A French Muslim blogger has called upon his fellow Muslims to rise up against radical Islam within their midst – directly opposing the mainstream narrative that Muslims cannot be held responsible for combatting extremism in their midst.
The warning of civil war if extremism is not defeated comes just days after the mainstream media seized on the Facebook quip of British Muslim Kash Ali, who wrote: “I don’t understand why non muslims think we British Muslims can stop isis, mate I can’t even get a text back from the girl I like and you expect me to stop a terrorist organisation ffs”.
But the French Muslim blogger said that fellow Muslims, not the security forces or government, are best placed to tackle the ideology of Islamic terrorism. His message is in stark contrast to that of other western Muslims who have insisted that they have no role to play in combating radicalisation.
Speaking directly to his camera, the blogger known only by his online name ‘Chronic 2 Bass’ tells his fellow French Muslims: “I’m sick of all the attacks. This way we’re going to end up with a civil war, an ideological war, and it can get very ugly.
“So I say to all Muslims of France: protect our beautiful religion. Let’s track these imposters down.
“It’s not the government that’s gonna do the work, nor state security or the intelligence services. It’s us, the Muslims who go to the mosque. Us Muslims who share the values of the republic.”
He urges his fellow Muslims to report any suspicious behaviour or radical activity to the authorities, warning those who think that doing so makes them “a snitch”, that “tomorrow they’ll blow you up, or your mother or sister.”
“The solution can only come from us Muslims, from inside, because these people, sadly, they come to the same places of worship as us,” he said, “it’s up to us not to stay silent, deaf and blind. Hit them hard. The solution will come from us, French Muslims.”
His message couldn’t be further from that of other Muslims who have insisted that asking Western Muslims to shoulder some of the responsibility for tackling radical Islam is, in some way, to blame them for the problem.
In July, following the defection of three teenage girls from London to Syria, the British Prime Minister David Cameron called upon British Muslims to tackle radicalisation in their midst, saying “Too often we hear the argument that radicalisation is the fault of someone else.” He urged Muslim parents to be vigilant, and to speak out if they believe their children are being radicalised.
In response Mohammed Kozbar, vice president of the Muslim Association of Britain and chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque, which has in the past been denounced as a hotbed of radicalisation, said that “putting all the blame and responsibility at the doors of our community will only risk alienating, marginalising and criminalising a new generation of Muslim youth.”
He then went on to blame radicalisation on “British foreign policy” and the idea that “some young Muslims feel they are second-class citizens in Britain”.
In an evidence session of the Home Affairs Committee at the House of Commons last week, which probed the girls’ defection further, Sara Kahn of the anti-radicalisation organisation Inspire told MPs that the work her organisation was doing to promote a more tolerant form of Islam within the Muslim community was being actively undermined. She blamed other Muslims for creating a “toxic” environment for any counter-radicalisation work.
“We started off Inspire very much in a voluntary capacity, because women were coming to us post-London bombings and saying to us, ‘We fear that our children will become radicalised’,” she told the committee. She added:
“Doing this on a daily basis, we would argue that working within Muslim communities, it is a very difficult climate. I would argue there is a climate of intimidation and of abuse if you do this work.
“People have called us Islamophobes, native informants and Government stooges, and for what? Because we stand up for women’s rights and we are trying to help Muslim mothers who come to us and say, “Can you please give us the counter-narrative? Tell us, how can we stop our children from being radicalised?”
“It is a very toxic environment.”
Yet the media continue to give credence to a viewpoint which insists that Muslims have no role to play in combating Islamic State.
OMG this is everything pic.twitter.com/35HV30DMVe
— Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth) November 18, 2015