Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Watching the detectives ...

And in our continued quest to turn "watching" into a trend, here's MCB Watch, keeping an eye on perennial Nick 'n' Dave betes noires the Muslim Council of Britain. Personally I am less inclined that they are to regard the MCB as a fifth column of fundamentalists, but they seem reasonably fact based (the same cannot be said of commenters there, health warning) and they haven't blamed anything on "the liberal left" in the last few weeks so I heartily recommend them as an alternative source to the Decent Punditocracy if you're in the market for low-strength Islamophobia.


Blogger MCB Watch said...

I'm glad you regard MCB Watch as more "fact based" --- I'll take that as a compliment. I actually believe the concept of the MCB is very laudable, but what is needed is the MCB to (a) engage in debate and dialogue, rather than demonising its opponents; (b) set up a code of conduct for its affiliates. These two things alone would be very positive steps.

As for "Islamaphobia", you're in danger of falling into the trap of simply mud-flinging rather than engaging in argument. Q-News attacked the MCB recently ... are they Islamaphobic? Are Irshad Manji or Ziauddin Sardar Islamaphobes? I'm not quite sure I'd be spending six years of my life doing a PhD in Islamics if I mindlessly hated Islam or Muslims ;-) (And, since so much of MCB Watch consists of quotations of what Muslims themselves are saying, I guess that makes Iqbal Sacranie, Inayat Bunglawala, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Jamiat ahl-e-Hadith etc. etc. Islamaphobes. This might suggest the lexeme is a pretty useless one ;-)

There is a need for a positive, strong, balanced, moderate Muslim voice; I simply feel the MCB is not it.

8/16/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger the management said...

fair enough but I call 'em as I see 'em; they (and MPAC) are the political voice of Islam and you're phobic about them. I'd view it as a description no more loaded than "Europhobe" to describe an opponent of the EU. I also think that it's a bit unfair to ignore the context for the MCB's reflexive defensiveness; they have a lot to be defensive about.

8/16/2005 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger MCB Watch said...

If one is redefining the semantic field of "phobe" to mean "concerned about", then fair point. (Provided, of course, you'd happily term the MCB "Westophobic" and yourselves "Aaronovitchaphobic" ;-)

Whilst you may be right that the MCB operate in a difficult climate, demonising all of your opponents (including Muslim ones) as "lunatics" is not what most of us would consider to be helpful public discourse. Perhaps I'm too used to dealing with more measured and careful academics ...

8/17/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Islamoscepticism" if you like.

8/17/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger MCB Watch said...

Nice on, that's actually a brilliant neologism --- there's a need for a word that covers scepticism but not hatred.

8/17/2005 07:59:00 PM  

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