Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Munira Mirza’s visit to Australia

The Centre for Independent Studies, a non-partisan conservative/liberal/libertarian think tank, is inviting Munira Mirza to speak on the topic of “The Politics of Difference – Multiculturalism & The Rise of Islamism” on 11 October 2006. I’m not sure whether the CIS chose the topic or whether it was chosen by Mirza herself.

Mirza is an associate fellow for the UK conservative think tank “Policy Exchange”. The think tank will be hosting a number of events at the Conservative Party’s conference in October.

Here’s how Policy Exchange describes Mirza:

Munira Mirza writes and broadcasts on issues related to multiculturalism, cultural identity and urban regeneration. She is an arts consultant for the London East Research Institute and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Kent … She edited the Policy Exchange report Culture Vultures in February 2006. Munira is also part of the Manifesto Club, which will launch in November 2006.

Mirza has an impressive background in English literature and the Arts. Her views on cultural policy are well worth reading, especially her chapter in the Culture Vultures report entitled “The arts as painkiller”.

The CIS’s invitation of Mirza sounds like a positive development. Up until now, most speakers they've invited to talk about political Islam have hardly been experts in the field. Indeed, most have been neo-conservative cultural warriors like Mark Steyn and Daniel Pipes. These speakers have tended to use the CIS podium to sprout conspiracy theories about Muslim minorities as opposed to getting to the heart of the problem.

Still, the CIS has also invited some excellent speakers like Muhammad Fajrul Falaakh, a senior lawyer from Indonesia's prestigious Gadjah Mada University and a leading figure in Nahdhatul Ulama, the world's largest Islamic organisation.

Hopefully Mirza will be able to avoid the sentiments so typical of monocultural revolutionaries like Steyn. Still, it is questionable how much the UK Muslim experience can be transferred to Australia, which has a much more multicultural and less socially and economically disadvantaged Muslim community than the UK Muslim community.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006


Anonymous said...

So can we assume you won't be vocally wishing Mirza dropped dead as you did Mark Steyn?

Anonymous said...

And what evidence do you have that Irf wished Mark Steyn dead? Or are you just another member of Tim Blair's National Action gang-bang?

Anonymous said...

Gee Anonymous @ 11:38, I was there. Were you?

Irfan asked a question. At one point in his response, Steyn said, "I could drop dead tomorrow..." and Irfan interjected "please do".

Everybody in the back dozen rows heard him. I commend Irfan for letting comments through, something several of his colleagues could learn from. I even suspect he now regrets his outburst at the lecture. However, he can defend himself if he wants and certainly doesn't need you coming up with wholly fatuous arguments.

Irfan said...

Let's test the thesis of Anon @ 5:13. I now express my wish that Anon @ 5134 die from an overdose of Kellogs Cornflakes.

Go on, Anon. Drop dead. Once you've done that, please contact the police and have them arrest me. Better still, have them take out a telephone AVO against me.

Go on. Give it a go. See if they regard my words as threatening violence.

Go on. I challenge you. In fact, invite some TV cameras there also. If you like, I'll give you the contact details of reporters from the 7:30 Report. I'm sure they'll be interested in running the story.

Send me an e-mail at and I'll give you their details.

Are you prepared to do it?

Anonymous said...

Why do all muslims always threaten violence in almost every situation?

Anonymous said...

You should be aware of the problems with Munira Mirza who has recently published a report about British Muslims which has been called an abuse of research: look at the following links which confirm that she is not a serious scholar of Muslims or multiculturalism but has twisted the facts to support her research, you need to put a 'warning' on your post endorsing her, see the following posts from senior academics in the UK:,,2006540,00.html (letter from senior Professor challenging her work),,2011804,00.html

Seriously Irfan, your blog is coming up on google and is endorsing this work in which Munira Mirza has been involved in the most shameful and deliberate stigmatising of British Muslims with lies and distortions (not my words, check out the posts above). Please consider adding the academic references to your original blog so people are warned,