A few thoughts came to mind whilst watching the latest Dispatches programme:
1) What were Abu Usama And Faiz thinking when making the statements they did? What they said was devoid of any understanding of the context of the time and place we are living in. And the more i think about it, the more i'm sure that brothers such as these have little or no interaction with non-Muslims because its impossible to hold such views and express them so boldly in the UK in 2007 if you're meeting non-Muslims regularly. They need to move on from describing the UK/Western populace as gays, controlled by Jews, etc.
2) What is the obsession with this term kaafir (sing.)/kufaar(pl.)? All it translates to is non-Muslim/disbeliever. If my manager is not a Muslim (which he isn't) then he's a kaafir - its as simple as that - different terminology to describe two different things. What the media is doing, with considerable help from people like Dr. Taj Hargey (and the comments of Faiz) is to give the impression that this word is in and of itself derogatory and implies inferiority. The term 'kaafir' conveys no more inferiority than its english equivalent, disbeliever. To give a simple example, the Pope is a kaafir with respect to Islam, and I am a kaafir with respect to Christianity.
btw. i'm sorry that i can't provide a link for Taj Hargey, because he's basically some unknown whose credentials are that he used to be a Professor of African History, and as regards his study of Islam... errr.. there isn't anything.
3) It seems as though even UKIM, a large-ish Muslim organisation headed up by indo-pak brothers has been lumped with the "extremist" Saudi-Wahhabis. So if they're also preaching hatred and intolerance, who are the Muslims who are practising the correct Islam? Ah, its Haras Rafiq of Sufi Muslim Council fame and his apparent team mate Abdul-Hakim Murad who frequently seems to be on hand to fuel the wahhabi-bashing.
Update: Link to a short interview with a B'ham newspaper in which Abu Usama talks about being taken out of context.