This is a guest post
There has been some surprise about the signatories to ISB’s “9/11 Statement”; not least among some of the signatories themselves.
Firstly, we’re sure that everyone would agree that the statement itself and its sentiments are not the problem.
The problem has occurred because: (1) The signatories include groups and individuals who do not live up to the values and ideals in the statement, or those who have subsequently, and quite openly, contradicted it. (2) The perceived affiliation of the signatories to one another.
On the first point, we didn’t predict that any group of this sort would be a signatory to The Statement. Apart from anything else, it’s very obvious hypocrisy on their part since those organisations have form on issues which are clearly in conflict with The Statement.
Secondly, it is categorically not the case that there is a ‘coalition’ or any affiliation brought about between the signatories because of their decision to sign the declaration. It is unfortunate to say the least that the statement has been presented as a ‘coalition’ in this way. We saw it unambiguously as an endorsement of a statement and nothing more than that..
We know of the new leadership of the ISB and welcomed, with some hope, what they can do. We hope that they can move things in their organisation forward and that this will be a learning experience for them.
More importantly, we’d like to take this opportunity to reaffirm what we’ve previously stated. Organisations which on the one hand speak ideologically in Islamist terms, have defended obnoxious practices (such as beating women, stoning adulterers, and have been closely associated with those supporting suicide bombings and terrorism abroad or against our troops) should not be enfranchised within Muslim circles, or within civil and state institutions. This is especially the case with groups like MAB whose founding members have described Bin Laden as a martyr (shaheed), and are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Palestinian arm Hamas, is a terrorist organization.
The continuing trend to try and co-opt these types of groups and individuals into the process of solving problems around extremism is, at the very least short-sighted. This episode is a reminder of the true face of many of these organisations, and the duplicitous tactics which they use in furthering their agenda.