Martin Bright revels in the love from rightwing neocons in today's Observer.
He says complains once again about FCO engagement with Islamists, and how the MCB represent said Islamists. He makes this comparison:
In the 1930s, we adopted a similar strategy with the Mufti of Jerusalem to 'deliver' Muslim opinion. The Mufti went on to support the Nazis.
Yes, it took a while for him to get there, but working with the MCB is going to lead to being in bed with the Nazis.
But here's something strange. He mentions the FOSIS and YMO were funded by the FCO to organise a tour of speakers:
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office seems determined to press ahead with courting radical Islamists.... At home, it funded two Islamist youth organisations, the Federation of Islamic Student Societies and Young Muslim Organisation, to help run a roadshow of Muslim scholars to tour the country. Fosis and YMO, while condemning violence, are ideological allies of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami. It is ironic that conservative thinkers categorise these organisations accurately as part of an Islamist extreme right, while many on the left continue, wrongly, to see them as part of some wider international Muslim liberation movement.
Liberation movements? I thought they just did work amongst students and young people.
What's interesting here though is that Bright didn't mention that the tour was also organised by Q-News and Mahhaba Unlimited, under the banner "Radical Middle Way". These two bodies are probably known as 'sufi' ones (Bright's silent majority) - Ehsan Masood recently noted this collaboration between 'Islamists' and 'sufis'.
For Bright, this raises the question of whether he will condemn these sufis. Will they be asked to renounce the link-up? But also, what substantially is the real difference in approach between the two?