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How to be an Islamist Apologist

This is a guest post by Seaumas Greenwald

This unique and simply 8 step guide has been designed for aspiring Islamist apologists. I hope it provides guidance for those who seek to follow in the footsteps of towering intellectuals like Russell Brand, Lord Ahmed and Owen Jones who recognise the importance of keeping the wild hordes of Islamophobes, who want to blame jihadism on the jihadists, at bay. When implemented in their entirety, these steps can be launch-pad to getting a Guardian column, an occasional op-ed in the New Statesman and regular appearances on Channel 4 news as a respected commentator. They can even result in a book deal if you play your cards right so pay attention.

Step 1- This is the first and most important step. Always remember that nothing (and I mean nothing) is ever the fault of Islam or jihadists. It may seem like a particular action committed by jihadists was inspired by an interpretation of their faith, they may even be shouting Allah hu Akbar and quoting Quranic verses, but this is mere deception. Every act of violence and terrorism in the world today is a direct result of Western foreign policy and imperialism, jihadists are merely victims of these policies and we should never hold them to account for their behaviour without acknowledging the role the West has played in making them behave that way.

Step 2 – All criticism of jihadism and jihadists, however mild, is ultimately Islamophobic. Islamophobia is everywhere comrades and we must keep reminding people of that simple fact. What may seem like a reasoned and rational critique of jihadism or the actions of certain jihadists is nothing of the sort, always look deeper and sniff out the Islamophobia at work.

Step 3 – Always seek to find double standards even when it may seem like they don’t exist. The treatment of jihadism and jihadists is always laced with double standards and be sure to search for it between the lines. For example, if someone complains about jihadists on the rampage in Nigeria call them out on their hypocrisy since it is almost certain that they will not be talking about Christian terrorists in other African states. Similarly, don’t let people talk about the Taliban in Pakistan without reminded them of Hindu extremists in neighbouring India.

Step 4 – Always mention Israel. It may not appear relevant – but trust me, it always is. Anger towards Israel can make people do crazy things like shoot school girls in the head or attack the offices of a magazine. The connection may not be obvious at first but again look deeper and it will stare you in the face.

Step 5 – I know Bush is no longer in power but it is always useful to name drop him since it makes your argument sound stronger, even if he wasn’t involved in the issue you are discussing. Ultimately many of the world’s ills can be attributed to him and his policies so do remind people of that frequently. The same goes for Blair.

Step 6 – Similarly, bring in the Iraq war, it helps strengthen your case even when it seems irrelevant. Remember jihadists are angry because of the Iraq War and we should not blame them for subsequently shooting up schools in Pakistan as a result of this anger.

Step 7 – Never let any other group in society get away with being the victims, even if jihadists are doing the killing they are still the victims in a way because you don’t know what they have been through and how the West with its Lady Gaga and Sex in the City has enraged them. The victimhood status needs to be fought for and should not be given away cheaply to other wannabe victims.

Step 8 – Remember, if you see any so-called liberal Muslims denouncing jihadists be sure to remind them that they are betraying their own side by adopting a neo-con agenda, fermented by Zionists, developed by freemasons and refined by the Illuminati.

If you find these steps difficult to follow just read a Mehdi Hasan piece on any topic (they are all the same) or listen to an interview with Miriam Francois Cerrah (again they are all the same).

Stay determined and steadfast and one day you too will be signing books a SOAS Fresher’s Fare.