous manipulated ancient hatreds.

And please stop misusing the word "Islamic": this denotes the broad cultural style associated with Muslim influence, or a system of law and government. If you mean Muslim, say "Muslim", if you mean "Islamist" (ie advocating Islam-based government), say "Islamist", if you mean jihadi/jihadist (advocating violence in pursuit of a supranational Islamic regime), say so. Few western Muslims are Islamist and fewer still jihadist - and there were fewer still before the US-British-Saudi-Pakistan operation to encourage jihadism as a weapon against communism and pan-Arabism.

Frankly your choice of theme (or rather this recurring theme) is a poor advertisement for rationalism. There's more to reason than picking on the easiest target in pursuit of some crusade for uniformity: we've been there too. Reason advances by engaging with diversity, with all its attendant risks, not by promoting one blinkered take as a universal ideal.

11:39 am  

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