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For many years now, the Pakistani Muslim commentator Maajid Nawaz has been advanced in the media as a model of Islamic reform. Once a crazed Islamist and member of the terroristic faction Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Nawaz suddenly lurched into ‘moderation’ in 2007, having become ‘disillusioned’ with both the means and ends of the Islamist project. His confessional ‘Radical: My Journey Out of Islamic Extremism’ was roundly commended by the Liberal media, and Nawaz is now a paid-up candidate for the Liberal Democrat Party.
Given this reputation, one can imagine the surprise in Liberal circles when yesterdays news broke and was promptly shared around the internet. In case you haven’t heard, a video has been released showing Nawaz – now a self-described ‘Feminist’- enjoying a striptease, during which he violates conventions by groping the woman performing the tease, eventually following her out of the booth to continue the harassment.
Getting a strip-tease is nothing illegal, but it’s fair to say that real ‘feminists’ are not altogether keen on the practice. We are thus prompted to wonder whether this was merely an aberration or in fact a revealing reversion to religious type. My guess is the latter.
Despite his warm words and political gestures in favour of civilisation, Nawaz remains a believing Sunni Muslim. Since his religion anti-sexual, he shuns access to the tact and subtlety that come as the reward of a modern imagination. He is sexually unpredictable for this reason. You cannot shake off the neurosis of faith by changing political direction.
Toxic beliefs, whether or not they are watered down, always find a way of exposing themselves. Moderate Muslims are useless to the counter-jihad cause, for latent within them are all the evils they claim to have overcome.
To call yourself a Muslim, moderate, liberal or orthodox, you must believe certain things. Prime among them is faith in the divine authorship of the Qur’an and its infallibility. This means you stand by passages describing women as secondary to men. There is no way around that. The passages are very clear and cannot be explained away as poetry or metaphor. To be a Muslim, you also have to believe that the conduct of the Prophet is noble, moral and worth emulating. This includes numerous practices deemed to be immoral and unlawful in modern Western society.
The source of Muslim dysfunction is therefore innate in the system of belief itself, in its articles of faith and the conduct of its holy figures.
While Ex-Muslims have the potential to be our best friends,’moderate’ Muslims like Nawaz fail to recognise the source of the problem and must be rejected for that reason.