Op-ed of the day: Ex-jihadi Hassan Butt begs British Muslims to renounce terror

posted at 9:08 pm on July 1, 2007 by Allahpundit

Remember him? Former terrorist recruiter turned model British citizen after the London bombings triggered some sort of Pauline conversion in him … or so he says. I was skeptical when “60 Minutes” profiled him in March, but read his op-ed in today’s Observer and see if you’re not convinced he’s for real. One thing about him, for good and/or ill, he’s obviously an intelligent guy. The excerpt that follows doesn’t do justice to his piece, which is a thoughtful essay on how to reinterpret Koranic dictates to encourage Muslim assimilation in the west, but it’s the sort of red meat that might lead people to read the whole thing.

When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network, a series of semi-autonomous British Muslim terrorist groups linked by a single ideology, I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.

By blaming the government for our actions, those who pushed the ‘Blair’s bombs’ line did our propaganda work for us. More important, they also helped to draw away any critical examination from the real engine of our violence: Islamic theology…

For example, yesterday on Radio 4′s Today programme, the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: ‘What all our intelligence shows about the opinions of disaffected young Muslims is the main driving force is not Afghanistan, it is mainly Iraq.’

He then refused to acknowledge the role of Islamist ideology in terrorism and said that the Muslim Brotherhood and those who give a religious mandate to suicide bombings in Palestine were genuinely representative of Islam.

I left the BJN in February 2006, but if I were still fighting for their cause, I’d be laughing once again. Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the 7 July bombings, and I were both part of the BJN – I met him on two occasions – and though many British extremists are angered by the deaths of fellow Muslim across the world, what drove me and many of my peers to plot acts of extreme terror within Britain, our own homeland and abroad, was a sense that we were fighting for the creation of a revolutionary state that would eventually bring Islamic justice to the world.

Now read the whole thing. Emphasis on “whole” — the most important stuff doesn’t come until the end.


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Wouldn’t renouncing terror be the same thing as renouncing Islam, the Quran, and Mohammad?

Mojave Mark on July 1, 2007 at 9:19 PM

I look at this as a if it is a Trojan Horse. You basically can’t renounce terror without renouncing Islam. That’s akin to accepting Christ, yet renouncing the Ten Comandments, or the Tora. It appears as if he is trying to establish some credibility, for what purpose, only he knows.

Jihadi’s only use the truth when it gets them something.

Rode Werk on July 1, 2007 at 9:33 PM

That was a rewarding read. I hope his message resonates with the target audience.

I’m still not clear on why Islam thinks it will expand by terror, but it does seem to work strangely when combined with the self-loathing of the certain aspects of Western Civ. Post 9.11 Muslim conversion increased even here in the US I believe.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 9:36 PM

I will give some benefit to the doubt. Christianity had to go through a reformation and Islam if it is to survive has to also.

The only real question is will Islam be allowed to reform or will its hardliners lead it to its distruction ?

William Amos on July 1, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Mojave Mark on July 1, 2007 at 9:19 PM

Yes, in the paradigm that they are interpreted in now it would require that. But as he says in the piece, that construct is from the absence of an Islamic state, and he is, essentially, proposing the formation of a new ideology that replaces the old by have a frame work of co-existence.

Whether he is sincere or not, perhaps remains to be seen, but if the framework which the books are interpreted through is changed, perhaps change could happen. Personally, I don’t think the anti-Semite part would ever fade.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 9:42 PM

Yeah and next we can renounce cancer.

TheSitRep on July 1, 2007 at 9:43 PM

Yes, he is intelligent. The proof of his words lie in the end of terrorist attacks and an acceptance of secular government. I don’t know that I would give an inch to Muslim sensitivities until those two things were accomplished.

csdeven on July 1, 2007 at 9:48 PM

Sweet words kill more than diabetics. Reformation in Islam? Reformation is predicated upon self-examination. Do you think a shame-based culture is going to suddenly admit that they have been acting like savages for centuries?

You want to see Islamic reformation? Step 1 is revolution in Islamofascist countries. Hard to control in the final outcome, but necessary for reformation to occur.

And before you say something like “Christian reformation took place peacefully,” I would respectfully suggest you bone up on your history.

The culture of appeasement if rife today in the West, and the Islamofascists are lapping it up. Where’s the impetus for reformation?

thejackal on July 1, 2007 at 9:48 PM

The effort in the Protestant Reformation was to re-establish the Bible as the authoritative source for teaching regarding the Christian faith and its practice.

INC on July 1, 2007 at 9:52 PM

If they ever call a truce it will only be so they can grow their numbers and reorganize for the next series of attacks. That is the plan of war as outline by Mohamed.

They must leave now. And go back to there third world ^%$ holes. And live in the 7th century. In their dung houses.

TheSitRep on July 1, 2007 at 9:55 PM

What Hassan is saying here is the Qur’an has been interpreted to consider the islamic state to mean the whole world. He reasons that the admonition by Christ to “render unto Caesar what is Caesars” does not exist in the Qur’an and furthermore there is no seperation between the state and islam. That is where the problems are in terms of coexisting outside an Islamic country. He proposes to elevate the different principles from the Qur’an such as the five rights of life, wealth, land, mind and belief. This would allow a better chance of Islam to cohabit the planet, while at the same time let the believers of Islam practice a more docile form of worship.

sonnyspats1 on July 1, 2007 at 9:56 PM

He essentially called the West’s Liberals “Useful Idiots”, the same role they played for Soviet Russia.

Libs never learn. Learning requires facts, reason and logic–and these three things are to Liberals what garlic, sunlight, and a Cross are to vampires.

Montana on July 1, 2007 at 9:58 PM

I hope his message resonates with the target audience.

It doesn’t. I’ve already played the link to a few guys who blame Bush/Blair for terrorism and they dismiss it entirely. They enjoy being willing accomplices apparently.

lorien1973 on July 1, 2007 at 10:01 PM

Wow, this is a major vindication of Robert Spencer’s approach to the problem or radical Islamic theology. He’s been saying pretty much this for ages, and as far as I can tell, has met mostly with people telling him that it’s an inflammatory and futile quest. Nice to see his approach confirmed by one who knows.

As long as radicals can plausibly argue that a Muslim who’s not doing terrorism is a bad Muslim, Muslims and the world will suffer. Where’s my “Islamic Reformation Now!” bumper sticker?

Splunge on July 1, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Well if he’s only impersonating an ex-Islamist he’s doing a good job. If his purpose to get muslims to refrain from terrorism until they gain a more significant proporiton ofthe population of infidel lands then he’s smarter than Osama Bin Laden. As Hicthens often points out a quiet demographic revolution would have been craftier than flying planes into towers.

aengus on July 1, 2007 at 10:11 PM

I can’t say for sure if this guy has really seen the light or not, but moderate Muslims, of which I have met a few, generally seem to practice ‘cafeteria Islam.’ A Pakistani friend of mine doesn’t drink and fasts during Ramadan, but he doesn’t pray in public and complains about jihadis trying to convert people to hardcore Islamism. He is far more interested in the NFL than struggling against infidels.

Perhaps guys like him ignore the more violent parts of the Koran, or perhaps they just interpret them as outdated – I’m not sure. It’s certainly true that Muslim cultures such as 18th century Indonesia were noticeably non-violent – at least until the Arabs running the show found out and steered them back to the course of infidel-loathing.

Unfortunately, in the age of global communication, the hate merchants are able to easily spread their poison throughout the world, and I think the only Muslims willing to refute them are those that believe more strongly in the ethical parts of the Koran – or even basic (Judeo-Christian!) morality – than those parts that urge jihad.

fiatboomer on July 1, 2007 at 10:12 PM

lorien1973 on July 1, 2007 at 10:01 PM

I meant more his former buddies.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 10:21 PM

Nice words. But smart guys can lie at least as well as average guys.
And there is no good reason to give any benefit of the doubt to an ex-jihadi. There just isn’t.
Plus, I never will trust a man who spends that much time tending to his facial hair. It’s just wrong.

Thanks to AP for all his great work this weekend.
The Chertoff pose alone is worth the price of admission.

Stephen M on July 1, 2007 at 10:24 PM

I meant more his former buddies.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 10:21 PM

I think the non-muslim enablers are just as bad. Dont you?

lorien1973 on July 1, 2007 at 10:26 PM

The effort in the Protestant Reformation was to re-establish the Bible as the authoritative source for teaching regarding the Christian faith and its practice.

This is true, but it also had the effect of diluting central religious authority. Even a shift in the direction of ‘independent’ interpretation I think would be beneficial instead of importing SA’s exported Wahhibist doctrine.

In fact, it seems that this is exactly what this fellow is proposing, not moving away from the books so much as looking at their application differently by changing the way they view the world. And that, just speaking from the personal interactions that I have had with a couple Iranians, might be possible.

Unfortunately, I think thejackel nails it with this:

The culture of appeasement if rife today in the West, and the Islamofascists are lapping it up. Where’s the impetus for reformation?

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 10:26 PM

lorien1973 on July 1, 2007 at 10:26 PM

Yeah. But what they espouse I don’t think is truly rooted in a mis-understanding of Islam…It’s just the topic at hand to them in my opinion. If we were at war with Russia pre-Reagan, they’d praise Communism and say we caused it.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 10:29 PM

People that believe in the cult that Mo began are just weak minded fools because they refuse to question the obvious barbarism of the cult. If you “get back to the book” like the Protestant reformation then you have what is today, Jihad against the planet. To re-interpret the Qu’ran is blasphemy as it is the written word of Allah sent by angels.

I really want to know just which angel set brother Mo’s path to enlightenment.

warpmine on July 1, 2007 at 10:44 PM

I’m sorry, I know this is deadly serious, but the jokes write themselves. “Hassan Butt.” I mean it’s a Simpsonesque setup. I’ll stop laughing now and go read quietly in my room.

Thomas the Wraith on July 1, 2007 at 10:44 PM

BTW, that link to the speech at the Heritage Foundation was a real eye opener. Thanks!

warpmine on July 1, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Thomas the Wraith on July 1, 2007 at 10:44 PM

Reminded me of the old 3 Stooges, Hassan Been Sober.
Oh yeah I had a few too many myself.

On a more serious note. Somebody should put this over at Huffpo or DailyKos. maybe Silky’s website. Those people need to read this. Knowing their superior intellect, they’d think it was written by some conservative and planted. Or else a conspiracy that this guy was tortured to write this column.

PowWow on July 1, 2007 at 11:01 PM

I’m still not clear on why Islam thinks it will expand by terror, but it does seem to work strangely when combined with the self-loathing of the certain aspects of Western Civ. Post 9.11 Muslim conversion increased even here in the US I believe.

Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Everybody likes a winner, right? As our own media provides propaganda services for the enemy, their success becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They can win by being perceived to have won.

Laura on July 1, 2007 at 11:07 PM

Now, now guys…
Please no more derogatory words for Hassan Butt…

Although there may legitimate doubts aplenty for obvious reasons, I would strongly advise against berating his expressed intent as he so clearly explains.

Here’s why:
Withhold for this moment of reflection, a dogmatic view of Christianity, (which granted you are entitled to)
and view this person’s intentions as a stepping stone in the obvious evolutionary steps of progress needed in order to adjust to 21st century modernity. Considering the fact that his previous primary exposure was that of the dark ages, he has made a leap in mindset that is equal to a staunch Atheist becoming a believer in Jesus Christ!
Now, when viewed as such and all other comparison’s aside, Hassan Butt is the modern day Islamic equivalent of Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis’s. He may even still have reservations and biases about Jews as did Martin Luther.
But even as Martin Luther’s extreme Jewish biases did not evolve into extreme hatred, rather what we see today is by and large a strong support for the Jews from the very Protestant movement that resulted from Martin Luther’s convictions!

Furthermore, what is inherent in Hassan Butt’s Damascus like confessional is the realization that violence is not going to win any friends, or the World.
Since the Dark Age mindset is an instintive “fight or flight” impulse, a losing battle on the Jihadist’s front will eventually progress to them switching to a “flight” from violence. And, it will begin with those Jihadist that are the most susceptible to persuasion.
Also, remember that because “it’s a small world, and the internet world is even smaller” he could be reading your blog comments. It goes without saying that he does not need anymore uphill battles. We all have an opportunity here to bolster his confidence. IF, and this is a BIG “IF”, he shows himself to be a lier we can always topple him just like “we the people” psychologically “nuked” the Amnesty Bill. In the meantime we should support him wholeheartedly.

Mcguyver on July 1, 2007 at 11:09 PM

I hope he’s sincere, but he’s preaching to the choir. The British government, if not the PEOPLE, need to stand up right now and outlaw the burka for starters, and if those that want to wear one don’t like it they should leave the country!

SouthernGent on July 1, 2007 at 11:24 PM

The comment section on that article is interesting.

halgeel84

July 1, 2007 1:43 PM

… In this sense, the Muslims can only do ineffective things such small scale terroristic activities, car bombs, etc. These activities could be easily deflected as they have been. But Muslims may receive support from other parts of the world such as Latin America. Hugo Chevez wants to have nuclear weapons; this is a good news for Muslims today than any gesture they have received from western leaders. What the Muslims need to today is the ability to defend their nations, families and resources from western aggression.

Laura on July 1, 2007 at 11:26 PM

I see no reason to believe he is practicing taqiyya. Unlike the fake moderates at CAIR and MPAC, he rightly condemns what fuels Islamic terrorism.

mram on July 1, 2007 at 11:35 PM

If it is an act, we then have to ask ourselves what his point would be in doing so. How could it help islam?

Offhand I can’t think of anything…

Bob's Kid on July 2, 2007 at 12:07 AM

What’s the point of remaining Muslim once you see through the Koran?

A book plagiarized by a pedophile warlord to excuse his slaveholding, whoring, rapine, terrorism and imperialism.

Butt takes too long to debunk what can be dismissed in a sentence. (See previous bold paragraph/sentence.)

Islam’s call to kill anyone who tries to leave it makes this “religion” more a form of homicidal madness than a real “faith”.

(Unless your faith is murder.)

profitsbeard on July 2, 2007 at 12:29 AM

Whether he is sincere or not, perhaps remains to be seen, but if the framework which the books are interpreted through is changed, perhaps change could happen. Personally, I don’t think the anti-Semite part would ever fade. Spirit of 1776 on July 1, 2007 at 9:42 PM

That would be nice but the very words of the Koran preclude it. The Christian has the words of Christ and Christendom has BEEN the progress in the world as we know it. Muslims have Mohammad, thus their world has been backward and barbaric. The only way that I can think of for a Muslim to fit into the modern world is to simply ignore the jihad parts of the Koran in much the same way as a gay minister ignores the parts of the bible that speak about homosexuality.

Is it possible for Muslims to change? Sure. But the makeup of the Middle East would take a nuclear level event to change.

Mojave Mark on July 2, 2007 at 1:15 AM

Mulsims renouncing terror would require them to renounce Islam….

Tim Burton on July 2, 2007 at 2:00 AM

Mulsims=Muslims

Tim Burton on July 2, 2007 at 2:01 AM

For that guy, I wouldn’t trust him any farther than I could
piss upwind in a hurricane.

SilverStar830 on July 2, 2007 at 2:53 AM

Bring back the Test Act! It’s all been downhill since Catholic Emancipation – no public employment or benefits for anyone who isn’t CoE (in England and Wales) or Presbyterian (in Scotland and Ulster)!

Seriously, though, if any individual Muslim won’t give oaths and sureties for his or her loyalty to the Crown and the British Constitution, chuck them out.

CatoRenasci on July 2, 2007 at 7:37 AM

Saying that “Islam needs a Reformation” misses the point of the present war.

Islam has had a “Reformation”. Driven by the likes of Sayyid Qutb, the Ba’ath Party (in Iraq and Syria), and the Talibanist movement (in Afghanistan). This Reformation sought to “return Islam to its roots” in Mohammed’s original writings. And, by and large, it has been successful.

The result has been a relaunch of the Islamic campaign of world conquest, just as it was from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Centuries Anno Domini. Except this time aound, the basic weapons of martyrdom for the faith are the car-bomb and the bomb-belt, instead of the tulwar and the composite horse-bow.

And when they need something a bit more emphatic, it won’t be onagers launching Greek Fire or a huge, built-up-from-iron-staves bombard firing stone balls three feet in diameter.

The equivalent of the onager, in modern terms, was what we saw in Lower Manhattan on 11 September, 2001. The equivalent of the bombard will be even more emphatic.

Encouraging Muslims to renounce terrorism is all well and good. But until the entire faith acknowledges that other people have a right not to believe in it (to say nothing of acknowledging that people born into the faith have a right to change their minds and seek their philosophical truths elsewhere, or even to decide that the search for same is not for them), the Jihad will continue.

By the usual “any means necessary”.

cheers

eon

eon on July 2, 2007 at 8:03 AM

William Amos on July 1, 2007 at 9:36 PM

Where is the Islamic “Luther”, the one who led the reformation?

It needs to come from a powerful Islamic leader. The problem is it took them years to kill Luther, a quick suicide attack would take care of him now.

right2bright on July 2, 2007 at 8:16 AM

While the chance Islam can change before a war seems to me to be quite small, what little chance there is lies with us. We must continue to attack Islam as a horrible, vile murder cult and force the muslims to come up with statements like Butt has. People who pretend Islam is a RoP like George Shamensty Bush only increase the chance of war.

thuja on July 2, 2007 at 8:52 AM

Where is the Islamic “Luther”, the one who led the reformation?

right2bright on July 2, 2007 at 8:16 AM

That would be Osama bin Laden. He’s the one, along with other Saudi Wahhabists, who insist on a more literal reading of the texts and more separation from worldly traditions.

Laura on July 2, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Spirit of 1776: “I’m still not clear on why Islam thinks it will expand by terror, ….”

Islam thinks terror is moral because their Prophet Mohammed, the perfect Muslim, used terror to establish Islam: assassinating critics, robbing caravans, beheading hostages. When modern terrorists assassinate Theo Van Gogh for making a film critical of Islam, skyjack jumbo jets, and behead infidels on snuff videos, they are following the evil example of Mohammed.

Mohammed began the never-ending jihad against the world in his lifetime. Most of the Muslim world was conquered through violence, following Mohammed’s dictum to fight every man until all the world submits to Islam. That is the fight the Muslim imperialists are bringing to us.

Tantor on July 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM

Mojave Mark on July 2, 2007 at 1:15 AM

What he is saying would not change the attitude or barbarism in Sharia law or nations ruled by Sharia law. What he is saying is that a new view of the world would include an additional acknowledgment of a land of co-existence.

If you don’t think that qualifies as a reformation (which apparently some commentors think you can only have one…ever, which I would suggest Christianity has morphed it’s entire existence) or if you conclude that Butt is saying it’s necessary to disregard the books, then perhaps one would come to that conclusion.

Spirit of 1776 on July 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM

Tantor on July 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM

That’s excellent point and I agree with the observation that Muslim world conquered through violence. I’m merely musing that when Mohommed did it, he was able to directly put his hands on the spoils, resultant from his actions. Today, that is less direct benefit. I am inclined to think that expansion of Islam is not the number one function of terrorism.

Spirit of 1776 on July 2, 2007 at 12:00 PM

The problem we have today is that in the absence of a governing theocratic leader in the Islamic world, example being the now-defunct Caliphate, interpretation of the Qur’an and justification of violence in the “defense of Islam” is open to each own’s interpretation and essentially, open-ended as can been seen by the exploits of the jihadists.

The requisite “reformation” of Islam, for it to be considered compatible with any and all things and people’s non-Islamic is also tenuous at best. The main reason is that unlike the “testaments” found in Christianity, testaments by men bearing witness to the times, the Qur’an is perceived to be the direct immutable words of Allah, so suggesting a reformation of the Qur’an effectively strips Allah of his divinity. Doubtful, at best, that Muslims will undertake this.

awake on July 2, 2007 at 12:42 PM

so suggesting a reformation of the Qur’an effectively strips Allah of his divinity. Doubtful, at best, that Muslims will undertake this. awake on July 2, 2007 at 12:42 PM

You get it. There’s not an ouce of wiggle room with Islam. It’s all in or you’re dead/enslaved. Muslims simply cannot have a dialogue about religion because they view their religion as above scrutiny. Islam has been the death of reason, thought, and conscience wherever it exists.

Mojave Mark on July 2, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Our thirst for fuel has allowed the Saudis to turn Mecca into, well, a mecca. It’s an amazing. inspirational sight for some dirt poor pilgrim, no doubt. The Saudis are the snake. They produce nothing (ex oil) other than ideology. They are spending their money pleasing their god, with predictable results. God I hate self fulfilling prophecy. Actually god’s ass, this is known as plowing profits back into the company. It demostrates to investors your commitment to the program. Sneaky, them Saudis.

pc on July 3, 2007 at 12:44 AM

which is why we should be drilling in Alaska

…and everywhere else we can squeeze in a rig.

.
.
.
Oh, wait… the fuzzy little animals…

Mephistefales on July 3, 2007 at 1:28 AM