Beware The Happy Clappies

Yvonne Ridley

I am growing increasingly frustrated at the mealy-mouthed, apologetic bunch of Muslims paraded across our TV screens these days. And just when one lot suddenly wake up, smell the coffee and begin to disagree with US and British foreign policies, another bunch take their place.

In the meantime, Muslim lands continue to hemorrhage the blood of innocents from Iraq to Lebanon, not forgetting Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine and Chechnya. Across the world millions more Muslims are persecuted and targeted by a hostile Western media, terrorized by government legislation and harsh edicts all in the name of the War on Terror. There are thousands of “disappeared” Muslim brothers known as the Ghost Detainees held at the request and behest of Uncle Sam.

While we all know what horrors and human rights abuses are being carried out in Guantanamo Bay, God only knows what atrocities are meted out to the Ghosts. Then we are told by Christian fundamentalists like Tony Blair that we have got to stop displaying a victim mentality! And how do we respond? By parading a group of weak Muslim men who appear to be permanently on their knees, ready to kiss the hand which slaps them.

These individuals never inspired Muslim reverts like myself to join the deen and cannot quite grasp why we look down on them and shake our heads in dismay.

I suppose its a legacy of colonialism which promotes a feeling of insecurity in some of these individuals. They simply don’t quite grasp the concept of equality just yet but do they really have to try and oppress their own? Don’t they realize they are doing more harm to Islam than good when they try to appease Muslim detractors and critics? A few have finally tried to stand up and stick their heads above the parapet … too little, too late!

Their apparent U-turn has angered the boss class in Washington and London who have now found new house slaves to replace the old ones. It is pointless naming and shaming these individuals – they know who they are and I’m sure they are flagellating themselves now for their past weaknesses, betrayals and cowardice.

But beware the new Uncle Toms who are bowing and scraping before their political masters in the White House and Downing Street. These so-called ‘Scholars for Dollars’ are trying to promote an evangelical, happy clappy brand of Islam. In many ways they are perhaps even more invidious than the previous bunch of sell outs.

Their weasel words are fooling some of the ummah and charming non-Muslims who love to introduce them on TV with labels such as modernists and moderates.

Look: we are either Muslim or not. We either believe in the five pillars of Islam or we don’t. What the hell is a modernist or a moderate anyway? Being a Muslim is like being pregnant…you either are or you aren’t. Whoever heard of someone being 80 percent pregnant?

The Happy Clappy bunch are now promoting roadshows across the West trying to inject a ‘Feel Good’ factor in to the ummah. Look, I’m not a killjoy but I am a realist and trying to reform Islam into something else is just not on. I wouldn’t mind if they were doing it out of a genuine love for the deen, but they are trying to introduce a brand of Islam which is more acceptable to non-Muslims.

Of course this is nothing new. Christianity was diluted to such an extent in Britain that the UK is now secular. In fact, if the truth be told, there are more Muslims who turn out for Friday prayers across the UK than those who go to church on Sundays.The Happy Clappies promote an Islam devoid of jihad, shari’ah and khilafah…hmm, a bit like cod and chips without the fish!

They have been harvested and groomed to fulfil the conclusions of the US-based RAND Corporation’s 2003 report which recommends encouraging divisions among those labelled fundamentalists. RAND actively suggests that the Happy Clappies should be financially funded to promote their views, promoting a diluted style of Sufism and forming alliances with secularist groups.

While the US Islamophobes went into overdrive to push through the RAND recommendations, in the UK a government initiative was launched in 2004 which mirrored the objectives of their US counterparts.

Muslim groups towing the government line are rewarded with lucrative grants – and let’s check out who is going to get what in the next round of Peerages, knighthoods and other revolting honors … it is beyond me how anyone can accept an award with ‘Empire’ in the title. Do civilised human beings in the 21st century really want to be reminded of Britain’s atrocious, colonialist past?

Of course Islam has been under attack for the past 1400 years, but I’m not sure if the ‘enemy within’ has been as prolific as it is today. There are those who have made it their business to systematically promote disharmony between Muslims and the rest of the world. using the flimsy excuse of freedom of expression, we are attacked constantly.

Why can’t we express outrage at the rivers of innocent Muslim blood which flow through Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnya, and Uzbekistan. Why can’t our dead have one minute’s silence afforded the innocent victims of 9/11, Bali, Madrid, or the London Bombings. Why can’t we speak out about the continuing injustices against the Palestinians who at this very moment are being starved to death for having the cheek to democratically elect a government not to the liking of the American President? Clearly these are issues not on the agenda of the Happy Clappies who make it their business to avoid speaking about illegal wars, persecution, injustice or criticising Western leadership.

If they are allowed to dilute Islam they will also reduce our freedom of speech in a so-called free society. Freedom is that precious commodity which gives us the ability to make our own choices. It is also the precious commodity that our politicians across Europe have abused to gamble away our freedoms and liberties since 9/11.

We really do want to open dialogue with those who are afraid of us. We want to sit down and talk to our enemies so they no longer feel threatened. I no longer want to see hatred burning in another’s eyes because they don’t like the fact I wear a hijab or my companion has a beard. There is little I will not do in the way of reaching out to try and promote a greater understanding.

But do not think for one minute I am going to kiss the hand which slaps me. I am not a pacifist. And as the first set of Uncle Tom’s found out, craven behavior is reviled not rewarded. Remember the words of that great 1960s Muslim martyr, Malcolm X who said: “Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”

Well it is time for a change and Muslims will not bring about change by kneeling down before those who would harm us or promoting a faith inspired by some Mary Poppins sect. Realistically speaking, we are not going to create a harmony overnight. Nor will we bring about an immediate change across the West where Muslims often make up the second largest religious community. But perhaps we might turn the tide of hate which is sweeping some of our disaffected young people into extreme corners where they listen to siren calls. Do you know, I’m not sure we are really that bothered if our detractors don’t like us. We can even tolerate their indifference but we should refuse to tolerate their intolerance.

For our enemies reading this today: quite simply, we are not like you are, nor do we aspire to be anything like you. However, we do respect your right to be the way you are…as long as it does not infringe on our rights to be the way we are. As a convert to Islam, I’ve got a view from both sides of the fence and I can tell you I am a very different person today to what I was in 2001.I don’t think I was a particularly bad person. I had a hedonistic, pleasure-seeking, champagne lifestyle. I worked very hard and I played hard.

Five years ago I considered myself British but now I believe my faith defines my allegiance and nationality. Obviously I am not alone in my beliefs and many younger Muslims are turning their backs on the integration and assimilation that their parents in the West often desired. Muslims are beginning to assert themselves and there are Establishment figures across the West who do not like this. Sadly issues of race and religion often become intertwined … then the racists force them into a greater sense of religious identity.

Young Muslims are no longer satisfied to take menial jobs and they are competing at universities with the aims of following professional careers and ambitions. Society should be happy that we want to contribute to the West in such a healthy way, but some still resent us simply because our values are different.

Practising Muslims do not drink, or go for casual relationships and one night stands. They are unlikely to marry non-Muslims or indulge in extra marital affairs, gambling and drugs. This is not simply a fashion or trend for religious observance among young people. Muslims are becoming increasingly active. Their commitment has led to major changes in many people’s ways of thinking because they see themselves as having a right to be in Europe and they expect recognition of their civil rights. We are Muslims but we are also Westerners. We face many challenges but do not ask us to dilute our Islam or modernise.

As I wrote earlier, there are those who are promoted as scholars by Western governments, but beware these individuals. You have to ask yourself why do they want us to conform to a certain mold when ultimately they create divisions and further conflict from within. These scholars promote Western ideas and ideals and talk of modernisation and change but they are regarded as traitors by many observant followers of Islam.

However various Western Governments want to see Islam diluted in the same way as Christianity until it no longer poses a threat to political authority. Their efforts since 9/11 have failed and it is no surprise to many of us that Islam is now becoming the fastest growing religion in the world today. This growth is spreading deep alarm across the so-called civilised world but there is no clash of civilisations or religions. We respect the people of the book.

The Qur’an tells us that it is our duty to protect Jews and Christians and allow them to practice their faith in peace. What we are witnessing is perhaps the biggest threat to capitalism in the world today. The unprecedented growth of Islam of course came as no surprise to Dr. Murad Hoffman, a former Germany ambassador to Morocco. In his book called Islam is the Alternate Solution he wrote: “I think that the movement to revive Islam will come from Europe in the 21st century.”

Also, when Roger Garaudy (a French philosopher) became a Muslim, Europe was shocked because a materialist and a communist thinker embraced Islam.When I became a Muslim in June 2003, I was written off as some nutcase because the reality of a Western woman turning her back on a materialistic lifestyle was too much to bear.

Modern Western women have simply fallen in love with a faith which gives them liberation. You tell me what is more liberating … being judged on the size of your bust or the size of your brain? No longer being judged on the length of your skirt is surely more civilized? So just what does define Islam and Muslims as being civilised? Well, we place the highest value on humanity and ‘human’ characteristics like freedom, honour, family, responsibilities, morals and values..

If materialism has a higher value as we often see in the West, and other human values are secondary then surely such a society is backward? The family determines the whole character of a society wether it is backward or civilised. Those societies which give priority to physical desires and animal-like morals can not be considered civilised, no matter what breakthroughs are made in science, space travel or industry.

Illegitimate sexual relationships are not considered immoral by this sort of society. Writers and colmnists often suggest that having various promiscuous, sexual relationships is not immoral even if it is with some else’s husband or wife.There are many stories about husbands and their mistresses which spawn light-hearted articles and great mirth. Look how Bill Clinton’s extra-marital dalliances were treated like some smutty little joke even though he was the US President.

Surely, to consider yourself civilized, you should be above animal desires striving towards higher values. What is so outrageous about being loyal and faithful to your partner? If random sexual activity or promiscuity is developed outside the bounds of morality then surely civilised behaviour is all but lost? Islamic values and morals, Islamic teachings and safeguards measure real human progress in this world.

Sadly I look around at the so-called Muslim World and see no genuine Islamic States today. And I do blame the various invasions of the Christians and the Zionists for the corrupt state of the ummah. I despair at the Arab leaders who belly-danced in front of America and delivered Iraq on a plate. The currency of Islamic honour has been lost in some of these Middle eastern countries where human rights are violated daily.The imperialists and capitalists now want to destroy Islam in the same way they have sterilised and diluted Christianity.

They want to bring about the collapse of morality, disbelief and rejection of faith that the West has already experienced. But they are being thwarted in their efforts by the number of people converting to Islam everyday in the West. They can’t explain it and so they try and undermine it by depicting Islam as a violent faith which promotes wars and terrorism.

We must stop them from using this latest bunch of “House Muslims” as voice pieces to promote this idea as they are fifth columnists and will no doubt reap the reward for their treachery. We have to stop the stereotyping of political Islam and its followers. Islam is not evil, nor does it promote terrorism nor does it breed religious fanatics. That’s a bit like me demonising all men on the grounds that all rapists are men.

To misquote Martin Luther King’s great dream:

I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Muslims and non-Muslims. This will be the day when we bring into full realization civilisation in the West — a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that a Muslim’s faith determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone for none of us has the right to own the earth.”

And for those of you who have forgotten to fear no one but Allah (T), I would ask you to start standing up for your faith and your rights before the Happy Clappies do any real damage.

1 Comment

  1. The title of the article should Beware of the Munafiks.

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