Posted by Curt on 1 May, 2016 at 9:00 am. 1 comment.

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Patrick Goodenough:

Muslims are radicalized not because of Islamophobia, poverty or foreign policy grievances, but because of an ideology and theology that must be uprooted if the growing problem is to be addressed, a former radical Islamist said at the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Addressing a conference on European Muslim radicalization, Ed Husain, a senior advisor to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and former Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow, urged participants to “be honest about the nature of the problem.”

And the nature of the problem, he said, “is not Islamophobia – because it is Muslims who are being killed most by this global surge of extremism and terrorism.” He pointed to Pakistan, where more than 40,000 people have been killed by terrorists over the last decade.

“It is not poverty,” Husain continued, saying that if it were, then Muslims in countries like Mauritania and Bangladesh would be the most radicalized – “and they’re not.”

“In fact, Osama bin Laden, as we all know, was from Saudi Arabia,” he noted, added that there were multi-millionaires now in the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL).

Husain, a practicing Muslim, told his Brussels audience it was convenient to argue that radicalization was caused by Muslim grievances over foreign policy.

“If it was all about Western foreign policy then why was Belgium attacked [by ISIS last month]” – rather than Israel, he asked.

Some of the grievances claimed by Muslims around the world were also shared by others, he said, citing India as an example.

“Large chunks of India have become Pakistan and Bangladesh. We don’t see Indians going around trying to blow themselves up to regain their lost land.”

The battle of ideas, said Husain, is underpinned by “a combination of an ideology and a theology.”

“The ideology is not Islam but Islamism, a perversion of the faith, a politicization of the faith,” he said, while the theology is “Salafism.”

“Our enemies are fighting a battle of ideas; we cannot fight with a battle of bureaucracy, with a battle of procedures, and a battle of funding,” without understanding those ideas.

Husain listed several key manifestations of the radical ideology and theology:

–“Our enemies approach scripture [the Qur’an and Hadiths] literally,” he said. “Metaphor, nuance, poetry, all of this is lost. And where it says in the Qur’an, ‘Kill them wherever you find them’ you see ISIS and other literally doing that.”

(Husain said mainstream Muslim consensus was “we do not apply those verses in this day and age – they were for a particular time and a particular place and don’t have application now.”)

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