“Everything you know about ISLAM is wrong” – The New Statesman special issue on misconceptions of Islam in Britain

The liberal and traditionally secular weekly The New Statesman dedicates its latest issue to prejudices against Islam in Britain. The issue, entitled “Everything you know about ISLAM is wrong”, features articles by ex-extremist Ed Husain, Tariq Ramadan and Ziauddin Sardar. The lead article calls for supporting British Muslims who are being alienated due to terror alerts and sensational reports. Strong prejudices prevail, as the last British Social Attitudes Survey has shown, and the article demands better integration models and ending the negative news coverage about Muslims.

Tariq Ramadan in his article deconstructs the simplistic portrayal of “bad” Muslims versus “good” Muslims, which people turn into visible and invisible Muslims. He explains how it is possible to be a moderate and openly practicing Muslim, who embraces democracy and is capable of giving reasonable political criticism. Ed Husain describes his Islamist past and the difficult journey away from the radical worldview and argues for a secular version of political Islam. Finally, Ziauddin Sardar reflects on the orientalism in Christopher Caldwell’s book on Islamic immigration, while Mehdi Hasan interviews Dalia Mogahed, Obama’s adviser on inter-faith relations.

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