The enemy of my enemy...

...is my friend, as the saying goes, and so it is true for pragmatists of all stripes.

In his recently published book "The Islamist," Ed Husain decsribes the strange fusion of religious fundamentalism and pragmatism found in the Jama'at-i-Islami.

"The Islamism of Mawdudi's school is not principled, but politically pragmatic. In Bangladesh Jama'at-i-Islami activists are literally engaged in street battles against leftists, but in Britain Islamists from Jama'at's British front organizations are active members of George Galloway's far-left Respect Party. Front movements of the Arab Muslim Brotherhood are leading members of Respect too. Galloway was given a hero's welcome at the London Muslim Centre after he ousted Oona King in a highly controversial election campaign in 2005." Husain goes on to reference how Respect used race and religion to win votes, including exploiting the national identies of expatriate Muslims from the Indian subcontinent.

Knowledge of the pragmatic relations between Islamists and leftists is not new, but the "front row" seat Husain -a former Islamist insider -provides, as well as the multitude of references to the Jama'at make for a very interesting read.
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