I evidence how British Islamist organizations have led on delivering a highly effective campaign in deliberately misinforming not only British Muslims but wider society about what Prevent is and is not. These Islamists have not only partnered with teaching unions, students, lawyers, teachers and academics in an attempt to end Prevent, they have sought to malign the many Muslim organizations who do support it creating a “toxic” climate where many Muslims do not want to openly admit their support for Prevent. As a result the loud anti-Prevent lobby end up dominating the discourse—and narrative about Prevent.
The rise of extremist Islamist views among third-generation Muslims in Britain and the failure of Muslim organisations to effectively confront those views is the central concern of human rights activist Sara Khan’s new book, The Battle for British Islam.
To read the full review on The Arab Weekly – click here.
A central theme to this ideology is the notion that the West is at war with Islam and Islam is at war with the West; and that Muslims should strive to live in Dar al Islam, or the land of Islam, as opposed to Dar al Kufr, the land of disbelief of which Britain is allegedly part. There is no middle ground.
This extreme, anti-Western worldview is shared not only by violent extremist groups like Isis, but also by global political organisations such as like Hizb ut Tahrir (the “party of liberation”), whose UK branch reviles at the very notion of a British Islam. The idea of a reconciled British Muslim identity clashes with the binary Islamist worldview and the narrative of a caliphate.
To read the full article by Sara Khan – click here.
If we are going to prevent a dangerous drift into the politics of hate dominating across the West, then Western societies have to re-think the national discourse about their Muslim citizens, who can be the most powerful ally in defeating the threat from global Islamism. The greatest threat to IS are Western Muslims who reject its call for jihad and strive to build peace, security and co-existence in their respective countries.
The Battle for British Islam is a sobering report from the trenches of this war of attrition, written by activist Sara Khan in collaboration with independent counter-extremism consultant Tony McMahon. Khan’s book is neither a memoir nor a Cri de Coeur. Instead, Khan offers a clear and measured exploration of a fraught and complex struggle, identifying its most important ideological actors and flashpoints with a controlled urgency. “The battle within Islam,” she writes in the opening pages, “encompasses much more than the challenge of terrorism. At its heart is a conflict of ideas and a question as to whether Muslims believe Islam is reconcilable with pluralism and human rights . . . These disputes among British Muslims define the battle for British Islam.”
To read the full review on Quillette – click here.
Islamic State (IS) violence can only be tackled if Muslims stand up for their views of what real Islam is, according to a rare female voice within the British Muslim community.
Human rights campaigner Sara Khan argues in a new book that combatting IS needs the development of religious counter-arguments to violent extremism, and she calls for an “amplification” of faith teaching which deconstructs Islamist ideology to help stop Islamists recruiting young Britons.
Sara Khan’s provocative title is more than just an attention grabber. She has spent years fighting extremist Islam in Britain, most recently as the director of Inspire, an organisation that tackles extremism through empowering women. Her thoughtful and detailed book draws lessons from the front through Sara’s countless interactions with British Muslims and through the urgent lens of Prevent, the Home Office’s deployment of counter-terrorism strategy. This book is the perfect introduction to those who engage with British Islam, extremist or not, and who want a map for the road. It is also a must read before passing judgement on home-grown extremism and counter-radicalisation.