As a former extremist who knew Anjem Choudary, I fear for the mentality of British Muslims

Like 33 per cent of British Muslims do, I once supported the idea of a caliphate based upon sharia law. But the debate has now become polarised and poisonous.

Anjem Choudary, Britain’s loudest Islamist extremist, has finally been remanded in custody, charged under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The charge is related to him sending messages to his 32,000 followers on Facebook, allegedly encouraging people to join Isis. His guilt or innocence is a matter for the courts. What concerns me here is his trajectory.

…. This is how far the Islamic ball has strayed from the democratic court. And when wider society adopts this trope of liberal Muslims being the ‘other extreme’, it shows how low expectations of Muslims have become in the mainstream. How far we all have come since the 90s, and how far we all have to travel – yet – to reach a reasonable centre in this poisonous debate.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I struggled with the uglier aspects of Islam through my youth. As a kid, Islam fascinated me. I read books that most Muslims gloss over or ignore. Bits of it troubled me. Things that Muhammad did, things in the Quran. Islam isn’t for me.

And while I applaud people like Maajid, in the end the fanatics always win because scripture and Muhammad’s biography supports the fanatics’ understanding of Islam. I left Islam, and I never looked back. There’s no fixing this religion. We need to have the courage to say that Islam just cannot fit with modern understandings of morality, rights and decency.

[2ND] Polarised and poisonous? Seems pretty simple to me, you either support the notion of a Caliphate or you don’t. If you do support it whilst enjoying the many benefits of a Liberal Democracy you are a hypocrite. It really is that simple.

[3RD] Extremism may use bigotry as an excuse but where are the extremist Sikhs, Hindus, Africans who suffered the same?

Where is the bigotry in the middle east where extremism thrives so well and they’re happy to blow up their fellow muslims of the same race, colour and nationality?

Where was the bigotry that incited the Mughals to march into India and murder millions of people who refused to convert to Islam?

Islamic extremism long predates any bigotry towards immigrants in the UK. [The Independent] Read more

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