Monday, August 06, 2007

A call for consistency

I am getting more than a little irate with the so-called moderate British Muslim "community" who, by current performance, appear to be about as "moderate" as the Bideford ex-Lib-Dems were "liberal". Let me be clear in my request. As I see it, you can have it one of two ways.

Either the current Islamist terrorist threat has nothing to do with Islam, and is a supra-nationalist power struggle based variously in the foundation of Israel / plight of the Palestinian nation (not, of course, that Palestinian Muslims are waging a 'religious cleansing' of Palestinian Christians) and the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq (and general extra-territorialism), and any number of other geo-political or economic (not that I am convinced that those are necessarily different) events. In which case, events like "Jihad the Musical", the treatment in prison of convicted terrorist plotter and race hatred "expert" Abu Hamza and other convicted terrorists (apologies for linking to the Mail), and the general approval that Dr Ahmed has gone for a short and succinct interview with his maker before finding out whether it is the Christian or Muslim view of Hell that is true, are also nothing to do with Islam, a religion of peace as is proclaimed. Instead they are perfectly understandable reactions against a somewhat loosely co-ordinated non-religious terrorist campaign that is out to destroy post-Enlightenment western secular democracy.

Or, as the alternative, the current Islamist terrorist threat is entirely consistent with the views of jihad and the division of the world between the dar al'Islam and the dar al'Harb, as expressed in the Quran, the hadith and Sunnah and many, many fatwa. In which case, Western reaction against these terrorists is indeed anti-Islamic and possibly even Islamophobic. However, given that the demands made include the imposition of Sharia law throughout the world and the inhumane punishments proscribed therein, is not a degree of "fear of Sharia", if not full-fledged "fear of Islam" entirely reasonable?

The British public generally, not just the BNP racists, do not look at forced marriage, female circumcision and so-called "honour" killings and see civilisation, never mind a civilisation we would be willing to live in. It has to be said, entirely correctly, that we also should and generally do look at ned and chav lifestyles with some, if not quite as much, abhorrence.

The last significant terrorist threat against the UK was from the IRA and its splinter groups. Although Irish nationalism, with some notable exceptions, largely originated in the separate culture and appalling treatment of the Catholic population, it never led to demands in the UK for the repression of Italian, Polish or German Catholics. Why not? Because outside of Ireland and some of the loopier bits of Scotland (Scottish and Irish do get slightly confused when you look at history properly) and the USA, Catholics and especially those in theological authority, denounced both terrorism and wider political violence. Whereas we see endless support, from Islamic nations, from imams and preachers in mosques in the UK, for the terrorists, both their objectives and their means. There is no excuse for terrorism, even if it is committed in the name of a "religion of peace".

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