Maajid Nawaz V Talib Kweli
It’s been an interesting day or two for Maajid Nawaz of the anti-extremism think tank Quilliam. We learned via Nawaz’s Facebook page that he’d had a run in with a number of Islamist thugs in London:
Keep in mind, Nawaz is a Muslim who is a staunch opponent of Islamic extremism and spends his time championing human rights and secularism for all. The fact that doing so in 2016’s London from within the Muslim community carries such risks demonstrates that the problem is worse than most care to understand.
Upon reading this, I figured that if Maajid and his fellow Quilliam associates can make theocrats this upset, then they must be doing something right. As a result, I decided to double my monthly contribution to Quilliam. I would urge you to consider supporting Quilliam here.
From far right extremists on the streets of London one moment, to far left regressives on Twitter the next. I’d never heard of Talib Kweli until I crossed paths with him on Twitter a few months back, but he’s a famous American rapper apparently. And utterly clueless.
His greatest hits include:
Patronising Muslims as ‘poor brown people’ and generalising them as ‘Arabs’
When asked to give an example of Islamophobic murder in the United States, he provided the below:
- Rochdale is in the North Of England
- The imam was killed by a Muslim.
He also believes that you have no right to talk about the problems within the Muslim world unless you are a Muslim yourself, yet doesn’t see the hypocrisy in banging on about ‘white supremacy’ all day.
And lastly, American exceptionalism. Talib reduces the global problem of Islamic extremism to just one country – his own.
Anyone who doesn’t agree with Talib’s take on things is automatically branded a ‘white supremacist’ to his one million strong Twitter audience. Author Michael Sherlock has documented his experience of this on his website.
This is a man who was raised in an affluent area of New York to a professor of law mother and University administrator father. He enjoyed the privilege of an expensive education and now earns millions rapping, yet preaches about ‘white privilege’ to any white detractor on Twitter. This brings me to today’s shenanigans.
Given I’m an ignorant, privileged, white non-Muslim who has no business opining on these issues, just how keen is Kweli to listen to those ‘poor brown’ Muslims he’s so concerned for? Well, not very it seems.
Talib was engaging in his favourite pastime of pin the tail on the white supremacist, this time taking aim at Sam Harris:
Anyone who follows the work of Sam Harris will know he is friends with Maajid Nawaz and collaborated on a book with him about Islamic reform. Oh, and isn’t a white supremacist.
Nawaz, upon seeing his collaborator and friend denigrated as a ‘white supremacist’ by Kweli, sent the following tweet:
Talib responded thus:
There we have it. Nawaz is instantly denigrated as a ‘fuck boy’ and told he ‘demonizes’ Islam. This should go some way into revealing just what a champion Talib is for the non-white Muslim voice. It’s especially dangerous given that accusing a Muslim of ‘demonizing Islam’ is a dog whistle to Islamic extremists. People are killed for this in Islamic countries.
Nawaz has to explain that Muslims kill more Muslims than anyone else:
And also that he has been a victim of racial hatred himself:
Let’s just take stock of what is happening here. A non-white, Muslim victim of racial violence is trying to explain a few things to the millionaire rapper non-Muslim about his experience and faith. A millionaire rapper who enjoys the perception of caring about precisely this type of person.
His response? To entirely strip Nawaz of his agency:
Nawaz hits the nail on the head in response to Kweli’s soft bigotry of low expectations:
Talib doesn’t care about Muslims, as demonstrated by his absolute disdain towards Nawaz. He simply wants people to think he cares about Muslims. I doubt the countless Muslims suffering under Islamist fascism would be impressed with his virtue signals.
UPDATE Aug 20 2016
After reading this blog, it appears Talib Kweli, in a desperate attempt to denigrate me further must have typed something like ‘Godless Spellchecker Muslim Bigotry’ into Google. The below result was enough for him to once again call me ‘racist’ to his one million followers:
Unfortunately for Kweli, he has suffered a catastrophic failure of reading comprehension. The above passage (as is clear if you actually read it) is my own writing. I’m actually criticising someone who I personally exposed as a racist, anti-Muslim bigot.
When this error was pointed out to Kweli, he doubled down and pretended he actually meant to share the below:
It’s amusing that Kweli would dig out my tweet mocking the cheapening of the word ‘racist’ and use it to tell me I’m racist.
You can listen to my discussion with Maajid Nawaz on anti-extremism and Islamic reform below.