One person who I have no love for is a lady called Melanie Phillips, who is known for her anti-Islamic views (Brother Yusuf Matthews over at Indigo Jo often picks up on the crap she writes), so it was good to see this article by Ed Hussain in the Guardian (Saturday 31 October 2009) discussing her views:
"Melanie Philips's zealotry and ignorance frighten me. How did we produce a public commentator filled with such anger, venom and hatred?
In Melanie's world, anybody – non-Muslim (Barack Obama) or Muslim (me) – who opposes her views on Israel is either an Islamist or "in the Islamists' camp". I reject Islamism on grounds of principle, experience, faith and political philosophy – and I refuse to pass the "Israel First" test. That is a perfectly coherent, normative political stance.
An Israel First mindset is about supporting Israel regardless of whether its behaviour is right or wrong, whether it is victim or oppressor; it also involves holding political activists hostage with accusations of antisemitism and/or Islamism in seeking to gain unconditional support for Israel.
The Israel First test, which she seeks to impose on British Muslims (as well as an American president), reeks of racism. Why is Israel more important than any other country in the world? With leading British Muslims increasingly supporting a secular state, democracy, women's rights, gay rights and liberal pluralism, and opposing Islamist extremism – then still be attacked as "extremists" or "Islamist" because they don't support Likud's plans for Israel is bullying and uncompromising in the extreme. How dare she?
I support Israel's right to exist, but not its brow-beating tactics in dealing with its neighbours. Britain and America are committed to a two-state solution – so are, one hopes, most British Muslims. Why can't Melanie accept and rejoice that rather than poke fun at Muslim individuals and organisations that are on a journey to moderation?"
You can read the whole article here.