Muscular Liberals and Celebrity Ex-Extremists

Are we witnessing a convergence of interests and causes between Celebrity Ex-Extremists and British ‘muscular liberals’ (neoconservative types, decent leftists or pro-war liberals)?

Look at the evidence (not proof I hasten to add) so far:

Shiraz Maher is listed as a member of Policy Exchange on their Facebook profile (this is a closed group which is open to people who have worked for the institute or by invite from the Facebook group administrator only). Policy Exchange, you may remember, was involved in a row with BBC’s Newsnight over a report they released on the availability of extremist literature in British mosques and Islamic centres. Their ‘expert’ on terrorism is Dean Godson, an advocate of ‘political warfare’ and an interventionist foreign policy. Godson’s father (Joseph Godson) and brother (Roy Godson) are noted figures who have helped ‘massage’ American intelligence to achieve certain policy goals (Godson senior appears to have been a Cold War Liberal, the intellectual predecessors of those known as ‘neocons’). Policy Exchange was also Michael Gove’s platform for lauching his political career. And Martin Bright, political editor for the left-wing political magazine The New Statesman, also received sponsorship for his pamphlet on the Islamist connections of promiment British Muslim organisations from Policy Exchange.

– The Quilliam Foundation (home of ex-Hizbis) announce Michael Gove as one of their advisors. Gove’s ‘neoconservative’ views are widely known (he is a member of the neocon Henry Jackson Society), as are his fanatical attacks on Palestinians from the pages of The Times.

Hassan Butt, who once boasted about his jihadi credentials (funny how he never offered his own services), is given a boost by Nick Cohen, one of the founders of the Euston Manifesto and foremost member of the pro-war left in Britain. Butt, it turns out is writing Leaving Al-Qaeda with the journalist Shiv Malik, a proponent of the ‘conveyor belt’ theory of Islamist activity and terrorism.


1 Response to “Muscular Liberals and Celebrity Ex-Extremists”

  1. 1 rachel April 1, 2008 at 10:23 am

    This was discussed on Newsnight last night; this morning I was idly looking about to see what others made of it – thanks for the Nick Cohen heads up, I missed that.



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