Just a few points in response to Brother Adam Deen’s latest blog in which he seems to be attempting to shoe-horn snippets of news into his theory of ‘toxic theology’ being the motor for ISIS terrorism as opposed to foreign policy.
Brother Adam writes:
The narrative went something like this: British Muslim men travel to Syria to join ISIS due to Western foreign policy – these angry and radicalized men felt a moral duty to help their Muslim counterparts in foreign lands. Ironically, it’s the lack of British military intervention that has allowed Assad to remain in power.
Brother Adam is keen to state there has been no foreign intervention in Syria to make his point against foreign policy. However, he would well be advised that foreign policy is not the same as foreign intervention. You can have an unjust foreign policy impacting on a country without foreign intervention. Let’s mention, Ron Paul who stated ‘ISIS Is A Reflection Of A Deeply Flawed Foreign Policy” and let’s recognise the proxy war that the US has engaged in within Syria as well as extending one’s vision of ISIS as a whole – is Iraq not the place where ISIS spawned? And we all know about Iraq’s history of being pulverised psychologically, economically and physically by Western powers, right?
Having said that, Brother Adam is mistaken – Syria has felt the force of foreign intervention. Drones.
David Axe reported that according to U.S. military officials, during the past year, drones have conducted nearly 900 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria
Brother Adam needs to have a rethink on this point.
The problem Brother Adam is encountering is his espousal of a simplistic (as well as erroneous) way at looking at things. Would Brother Adam really claim the ex-Baathists, who served under Saddam, recruited by Baghdadi all of a sudden decided to change theology? So the facts that they all were imprisoned by the US (and possibly tortured) and their desire for power have nothing to do with their motivations for joining ISIS?
Simplistic thinking is not going to get us anywhere.
An exodus, really?
The news of so called “Jihadi brides” and now entire families immigrating to the state of ISIS means that the grievance narrative doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. Organizations such as Cage and MPAC, among others, argue that we should look to foreign policy to make sense of such incidents. However, the mantra of ‘foreign policy’ has limited explanatory scope in providing a convincing explanation for this latest exodus.
Brother Adam picks on families relocating to ISIS controlled areas from the West and calls it an ‘exodus’. However, how many families is Adam talking about here? Three? It’s not even more than a handful, right? How’s that an exodus? It’s not.
Brother Adam fails to see that the actions of these families offers no support for his theory of ‘toxic theology’ being behind motivations to join ISIS. Did Brother Adam call any of these sisters and ask them questions about theology? The truth is we don’t know what they are about but I, having lived in Bradford, can tell you the majority are Barelvis and Deobandis – hardly groups that are pushing ideas to join ISIS.
In any case, we have a possible smoking gun as to why these families may have moved out there – it does not support Brother Adam but rather deflates his argument. Brother Adam puts a dent in his own argument by mentioning ‘the brother of one of the mothers is said to be an ISIS fighter. This maybe where the indoctrination started’. Keith Vaz seems to agree with this theory of the brother ‘radicalising’ the sisters to the point they took their kids to this war zone “Plainly, by the NECTU [North East Counter Terrorism Unit] allowing this contact they have been complicit in the grooming and radicalising of the women.”
It’s hardly something to hang an argument on against the very real narrative of foreign policy (amongst other factors such as those outlined by Brother Adam’s wife) alienating and radicalising vulnerable Muslims who misguidedly come to the conclusion they don’t have access to any other recourse other than joining ISIS.
Adam Deen’s wife is at loggerheads with Adam’s new found enthusiasm to push this narrative of ‘toxic theology’ being behind terrorism:
I would really like to raise awareness to myopia which sweeps across Muslims in Britain. In never linking Western foreign policy to Muslim terrorists one is never going to end this cycle of violence that scholars are quick to highlight as the solution to the problem of terrorism. Not only this, but to point fingers at a particular interpretation of Islam which differs to your own really is a dangerous game of hypocrisy which could come back to bite you on the backside.
Here’s a video highlighting Brother Adam and his Deen Institute, despite all his protestations and finger pointing at a sect other than his own, would also be considered as a subscriber to ‘toxic theology’ by the British establishment sooner or later.
Adam Deen is an Non Violent Extremist According to Some Government Officials