Javid: Islamism Is a ‘Virus’ of the Mind, Must Be Confronted ‘Head-on’

Worshippers wearing facemasks have their temperatures taken as they arrive for Friday prayers at Madina Masjid, Sheffield's central mosque, in Sheffield, northern England, on July 24, 2020 as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus. - The Sheffield central mosque has taken a number of safety measures including …
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Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said that left-wing activists who victim blame the West or consistently “cry Islamophobia” when attempts are made to confront radical Islamism undermine the UK’s ability to deal with the problem.

Mr Javid, who is himself a Muslim, said that Islamism is a “virus” of the mind, saying that it can only be cured if the liberal cultures of the West stand up for their Enlightenment values.

“The virus, in this case, is Islamist ideology. An ideology that is antithetical to our way of life in a Western liberal democracy, and that has inspired countless attacks against innocent people. It claims to speak for the Muslim community yet is a twisted version of the great religion of Islam that billions follow around the world,” Javid wrote in The Telegraph.

“Islamist extremism is a grotesque mutation of the Islam I grew up with, know and love, and Muslims are its biggest victims,” he added.

The Conservative MP went on to denounce calls to “sanitise” the effects of Islamist terrorists, with suggestions being floated to rebrand the attacks as “faith-based violence” or “irhabi”, the Arabic word for “terrorist”. He argued that Islamist groups support the Doublespeak word changes because they help to distract from the messages of hate they preach.

Javid said that while there are some “well-meaning officials” who worry that using the term Islamism implicates the religion of Islam as a whole, he went on to say that there are also many “woke activists who are quick to victim-blame the West and cry Islamophobia at all attempts to deal with the issue”.

The former chancellor said the fact that over 1,000 British citizens travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State “should have been a wake-up call” and therefore it is “critical” to confront the ideology “head-on and call it for what it is”.

“President Macron is right to recognise this intellectual battle, and to characterise Islamism as a form of separatism,” Javid said.

Javid also announced a Policy Exchange initiative, which is being headed up by Sir John Jenkins, the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia who co-authored a 2015 review on the Muslim Brotherhood for the government. The initiative will track the spreading of Islamism through the UK.

Sir John said that Islamism “clothes itself in the language of religion” but is really “an activist, socially divisive and supremacist ideology, which seeks to reorder individual lives, societies and states”.

A report from the group said: “The British Government must not cede ground to Islamists, who for decades have misleadingly claimed to be the representatives of true Islam, by failing to understand their motives, the roots of their ideology and the consequences of the social and political gains they seek to make.”

In July, Breitbart London reported that police forces in Britain were considering dropping the terms “Islamist terrorism” and “jihadis” when characterising terror attacks, for fear of appearing Islamophobic, amidst pressure from the National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP).

In August, The Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM), called on media outlets from refraining from using the jihadi phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ because they claimed it falsely tied Islam to terrorism.

Earlier this month, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the terror threat level in the UK was upgraded by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (Jtac) to severe, meaning that a terror attack is “highly likely“.

The change in threat level followed weeks of Islamic terror attacks on continental Europe following French President Emmanuel Macron’s defence of Western values following the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty, who showed his class a Charlie Hebdo caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammed during a class on free speech.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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