Meanwhile, the Foreign Office seems determined to press ahead with courting radical Islamists. Just this month, the British government paid for Yusuf al-Qaradawi to attend a conference in Turkey to discuss the future of European Islam. At home, it funded two Islamist youth organisations, the Federation of Islamic Student Societies and Young Muslim Organisation, to help run a roadshow of Muslim scholars to tour the country. Fosis and YMO, while condemning violence, are ideological allies of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami. It is ironic that conservative thinkers categorise these organisations accurately as part of an Islamist extreme right, while many on the left continue, wrongly, to see them as part of some wider international Muslim liberation movement.
While this situation remains, there is no shame for those on the left opposed to the rise of radical Islam to build alliances with conservatives prepared to call fascism by its real name.