In the midst of continuous negative portrayal of Muslims, there seems to be genuine fear in wider society that 'Islamist aliens' are taking over this island. Whilst many Muslims feel under siege and tend to think they are probably subject to a 'McCarthyite' witch hunt, others still question Muslims' place in this land and if they are part of a 'Trojan Horse' entryist plot. Both these assertions are wild.
In spite of recent suggestions that the group had strengthened the evidence base relating to anti-Muslim prejudice through 'academic research', the harsh reality is somewhat different. In fact there has been no 'academic research' to have emerged from the group, let alone funded by it or indeed government.
The fact of the matter is that Muslims have always spoken out against groups like ISIS. Yet it is worth noting that after these extremist groups act, Muslims across the globe (and in particular the Western world) are left stranded in the centre of an imperial dichotomy which labels them according to "fundamental" and "moderate" Muslims.
I never thought I would live to write the words that will follow, but here goes. I am grateful to Ben Affleck. Not particularly for his outrage or his insights on Bill Maher's show, which, albeit entertaining, were not exactly all that insightful, but more so for bringing a particular brand of Islamophobia to the attention of the world - the kind peddled by we-love-liberalism-ers like Bill Maher and Sam Harris.
As long as Muslim communities do not have the equivalent to a Chief Rabbi, sadly, there will be a space in the social sphere which will be filled by those who are less interested in the welfare of Muslim communities, and more interested in making a name for themselves. Now is the time to grab this challenge with both hands.