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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Mosque Watch (1): Dr. Mohammad Naseem at Birmingham Central Mosque

*) From ‘The Legacy of September 11th’, by Dr. Mohammad Naseem, the Dawn, Issue No. 167 (the Newsletter of Birmingham Central Mosque) -

i) Introduction
ii) Muslims are Not Sorry For 9/11
iii) So Who Did Done It?
iv) Engagement With Muslims?


Dr. Mohammad Naseem is quite a well known Muslim in England. He is the chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque and the home affairs spokesman for the Islamic Party of Britain. (Dr. Naseem’s being a member of an ‘Islamic' political party tells you all you need to know about him.) In addition, Naseem stood as a candidate for Respect in 2005 and since that time has been actively involved in the Stop the War Coalition.

Naseem once said that Tony Blair was ‘like Hitler’ and that the British state was a ‘police state’. Tony Blair was like Hitler because he took measures to find Islamic terrorists and stop Islamic terrorism. The British state was a ‘police state’ because it took measures to find Islamic terrorists and stop Islamic terrorism. More recently, and closer to home, Naseem encouraged young Muslim yobs to ‘vent their feelings’ at an English Defence League demonstration in Birmingham last year.

Muslims are Not Sorry For 9/11

It is strange that a piece entitled ‘The Legacy of September 11th’ should include not a single word of Muslim culpability. Neither does it contain a single word which even attempts to distance 'moderate' Muslims from the 9/11 terrorists. Well, it would be hard to distance yourself from the Muslim terrorists who didn’t, in fact, carry out 9/11. There is simply no need for Muslims, or Dr. Naseem himself, to say sorry or express regret. Muslims simply didn’t do it. Full stop. There is no need for any distancing, or any sorrow, or any regret. Instead it is the American state, or Europe, or Israel, which should be sorry. It, or they, did it.

Now we know that it was the Americans that did it, or Europe, or Israel, it should be no surprise to read Dr. Naseem expressing his shock about just ‘how far people with power would go to achieve their desired goal’. That goal was the creation of the ‘perception of an external threat’ in order to unite the US or Europe… Or to get the oil and gas from the former Soviet Union… Or to create a Greater Israel which would be controlled and run by the ‘Christian extremists’ who have ‘dreamt of Christ’s return after the establishment of an extended Israel’.

It is strange that a Muslim extremist like Dr. Naseem should deride ‘Christian extremists’ in this piece. You would think that Naseem would admire the extreme beliefs and actions of the American evangelicals. (I presume that it is the evangelicals that he is referring to.) Shouldn’t Naseem admire Christians who take their religion and their holy books seriously? Shouldn’t he admire those Christians who are prepared to fight to the death for Christianity and its political and geographical expansion? Except, of course, these are the wrong extremes. These are the wrong holy books. Naseem is talking about the wrong religion. Thus, since we are not talking about Islamic extremism; then of course Naseem is against every example of non-Islamic extremism. Islamic extremism; yes: Christian extremism; no.

So Who Did Done It?

According to Naseem, it wasn’t Muslim terrorists who carried out 9/11. (Naseem’s article is on 9/11, but I may as well tell you here and now that Naseem didn’t think that Muslims were responsible for the London bombings of 2005 either.) Firstly, Naseem claims that it was the American state that carried out the terrorist attacks. Naseem does not say that this is a fact. However, the whole purpose of this little piece is to say that it was the Americans themselves, or the Europeans, or the Israelis, and not Muslims, who were responsible for 9/11.

Why did the American state commit this atrocity on its own people? Naseem says that it was because it wanted to create ‘the perception of an external threat’. And what better way to do this than ‘through a terrorist outrage’ committed by Muslims? He cites various sources as proof, or evidence, that this was so.

Firstly Naseem states that this ‘external threat’ was primarily needed for ‘political union’. However, the first two passages he quotes are from Europe. One is from the European Commission of 1996 and the other is from Romano Prodi.

After citing these two passages, which are supposed to display the desire for ‘political union’ (within Europe, not America), Naseem then cites a passage which says, or hints at, that 9/11 was all about the gas and oil in the former Soviet Union. That is a sudden and somewhat unrelated shift of potential suspects if ever there was one.

Naseem then changes his mind yet again. This time he offers a kind of theological and historical reason for America’s act of self-terrorism. Naseem now hints at the possibility that America wants to create an ‘extended Israel’. All this is very vague. But his use of the words ‘cross Atlantic…. desire for control’ suggests that Naseem also thinks that Europe is in on this attempt to create a ‘greater Israel’. Thus Europe were also involved in 9/11.

Of course Dr. Naseem can’t be too explicit about all these things because he doesn’t want the media to get a hold of his mad conspiracy theories (there is more than one in his article). That doesn’t matter. His fellow Muslims, at Birmingham Central Mosque and elsewhere, will know exactly what he is really talking about. But to state these accusations explicitly would be an act of political suicide. It would go down very badly in terms of negative publicity, something which Dr. Naseem has already had his fair share of. That’s why this piece is so vague. He is being very careful not to be too explicit and too, well, Islamic. In other words, he is using the Lesser Taqiyya rather than the Greater Taqiyya. That is, Naseem hints and implies that his conspiracy theories are factual, rather than states that they are. There are no outright lies. These are sweet words of dissimulation.

If the Americans did it, or the Europeans, or the Israelis, this means that Muslims did not do it. Again, he uses hint and innuendo rather than statement to put his conspiracy theories across. He doesn’t out rightly say that the Muslims who flew the aeroplanes did not fly the planes on their own, instead he asks his Muslim readers to think about the feasibility of ‘a few unknowns who after 14 hours of flight training became so skilful that they could accomplish an aerial feat of such precision’. Naseem implied answer to this is simple. These Muslims couldn’t have done it, considering this dearth of expertise.

If these Muslims didn’t do it (or didn’t do it on their own), then why does Naseem then go on to hint (again) at the fact that these very same Muslims, the ones who didn’t do it, couldn’t have been controlled by al-Qaeda or Bin Laden anyway – even if they did do it. This is Naseem’s position now:

Those Muslim men didn’t do it. But if they did, they couldn’t have been controlled by al-Qaeda and bin Laden.

This is a little like another popular Muslim riposte:

Muslims didn’t commit 9/11. But if they did, then America had it coming and deserved it.

It is also like an older Muslim favourite, this time about the Jews:

Hitler didn’t kill six million Jews. But if he did, then the Jews deserved it.

Naseem tells us why bin Laden couldn’t have planned and then controlled the 9/11 attacks.

Bin Laden lives most of the time in a cave in Afghanistan. At least that’s what most of us believe. It is what Naseem believes as well. However, the difference is that most people (or most non-Muslims) think that bin Laden could control at least some global acts of terrorism from his cave. Naseem, on the contrary, thinks that this would be impossible. He says that the main problem for bin Laden will be his lack of electricity. Without electricity bin Laden would not be ‘able to control a world wide organisation’. (What about generators and other such things?)

So to recap. Dr. Naseem believes that Muslims did not carry out the 9/11 attacks. America, or Europe, or Israel, did. He then argues that even if these Muslims did do it (on their own), they couldn’t have been working for bin Laden because he has no electricity.

From this lack-of-electricity scenario, it is but a small step to state, or hint (again), that one must be ‘extremely naïve’ to believe ‘that Al-Qaeda is a threat to the world’. Apart from bin Laden’s lack of electricity, Naseem also believes that Al-Qaeda can’t be the threat infidels claim it to be because this group has ‘never approached’ Naseem himself or any other Muslim he knows. Not only that, Naseem and other Muslims had ‘never heard of ’ Al-Qaeda before 9/11.

Engagement With the Muslim Community?

There is a lot of talk, from Naseem and other Muslim leaders, about the need for the Government to fully engage with Muslims and Islamic organisations. This is strange. What kind of engagement could there be between Muslims and a Government which Naseem himself says ‘is not concerned with morality or principles’. That is not a reference to a particular political party, or to a particular Governmental institution, or to a particular policy. This is what Naseem thinks of the whole British state – from head to toe. Why would Muslims, or Naseem himself, what to engage or debate with a ‘political establishment [which] is not concerned with morality and principles’? Wouldn’t Naseem and other Muslims be contaminated by our immoral and unprincipled Government and state? (Remember here that Dr. Naseem is an actvist within the Islamic Party of Britain.)

Naseem thinks the British state is immoral and unprincipled because it is an infidel state and government. By Muslim definition, the Government simply must be unprincipled and immoral because it is without Islamic principles and without Islamic morality. It is the infidel status of the Government that really gets to Naseem. Thus, quite frankly, it must be the case that Dr. Naseem could never genuinely deal with any non-Muslim individual or institution, from the local council to the media. But he often does!

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