Why Margaret Thatcher hearted Islamists

Upon Margaret Thatcher’s death, her champions naturally eulogised her as a fighter for liberal democracy in Eastern Europe, while her detractors brought attention to the fact that she was highly supportive, even complimentary, of dictators and apartheid in the Global South such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Chile, Indonesia and South Africa as well as her assistance to the genocidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Overlooked in both scenarios is her support of political Islamism and by extension Jihadis. Here is Thatcher in December 1979, advocating a political Islam as a counterweight to left-wing or communist ideology which she derogatively dubbed “imported Marxism”:

“I do not believe that we should judge Islam by events in Iran…There is a tide of self-confidence and self-awareness in the Muslim world which preceded the Iranian revolution, and will outlast its present excesses. The West should recognise this with respect, Continue reading

British Colonial Strategy and the 9/11 Blowback.

Osama bin Laden gained his reputation as a militant Islamist during the Western backed counter-insurgency – so-called “jihad” – against the Soviet Union’s invasion ofAfghanistanin the 1980’s

The main strategy employed by the West during this campaign to contain and repel the Soviet invasion was to recruit Islamists from around the world[1] in a war against ‘godless communism’.

Needless to say, this alliance or collusion between the West and Islamist did not originally arise with the invasion ofAfghanistanby Soviet troops. Its provenance can easily be traced back to the challenges faced by British Imperialism in the earlier part of the twentieth century. Continue reading

Unpacking Imperial Britain’s Islamists.

Imperial Britain duplicitously completed its control of the Middle East during World War one with the famous ‘Arab Revolt’. Sharif Hussain, the leader of the north-western Hijaz region of Arabian peninsula, was given the strong impression that Britain would support an independent and unified Arab state in exchange for support against the Ottoman Caliphate, which had taken the side of Germany. This strong impression is mainly contained in the Hussain-Macmahon letters.[1] 

Imperial Britain, of course, literally had other ideas. Simultaneously and unbeknown to Sharif Hussain, Britain had also made a commitment with France and Tsarist Russia to jointly carve up the Ottoman Caliphate as well as a commitment to “facilitate” the creation of “Jewish National Home” to a small band of European Zionists in Palestine. Continue reading