We’ve commented on CiF commentator – and New Statesman senior editor – Medhi Hasan on several occasions.
Hasan is opposed to the Palestinians’ Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) out of fear that in would deny an unlimited right of return to “nine million” Palestinian “refugees” living abroad, and because UDI would have the unintended effect of recognizing the of the right of the Jewish state to exist.
He also has opined that Israel is to blame for rising antisemitism in Britain.
Recently, the Guardian included Hasan in their ongoing series of reports and commentaries on the significance of 9/11 – a list which includes George Galloway, Noam Chomsky, and CiF’s Inayat Bunglawala.
While the premise of Hasan’s piece, “How the fear of being criminalised has forced Muslims into silence“, Sept. 8, that “in the UK, the effect [of the war against Islamist extremism] has been a chilling of speech inside Muslim communities” is easily refuted by the number commentaries published by Comment is Free who are either supportive of, or actively involved in, Islamist groups in the UK and abroad, his following passage is even more audacious given Hasan’s background.
“I have lost count of the number of British Muslim students, activists and imams who have told me of their fear of being labelled as extremists or terrorists if they dare take an unconventional, unorthodox or radical position on a political or religious issue.”
So, Hasan not only wants the freedom of radical clerics and activists to advance extremist views, he also evidently believes that such views should be expressed with impunity from any social criticism – a view which is put into proper context by the following audio, posted at Harry’s Place in July of 2009.
Here’s a highlight of what he said:
“The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Quran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.”
This is truly remarkable. A secular left publication like the Guardian sanctions commentary sanctimoniously condemning bigotry by a writer who has literally likened non-believers to “cattle” – who possess no morality or intelligence.
Writing previously in the Guardian, Hasan complained:
“I grow tired of having to also endure a barrage of lazy stereotypes, inflammatory headlines, disparaging generalisations and often inaccurate and baseless stories.”
Evidently, Hasan isn’t quite so tired of such inflammatory, baseless, lazy generalizations and demonization of “non-believers”.