This week saw the return of Mak Chishty. Mak Chishty, who retired last week as Britain’s most senior Muslim police officer, said people have “had enough” following the London Bridge attacks, adding that it was time to stop “skirting around the issues” and have some “very difficult conversations”.
Speaking to an audience at the think tank Reform, in Central London, he issued a “call to action” to all British Muslims. He urged them to launch a social media blitz to let the rest of the country know how strongly they feel about extremism.
He said: “I would like to issue a call for action today for every single Muslim, from a young person all the way through to my mother-in-law who is well in her mid 60s but has got a Whatsapp or a Facebook, to to get on there and start to denounce extremism as not theirs”
“All of a sudden, maybe you will find that these extremist voices start to shrink…remove their dominance, starve them of oxygen. Make sure they have got a powerful lobby against them. We can do that now, we can do that today.”
He said: “I’m a Muslim, I’m proud of that. But it doesn’t change the fact that actually it’s within our own communities.
The first thing that needs to change is we need to be comfortable with difficult conversations.”
Strong words by Mak Chishty with strong charges. However Chishty is no stranger to providing his false wisdom to the Muslim community via public forums. The retired police commander in the past has shared how he spots signs of radicalisation, including Muslim Children not celebrating Christmas, change of attire from Western clothes to Islamic, stopping drinking and even not shopping at Marks and Spencers is a sign!
However Mr Chishty is correct- let us have the conversation but lets make it meaningful. The discourse needs to start with the British Foreign Policy and the War on Terror. When individuals engage in non Islamic actions- is it Islam that was the cause, or the wars of western nations in the world?
Islam forbids bloodshed on innocent people therefore it is not a cause for violence. However we have the likes of the Mak Chishty who are adamant to pursue bogus narratives, that the Muslim community produces people who commit violent crimes.
Sending out WhatsApp messages and posting on Facebook does not stop violence. The answer lies in questioning the outcomes of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is studying the colonial exploits of western governments throughout the world and what has been achieved. It is indeed focusing on the Prevent agenda when it spies on Muslim children and Muslim colleagues in the workplace- instead of pursuing people who actually do have violent tendencies. It is about questioning an intelligence service that has been weak in stopping atrocities in mainland Britain.
Muslims welcome the difficult conversations but let it be under the correct context, so that the correct conclusions can be made. The correct context cannot be immature focusing on WhatsApp and Facebook, let us have a real conversation sooner rather than later.