British Islam – Four Articles

Four recent articles on Islam and Muslims from notable British publications:

A Muslim Journey (read it).

“British Islam is dominated by culturally and theologically conservative south Asians. But the London bombs may help to make it more open to those who want to engage with the modern world.”

Interview with a British jihadist entitled Dying to Kill (read it).

“Hassan Butt, a 25 year old from Manchester, helped recruit Muslims to fight in Afghanistan. Like most of the London bombers, he is a British Pakistani who journeyed from rootlessness to radical Islam”

A fairly Islamphobic article from The Spectator (UK) entitled The Myth of Moderate Islam (read it).

“It is probably true that in every faith ordinary people will pick the parts they like best and practise those, while the scholars will work out an official version. In Islam the scholars had a particularly challenging task, given the mass of contradictory texts within the Koran. To meet this challenge they developed the rule of abrogation, which states that wherever contradictions are found, the later-dated text abrogates the earlier one. To elucidate further the original intention of Mohammed, they referred to traditions (hadith) recording what he himself had said and done. Sadly for the rest of the world, both these methods led Islam away from peace and towards war. For the peaceable verses of the Koran are almost all earlier, dating from Mohammed’s time in Mecca, while those which advocate war and violence are almost all later, dating from after his flight to Medina. Though jihad has a variety of meanings, including a spiritual struggle against sin, Mohammed’s own example shows clearly that he frequently interpreted jihad as literal warfare and himself ordered massacre, assassination and torture. From these sources the Islamic scholars developed a detailed theology dividing the world into two parts, Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam, with Muslims required to change Dar al-Harb into Dar al-Islam either through warfare or da’wa (mission).”

From noted Dutch Islamaphobe Ayaan Hirsi Ali (read it).

“Who are these “undecided” Muslims? They are the group to which Tony Blair refers when he says “The vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims here and abroad are decent and law-abiding people.? They live in Edgware Road and Bradford, and in Amsterdam and Saint Denis; they are not fervent observers of every ritual of Islam but they count themselves as believers. They are immigrants and second-generation youths who have come to the west to enjoy the benefits of the open society, in which they have a vested interest. But they do not question the infallibility of Muhammad and the soundness of his moral example. They know that Muhammad calls for the slaughter of infidels; they know that the open society rightly condemns the slaughter of innocents. They are caught in a mental cramp of cognitive dissonance and it is up to the west to support the reformers in trying to ease them out of that painful contradiction. They must be engaged in a process of clear thinking on how to evaluate the moral guidance of the man whose compass they follow.”

 

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