It is entirely correct that the rule of law should be upheld for Moazzam Begg. It is entirely correct that the ethical abomination of Guantanamo Bay be campaigned against. The left should oppose and be sceptical about further misguided laws to combat extremism, as suggested by Theresa May.
But sections of the left must also be honest about their support for groups like CAGE and all other Salafi/Islamist/Jihadi activists. They should tell the British people that support for them is on the same basis as supporting the rights of, for example, nationalist fascists, and on the basis of the principle that our laws apply even to extremists and fundamentalists.
What the left should never do is whitewash the ideas and beliefs of people like CAGE and Moazzam Begg. Their agenda is to be an advocacy group for Islamic fundamentalism in British society, and to use the left as the soap powder for that washing.
Now more than ever the pamphlet written by Meredith Tax in 2013 called ‘Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights’ needs to be read.
It outlines a deeper problem we face, of moral relativism, and of how too many sacrifice secular principles to an unquestioning deference towards Islamists. The left, says Tax, is caught in a ‘double bind’, of speaking out against prejudice towards Muslims, the excesses of the state in the ‘war on terror’, and the need to oppose the ideas, beliefs and actions of religious reactionaries, Islamists and jihadi apologists…