Owen Jones is Leading Britain's Conversation
13 August 2017, 14:02
Charlottesville Shows Us We Need To Condemn ALL Extremism
Maajid Nawaz says it is right that Muslims lambast extremism, and violent, alt-right Charlottesville rioters should be treated in the same way.
A man has been charged with murder after a car rammed into a group people peacefully protesting against am alt-right rally in Charlottesville, injuring 19 people and killing a 32-year-old woman.
James Fields, 20, was arrested following the attack on Saturday.
Maajid Nawaz says the incident mirrors that of recent Islamist terrorism - so why aren't people speaking about the perpetrator the same way?
He said: "It's often the case that when an Islamist extremist espouses theocratic bigotry, and a jihadist terrorist takes that theocratic bigotry and attempts to implement it in the real world through direct action, that we all demand that Muslims do more to challenge theocratic bigotry within our communities.
"I, at the forefront of that effort, am regularly not only expected to, but feel it is my duty to condemn Islamist extremism before it becomes Jihadist terrorism.
"And so the bigotry that is theocratic Islamist extremism, and the relationship it has to violence, to terrorism, is something which we don't speak often, as I say as a Muslim, we don't speak out as often as I'd like, and think we should do so more, and we're expected to, and it is demanded of us, to do so.
"So take that, what I've just said, and apply it now to far right neonazism and white supremacism. Because you can't have it both ways.
"If on the one hand, Islamist extremism has a relationship to, even if not causal, but certainly has a relationship to jihadist terrorism, if extreme theocratic bigotry as espoused by Muslim fundamentalists, is in part responsible for jihadist terrorism, and as a result we have to condemn and challenge that extreme Islamist bigotry wherever and whenever we see it, and we start by doing what folks?
"By naming it, by naming it as Islamist extremism. If that's the case, then likewise, extreme white supremacist bigotry, far right neonazi bigotry, has a relationship to this sort of attack, where James Field Junior, a 20-year-old, has been arrested for for allegedly ploughing his car into a crowd and murdering a 32-year-old woman.
"So if far right and what supremacist rhetoric has a relationship to this sort of attack, then likewise we have to condemn and we have to challenge far right neo nazi white supremacism, wherever and whenever we see it.
"And again, continuing with the analogy, if Muslims are expected and should indeed challenge Islamist extremism within our own communities wherever it rears its head, then it's twin evil, it's symbiotic partner in the form of neonazism, far right white supremacism, likewise the white working class English lad, or in America the white working class American lad in their 20s, needs to challenge neonazi extremism in his or her community, wherever and whenever they see it.
"You can't have it both ways. And I say to my fellow Muslims, likewise, if you are upset at the rise, at the alarming pace of the rise in white supremacist rhetoric, and you do expect everybody to condemn it, wherever they see it, then likewise within our own communities the same should apply to our own extremists, consistency is key here folks."