Dave Osler earlier noted how some sections of the left are all sixes and sevens over the events unfolding in Iran. I don't know why this should be so surprising. The far left has long standing strategic differences over the Middle East. But what is really strange is the unanimity of response from the various strands of political Islam resident in Britain.
Let me start with the definition of political Islam. I understand it in a broad sense, as political movements that draw on Islam to meet their objectives. Applied to the British context this includes relatively innocuous organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain, who aim to integrate British Muslims into the country's political and cultural mainstream while promoting Islamic teachings. It would also include the to be re-launched Al-Muhajiroun, who campaign for an Islamic UK state. In other words, political Islam encompasses movements right across the spectrum. It should not be confused with Islamism, which denotes a particular strand of political Islam that simultaneously treats the religion as a political philosophy.
It would be reasonable to assume organisations of political Islam would have something to say about the situation in Iran. I know if I was a young Muslim I would be interested to hear the opinion of organisations that claim to represent my interests or would like to recruit me. I'm pretty sure the musings of the local Imam - if he touched on the crisis in the Islamic Republic at all - would not be enough. So what are these groups saying?
Let's have a look at the more mainstream sites. The British Muslim Forum apparently aims to represent the political thoughts of Muslims resident in the UK and boasts of being the largest Muslim umbrella organisation in the country with 600 affiliates. Alas its not doing a great job of representing any kind of thought - at least on the internet - as the website has not been updated since February. The Muslim Association, the pressure group some on the ultra-left think is "Islamofascist" because of its links to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood doesn't have much to say either. Its last news item is Obama's speech in Cairo at the beginning of the month (the MB website is no better - seems every topic under the sun gets a look in ... apart from Iran). The story is the same for the Islamic Society of Britain, The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, and Progressive British Muslims (another organisation who, online at least, looks like it's gone into abeyance).
What about the extremes? Over the years the mainstream political establishment have been pressuring so-called community leaders to aggressively stamp out the extremists and Islamists. The silence of the mainstream offers the head bangers an ideal opportunity, doesn't it? You would think ... but Hizb ut-Tahrir - an organisation no one could accuse of being idle - hasn't got a thing to say. US designs on Pakistan? Check. The global recession? Check. Revolution in Iran? Nope.
In fact, the only organisation that does is the two man show, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. They carry a couple of snippets from Youtube, but don't really offer any opinion on the events.
This is indeed a curious silence on the part of British political Islam. Could it be for sectarian reasons? Or is it more likely they are utterly bewildered by events?