29
Apr
08

How can we fight Islamist extremism?

UPDATE: Ed Husain has decided he doesn’t want to take part in the show (for reasons I’ll explain in a seperate post). Rashad has kindly offered to find another guest with similar experiences but this may take a day or two to confirm. You’re welcome to keep on responding to Rashad and I’ll keep you posted on when this will get to air.

RASHAD’S POST Hi. I’m Rashad from the newly-founded Quilliam Foundation. Along with Ed Husain I’m going to be hosting WHYS on Tuesday. We were both attracted by radical Islam and forsome time promoted it. But now want to stop it. We’d like to talk with you about how Muslims and non-Muslims can stand together against Islamist extremism?

As a young lad growing up in Sheffield, I had a sense of pride in being born and living in South Yorkshire from the Steel City. In fact wherever I would go to visit relatives (as an Asian we have quite a lot), whether it was London, Durham, Luton or Birmingham, would take pride in saying I was from the city which was renowned in the world for its steel works, stainless steel cutlery (and unfortunately the Matrix-Churchill scandal!).

My father in fact initially came to Sheffield to work in the factories, before opening a business of his own: a restaurant, which I loved visiting – it had a live band and I would love pretending to play the instruments!

My mother was a deeply religious lady – she taught me the daily prayers and the art of Qur’an recitation. She also emphasized the importance of family values and responsibility towards civic engagement (My father had always voted Conservative and my mother, well she felt that I should not be apathetic towards my political rights).

By the age of 15, at my local school I met members of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), who were invited to address ‘Islamic assemblies’. HT is a radical/revolutionary Islamist Party, which had at its heart (“nucleus” is the HT word), the idea of taking power in a middle-eastern country by military coup, and then through military strength, and civil war forcefully unify all Muslim countries.

They would then be powerful enough to “carry” their ideology across the world through “diplomacy and war”. The aim was to change the world, Arab, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, from being Dar al-Harb/Kufr (abodes of war and infidel homes) to Dar ul-Islam (homelands for Muslims).

I joined this “political party”. It challenged everything – EVERYTHING – that I believed, it made me think that everything I thought was my religion, was not my religion. I came to think that my parents, the religiously-educated Imams, graduates of al-Azhar University, the Muslims in fact – all of them since 2nd century of Islam failed to understand the religion of Islam – failed to see that it was a political ideology.

It took many years to realize that actually it was HT that had misunderstood Islam, not Muslim civilisations and their scholars. It was HT that had taken a religious tradition, one that historically had many varying manifestations, traditions and interpretations (HT’s ideology not being one of them) and had politicised it.

It took me some time to move away from this thinking and readjust emotionally so that I could allow myself to appreciate the divine ‘fitra’ (nature) of humane values that God speaks of in the different religious traditions. Only then could I see the distortion that modern Islamist movements had subjected Islam to, denying its religious, spiritual and intellectual heritage and all of its diverse traditions, and beliefs and practices.

HT presented me with a violently different political expression of Islam that sought to create a clash and struggle, which Islamists believe is inevitable – and which they make inevitable by interpreting everything – religious scripture, politics, social policy (everything) – to create a polarized world view in their minds, and seek to manifest it in their politics and religion.

In that context I strove to save my faith, to highlight the inconsistency between Islam and Islamist political ideology and politics, and also importantly with a view to countering the meta-narrative of al-Qaeeda/HT, to counter extremist sentiments and the ideology and politics of these movements.

This is why alongside Maajid Nawaz, Ed Husain and others – the Quilliam Foundation was set up – to allow Muslim to remain proud of their heritage, proud of their religion, and be engaged citizens and people who alongside other faiths, or otherwise, can stand against extremism of all types – as a human community.

Is it really possible? Can Muslims and non-Muslims stand together against Islamist extremism? How? What does it mean – Western Islam? What about Eastern Islam? Is it part of the problem? What is the difference between Islam and Islamism?

These are all questions that naturally spring to mind. I hope to speak with you all soon…


73 Responses to “How can we fight Islamist extremism?”


  1. 1 steve
    April 25, 2008 at 19:57

    Simple, promote economic development, and try to implement secularism. You are completley free to be religious at home, even at work, but your government should be mostly if not totally free of government. The most theocratic governments are the most backwards, and the people suffer economically, and hence they only get more religious, and more likely to become extremist.

    Also, unfortunately, in many muslims nations, people are basically taught to hate people who are different. I’m not saying they should have an embrace diversity mentality, give hugs to everyone, but don’t teach your kids that christians and jews are infidels, that shiites are not real muslims, that jews are monkeys and pigs, stuff like that.. In the US, we have a secular government, and we’re not taught to hate. It’s not a perfect country, but we don’t have that many violent extremists either.

  2. 2 Thomas Murray
    April 25, 2008 at 20:58

    How can one fight Islamist extremism?

    The same way one can fight Christian extremism.

    Though I can’t reply directly to Rashid’s thoughtful and passionate meditation on religious fundamentalism, we have our own versions in the states. These are people for whom no amount of argument will sway them from their sometimes self-destructive beliefs. Fortunately, they don’t bother us, until we bother them.

    The US has its mad bombers, too. Timothy McVeigh was a young Christian fundamentalist (and former US Army soldier) who blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people. His reason was revenge for the inadvertant massacre of a radical Christian sect called the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas a year earlier. Police seiging the compound knocked over a kerosine lamp, starting a fire in which the entire community burned to death. The American almanac I’m consulting conveniently does not give the deathcount, but, if memory serves me, they numbered around a hundred souls. McVeigh was later executed for his crime.

    We got another tragedy in the making involving a breakaway Mormon sect in Eldorado, Texas, who practice polygamy. The local authories took custody of all the children based on allegations of child abuse via a phone call that was later found to be a malicious hoax, by a woman who turned out to be a chronic hoaxer.

    It took the Catholic Church hundreds of years until it turned brutal. I’m writing an article on cosmology in which I touch on the immolation of Giordano Bruno in 1600 for teaching heliocentrism. That’s burning alive at the stake. And Bruno was not the church’s only victim. It took the Catholic Church another hundred years to become the benign, relatively enlightened institution it is now.

    I’ve often wondered what the world would be like when we finally run out of oil. Well, now we know. Radical Islam is perhaps a manifestation of it.

    The terminal here is about to shut down, so all I can say is tend to your own beliefs, and stay out of the way. ‘Cuz we got our own troubles.

    –Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  3. 3 Xie_Ming
    April 25, 2008 at 21:10

    Importantly:

    (1) End Israeli persecution of the Palestinians

    (2) Get Anglos out of Iraq

    That will eliminate the two greatest recruiting factors for jiahism.

  4. 4 Will Rhodes
    April 25, 2008 at 21:18

    Is it really possible? Can Muslims and non-Muslims stand together against Islamist extremism?

    Most certainly – you, funnily enough, have made inroads to that already with what you have had to say.

    How we stand together is with respect for the faiths that we unilaterally believe in.

    I have seen on this blog people of different faith speaking to each other with respect – I have also seen certain things said that I find repugnant – but in a world of free speech that is something we have to do.

    It never really has been the faith of Islam – it is those who interpret it incorrectly which has always been, and will continue to be, the problem.

    Good luck on your works – if it can bring some back from the brink of idiocy then it is worth while.

  5. 5 Shirley
    April 26, 2008 at 14:10

    salam
    Education. It is key to support and participate in the effort to educate Muslims about their traditional roots (i.e. http://www.sunnipath.com or http://www.al-islam.org depending on sect). The Saudi government uses its vast financial resources to support the propogation of the extremist salafist cult that has not only distorted ordinary Islamic teachings but has also infused Islam with a militant tendency. It is unfortunate that most people who convert to Islam are almost immediately exposed to these deviated teachings. We should support places like the Imam al Khoei centre in New York and the Ithna Ashari Jaffery centre in Toronto, or people like Hamza Yusuf and Faraz Rabbani (depending on sect) who are propogating the message of a moderate yet authentic Islam based on ijtihad, tazkiyah, and traditional usul.

    All of these are Google-able.

  6. 6 Mark
    April 26, 2008 at 15:05

    How do you fight Islamic extremism? First thing is to recognize it and the rest of the world for what it is, not as some Moslems wish it to be. Four fifths of humanity is not Moslem and given the choice between becoming Moslems or dying, most would choose to fight to the death than convert. Moslems should stop thinking about trying to destroy Israel. They should stop thinking about trying to impose conditions on Israel where it would have to return to militarily undefendable borders, where it would give up access to Jerusalem as it was denied before 1967, where it would be overwhelmed by 5 million Palestinian refugees returning from all over the world. In short Moslems should stop trying to force Israel to return to the conditions which prevailed before the 1967 war. These conditions led to three wars to destroy it, the next one could leave the entire Middle East in cinders and the future existance of the human race in grave doubt. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to obliterate Iran or anyone else threatening the existance of Israel, they now have the power to do that themselves, a power they will never give up so long as they feel threatened. Moslems should also stop trying to pressure the US into abandoning support for Israel. That isn’t going to happen. They should stop trying to destroy Western Culture in general and American culture in particular. That isn’t going to happen either. They should stop trying to blame the West for the shorcomings and failures of Islamic governments and societies, those are principally of their own making. The solutions are at home, not off fighting the US or Israel, or Europe.

    Steve, you are wrong. Many Islamic extremists who pose a threat to the west do not come from economically deprived communities, many are in the middle class, even wealthy and many are well educated. It is the liberal siren song that all malovalence in the world stems from poverty and ignorance and it is a dangerous misconception. It is also wrong for anyone to expect Moslems to become secularists, they would no more give up religion than practicioners of other religions. They cannot be Moslems at home, in their Mosques, and among their family, friends and neighbors and non Moslems in the larger society. France is finding that out the hard way. You said; “…even at work, but your government should be …” You don’t get it. Rashad was born in Britain. HIS GOVERNMENT is the government of Great Britain. He is not a Pakistani, he is a born and bred British citizen. His problem was that he was easily alienated from that fact, all too easily. If the government of Britain and the British society at large has a problem, it is that it has refused to recognize this and change the conditions that make it that way.

    The answer is for Moslems to recognize that they have a stark choice that they will have to make soon. On the one hand, they can reconcile their 6th century religion with the realities of the 21st century and the fact that if they want to live the best lives they can in this world, they will have to come to terms with the larger non Moslem world in which they reside and interact. This means adopting a vast array of what they reject as Western values. The abandonment of violence against those who are not Moslems and don’t want to be. The acceptance of women as the equals of men in EVERY way. The acceptance of the rights of others to differ with their views without coming to blows over them. The rule of democracy as a form of government in which they must respect the rights of others if they want their own rights respected and that even where they are in the majority, they cannot deny the minority its rights too. Much of this is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is part of the Charter of the United Nations. It is worthless for Moslems to trot out some facet of so called international law when they object to some real or imagined transgression of some of their rights such as new Israeli settlements on what was once part of Jordan when they themselves ignore all the rest of these laws, especially those dealing with the day to day rights of others all the time. In short, they will have to come to grips with tolerating the rest of the world including not only Non Moslems but of Moslems of other sects than their own. To this end, it is in their own best interest to reveal any and all plots and plotters of terrorist acts they are aware of to authorities since these acts are in effect a war on society at large and civilization as a whole. If they don’t, they will be identified as the enemy of society and civilization. For all of this to happen it must become part of Islamic culture in the west and be made clear to anyone who comes from an Islamic culture to the outside world that some views they held back home are not acceptable, not only to the government of the country they are visiting but to the local Islamic society as well. This must spread to Islamic dominated cultures as well so that they do not remain a wellspring of new recruits to go out in the world. It seems to me, Moslems in the United States have largely adopted this position. A lot could be learned from them by Moslems in other Western countries.

    The alternative is a violent war between Islam and the rest of the world. It is a war which Islam cannot win. It would be suicide to try but that seems to be the course many in Islam are pursuing. In fact, that war is the goal of both Osama Bin Laden and his followers, and of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Will the rest of the Moslem world go down with them?

  7. 7 Ahmad Hammad
    April 26, 2008 at 16:40

    Ros!
    It’s extremely unjust that you have targetted Islam.
    From you, the next topic shall be: Why are the Muslims alive at all???

  8. 8 Ahmad Hammad
    April 26, 2008 at 16:43

    It was my immediate response to your topic.
    I’ll go through the details (the introduction by Rashad and the blog by Mrak alongwith others’) of the topic and return to the blogs again…

  9. 9 Xie_Ming
    April 26, 2008 at 17:00

    I believe that Malaysia has the largest Muslim population in the World.

    One should examine the developments there before generalizing about Muslims everywhere and their religion.

    To put it in perspective: Judaism, Christianity and Islam stem from a Zoroastrian/Abrahamic root. The violence and intolerance called for in the Holy Books are well-known.

    What is different is in the “interpretation” of these scriptures over time.

    Whabbism seeks to overthrow all regimes in Muslim lands and establish an idealized Islamic theocracy. Young people may be deceived by the ideals of shar’ia.

    Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution is an artificial regime that could easily collapse in the urban areas of Iran. Trade, cultural relations and diplomacy- but abosolutely not threats- could accomplish this.

  10. 10 Les
    April 26, 2008 at 17:14

    Umm…

    The problem I suppose is that these people are poor, that they live in a poor country, they have had little or no education and thus they are short of a few social graces.

    Things that we take for granted here in the UK, however these people have to reason why they are living like they do today. They have to understand, than to get away from the poverty they suffer day in, day out, they have to work like the rest of us to get a better life.

    Running out onto the streets shouting and chanting hatred at the slightest thing that upsets them doesn’t help them, in fact I just think, “well, here we go again…”, so why are they not at work instead?

    Why are they not earning a living huh?! More and more you are starting to see the exact same pattern here in the streets of the UK with these people, running around and chanting hatred, but for what?

    That only pisses me off, and I suppose a few other people as well, so why not just grow up, act responsible and rationally, and just get a damn job like everybody else?

    If you don’t want to work then fine, just don’t winge about living in poverty because you can’t see reason.

  11. 11 Syed Hasan Turab
    April 26, 2008 at 19:58

    The question sound like immetur, ethnic, bias & segragated, answer of this question is hidden in, if we raise the same question with Jewish in relation to crimes against humanity by Isriali forces, & HIndoo’s in relation to crimes against humanity in Kashmir by Indian Army along with supportive behaviour of USA & EU.
    I may add fearness of Global criminal’s from Atomic reserch & development in Islamic world may provide best answer of question too.
    All worries and fearness may be considered as burden of proof, infact media is in the hands of criminals & is promoting injustice along with criminal society.
    Life in Europe & USA is real bussy in general public trust in media, dont have time to invistigate & search for truth, this is why majority is real weak in histry & geography. Though some progress been noticed after 9/11, when some youngster’s show there intrest to find out the truth beside media.
    Commonly youngster’s are not satisfied & are quirious from one way traffic.
    Any way “TRUTH” is waiting for final victory.

  12. 12 Xie_Ming
    April 26, 2008 at 20:10

    Again, look at the largest Islamic country, Malaysia.

  13. 13 VictorK
    April 26, 2008 at 20:59

    Xie Ming: wouldn’t the largest Muslim country be Indonesia rather than Malaysia?

    I’ll try to say a bit more about this subject tomorrow, but I think the question makes two assumptions that need to be examined.

    Firstly, who are ‘we’? I seriously doubt if it means all Muslmis and all non-Muslims. I am concerend about fighting Islamic extremism in Britain and the West. If it needs to be fought in the Muslim world I’d leave that to Muslims and not get involved. George Bush would of course interject, ‘But we must fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here,’ and I would reply: an immigration policy that banned immigration into the West from the Muslim world, complemented by a ban on Muslim asylum seekers, would be sufficient (and would have avoided tens of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghnaistan). This may sound harsh but I’m thinking of what’s best for Britain and her people.

    The other point being taken for granted is that what we’re facing is in fact ‘extremism’. I don’t think it is. I think it’s simply Islam. I don’t believe the religion has been hijacked or misrepresented or perverted by these so-called extremists.And I think labels like ‘Islamo-fascism’ are nonsensical. I think the ‘extremists’ are simply giving practical expression to the teachings of their religion and that their actions are fully in accord with Koranic orthodoxy, the example of Muhammed and 1400 years of Islamic history: fight, kill and conquer non-Muslims ‘wherever you find them’. Could anything be clearer? I think that the problem is Islam as an ideology, and to blame ‘extremists’ would make as much sense as blaming extremist Nazis for hijacking National Socialism and misrepresenting the views of Hitler (and I think Islam is as totalitarian, and as dangerous, as Nazism or communism, if not more so given its greater staying power).

    I’ll put forward my ideas on how to fight it [Islam] in Britain and the West tomorrow. I think it is destined to triumph in the Muslim world because the moderate Muslims who’d much rather live by a watered-down version of the religion haven’t a leg to stand on when the ‘extremists’ denounce them as bad Muslims and insist on their extreme (i.e. orthodox) interpretation (and it’s not even an interpretation, really)..

    In all of this we – and by ‘we’ I mean the West – must judge Islam, and base our response to it, on what we know from history and experience, not what we would like to be true in hoping for a better world.

  14. April 26, 2008 at 22:55

    The quilliam foundation does not represent Muslims and is a UK government funded organisation intent on exonerating the UK government for it’s various imperialistic wars:

    http://traditionalislamism.wordpress.com/
    http://www.quilliamexposed.blogspot.com/

  15. 15 Xie_Ming
    April 27, 2008 at 02:11

    Indonesia has far more Muslims than Malaysia-and Malaysia is more advanced– my slip, I meant to say Indonesia!

    Now, if one restricts the inquiry to those groups that are a threat within Western countries, then the problem is entirely different.

    I would envision deracinated youth ready for conversion to a gang or cult for the usual reasons that a prospect seeks a cult.

    Islam offers an established idealist ideology and there are usually expatriate clerics to manipulate these young prospects.

    If this picture is substantially correct, then the situation could be improved social centers and employment support, under the guidance of well-paid clerics- perhaps a MOE (Mosque of England) instead of a COE (Church of England).

    It is a problem that I have not thought about- the foregoing is just an idea.

  16. 16 VictorK
    April 27, 2008 at 15:15

    I’ve read Rashad’s piece and had a look at the Quilliam Foundation’s website. I didn’t see anything about who was funding the organisation, a fact that once known might have some bearing on its credibility.

    At first glance it’s promising, with it’s talk of integration into Western societies, rejecting the baggage of other Muslim cultures in adapting Islam to a Western setting, and reforming and modernising Islam. But then I came across the reference to the golden age of Andalusia when Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in friendship and peace while creating a wonderfully advanced culture etc. And up till then they were doing so well! The Andalusian ‘golden age’ was an era that arose out of unprovoked Jihad (i.e. invasion and conquest) against Spain, in which Christians were forced to live as second class citizens in their own country as a ‘dhimmi’ people, liable to insult, harassment, pillage and persecution by their Muslim masters, and which the Spanish appreciated so greatly that they fought continually for 700 hundred years to rid their country of the Muslim presence, until the Reconquista in 1492. I find it difficult to trust anyone who presents Hispano-Muslim relations in terms of this comfortable and misleading Andalusian fairytale.

    Presumably WHYS will have spokesmen for Hizb ut-Tahrir in the studio? It’s hardly balnced for us to hear what that group stands for from its critics, especially when their critics have their own agenda – to present the acceptable face of Islam, and to persuade us that Islam is capable of reformation and liberalisiation.

    My concern is that we are being presented with a purely fictitious, sugar-candy, tolerant, Guardian-reader’s Islam. Muslims have always rejected the division between secular and religious, and have always insisted that Islam is more than just a religion, but a total way of life that pervades every institution and every practice of a Muslim society. That was why the Afghans and Iraqis insisted on incorporating Islam into their constitutions, much to the dismay of the Bush administration. Hizb ut Tahrir are quite right when they say Islam is a political ideology, since politics must necessarily come within the totalitarian embrace of this all-encompassing creed. Yet Rashad argues that there is a difference between Islam and ‘Islamist’ ideology and politics: on what basis? That Western liberals want it to be true? He refers to Hizb ut Tahrir’s mission to conquer the world for Islam through diplomacy and violence as though it were a perversion of Islam, instead of how Muslims have engaged with non-Muslims for 1400 years (during the course of which tens of millions have been slaughtered to advance Islamic hegemony).

    I had originally thought of making several references to the Koran in writing this. But then it dawned on me that what the Koran, the hadiths and the Sunnah record, and what Muslims say they believe, is much less important than what we know Muslims have done, what they are currrently doing, and what they are likely to do in the future. It’s not for me to persuade Muslims about their religion and what their practice should be, but to accept that what Muslims have always done is what we should expect Muslims to always do, and to persuade non-Muslims about what the best course of action is for defending Britain, the West and other non-Muslim societies.

    Muslims in general have always:
    1. regarded non-Muslims with hostility;
    2. looked forward to the day when Islam would impose itself on the entire world;
    3. regarded themselves as duty-bound to attack and conquer non-Muslims;
    4. regarded non-Muslim societies and institutions as things that no good Muslim should respect or have loyalty to;
    5. always denied to non-Muslims in Muslim societies the rights that Muslims take for granted in non-Muslim societies;
    6. operated within a self-referential moral/personal/political/social code (Islam) and resented, ignored or undermined the comparable standards and expectations of non-Muslim societies and peoples; and
    7. refused to acknowledge that their ideology of Islam could in anyway be the cause of the problems that the world associates with Muslims.

    From these statements a number of conclusions follow about what we in the West can expect from Islam (in addition to what we’ve already suffered), and what we should do in response.

  17. 17 VictorK
    April 27, 2008 at 17:03

    There can be no meaningful global fight against ‘Islamist extremism’. The only competent authorities to act are national ones and the proper sphere of their operation is their territorial jurisdictions. The fight against Islamic terrorism has to be local; only very exceptional circumstances (e.g. Iran acquiring or attempting to acquire a nuclear weapon) can justify attacks against other sovereign states.

    Islam is an ideology with a religious component (just as it has social, political, economic and legal components). I would therefore rebuff all appeals to extend to Islam the same freedoms that are granted to genuine religions in Britain. I’d subordinate freedom of religion for British Muslims to the priority of maintaining the safety of the British public. In order to effect this I’d like to see the immediate repeal of all European and Human Rights legislation that might impede the ability of the British government to take whatever steps it and the people of Britain considered necessary to promote domestic peace and security.

    I would reject as a basis of policy all unverified and unverifiable assumptions about Islam and Muslims, including the following propositions:
    Islam is a religion of peace; Islam has been hijacked, perverted, and misrepresented by extremists; there is a moderate Islam that is compatible with the Western way of life; it is possible to win Muslim hearts and minds in the fight against terror; ordinary Muslims are on side in the fight against terrorism; a Muslim can be as good and loyal a citizen as any other Briton; Muslim youth are being radicalised by some extraneous, inexplicable and sinister force, and it is possible to neutralise this force and prevent them from becoming Jihadists, suicide bombers etc. Several of these propositions may well be true, even if unverified or unverifiable: I reject them as inadequate grounds for a serious attack on the Islamic terror problem.

    I would do all of the following (and more) to tackle Islamic extremism:
    1.End all immigration into Britain by Muslims, and refuse to receive Muslim asylum seekers. The problem is rooted in the Muslim community and in the existence of a Muslim community in Britain. This would be an obvious way of at least preventing its physical growth.
    2. With the exception of readings from the Koran, all public business in Mosques should be carried out in English (I read somewhere that the Germans already do something along these lines). This would facilitate surveillance of these Mosques by the security services, as well as Anglicising the experience of Islamic worship (and acting as an indirect means of integration).
    3. I would end the practice of allowing foreign born Mullahs to come to Britain to act as clerics and teachers. These are men whose values and outlook have been formed in an environment that is wholly alien to British traditions and values. In future British Muslims should produce their own Mullahs or go without one. If their religion is not important enough to them to supply this need then I take that as a sign that it ought to be left to die a natural death from indifference and neglect.
    4. Any mosque used to preach Jihad, promote Sharia, or promote terrorism should be confiscated from its charitable trustees and closed (permanently). Any Mosque at which a suicide bomber or attempted suicide bomber was known to worship should also be liable to closure. And because of the importance of symbolic gestures I would also like to see such institutions demolished.
    5. No mosque or other Islamic institution should be funded or endowed by foreigners (like the Saudis). British Muslims should fund these institutions themselves or accept the slow death of Islam for want of interest.
    6. Non-British citizens who preach/organise/conspire to advance sharia, jihad, terrorism, etc should be deported to their countries of origin. Whether they would be liable to torture or capital pubishment there would not be a consideration (though it would be a very powerful incentive to behave while in the UK).
    7. British citizens who preach/organise/conspire to advance sharia/jihad/terrorism/etc should be liable to imprisonment and being stripped of their British citizenship. Further offences should lead to further prison terms and/or expulsion (where there is a country with which they have an ancestral connection).
    8. There should be no public funding of any Islamic institution, whether a mosque, school, or foundation.
    9. There should be no public act by the British government that concedes the right of a militant Islamic minority to dictate any aspect of British foreign policy (Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, etc).
    10. Conversely, the British government should not intervene in Islamic states unless the motive for such intervention is to advance the British national interest. Adventures like Iraq and Afghanistan should be ended because they do not serve any vital British national interest. Similarly funding for the Palestinain authority and foreign aid to all Muslim states should also end since neither is conducive to British interests, neither earns any gratitude from the recipients, and neither generates the slightest goodwill towrds Briton from Muslims.

    Harsh? I suppose. Necessary? Without a doubt.

  18. 18 Marahdja
    April 27, 2008 at 20:16

    Islamist extremism as well as terrorism as practiced by group like Al Qaeda are in most parts unethical ( from a western point of view) forms of resistance against western imperialism and its Jewish ally. I’m sure that won’t sound very good in a western audience hear but this is the truth. Western powers ( minority primarily white living in Europe and North America and representing less than 10% of the world population ) have been trying to impose their culture and their way of life to the rest of the world by among other means, exerting violence against the will of the people. But also, in their attempt to reach a comfortable level of control over Arab countries resources like oil and natural gas, they have committed a lot of questionable deeds and sometimes with a revolting arrogance. At the end of the WWII, powers like the USA and Great Britain push for the creation of the Jewish state without taking into consideration Arab nations interests and concerns. Later they armed and trained the mercenairies who will forge that state in the real world by occupying Arab territories, displacing and killing arab people who where peacefully living there. Islamist extremism is a response to those aggressions coming from the west, perceived both as offense against arab nations but also against Islam. To solve islamist extremism problems, the west has to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors in a format that would include reparation for Palestinian and Arab sufferings since the end of the WWII. The west has also to stop firing at Arab and islamic culture and adopts more tolerant and respectful approach for Arab and islamic thoughts and way of life. And last not the least, western powers should refrain from using military actions to solve political problems and promote more comprehensive and negociated solutions.

  19. 19 selena
    April 27, 2008 at 21:49

    First of all, we will never change anything unless we rid ourselves of the FIGHT word.

    When the concept of fighting is introduced into any situation it sets up a competition, even if one does not exist.

    The only way to address extremism (because extremism exists in all religions and politics) is to get to the children before they become brainwashed.

    Once children have become schooled in a religion it takes a long time for them to become disentangled, if ever. Persons who think for themselves might eventually see the manipulation and eventually get up the courage to leave. Persons who look to others for guidance and are natural followers will not find it so easy.

    In our daily lives, we say a lot of things and we mean them wen we say them. But our actions fall well short of our words.

    The first thing to change is ourselves and our own perception of how things are.

  20. April 27, 2008 at 21:54

    Hi good VictorK. Hope you’re doing 100% OK pal. I just wanted to ask for your opinion about a particular matter, and I’m really hopeful that you’d offer your young Baghdadi friend your advice. One good WHYSayer said on this page that “Islam is as dangerous as Nazism or Communism, or even more !”. Should I as a devout Muslim feel insulted or offended ?! I do respect Judiasm alot, and one of my best friends ‘David’ is Jewish. But if I ever write on this blog that Judiasm is an evil religion or that Jews are evil (and of course I’ll never say such a thing), should Jewish WHYSayers feel offended or insulted ?! And how do you think Precious Steve would reply to me ?! :-). Lots of love and blessings to all of you guys. Yours forever, Lubna.

  21. 21 Xie_Ming
    April 27, 2008 at 22:22

    Well, just a minor point:

    Cordoba WAS the centre of Western Civilization and was celebrated as such- there were senior Jewish administrors, many physicians, etc., and the Christians were happy.

    The greatest library in the world was there. At the time, the Muslims had the leadership in science and philosophy.

    A fundamentalist came across the Straits and destroyed the library, etc. and that ended the Golden Age of Cordoba.

    Then, the Christians came along with the Reconquest and the Inquisition and Jews had to convert or run.

    So, in my view, there WAS such an Islamic rule and the whether it could be restored is a valid question.

  22. 22 Syed Hasan Turab
    April 28, 2008 at 02:16

    None of the Muslim’s ever like the way “ALQUIDA” treated humanbeings arouind the world specially 9/11. This is why none of the Government’s of the world including Islamic world is not supporting terrorism at all.
    On the other hand USA & EU are spending millions on security even then they dont feel secure, beside that front line battler’s i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iraq are in worst situation compairing to USA & EU.
    Recent election’s of Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iraq none of the terrorist groups win because in general public dont like Terrorisam & unhuman acts,beside that recent Election results dosent mean that all ballot openion support injustice & unhuman acts of Isriel & India.
    Current sufferings in Phalistine & Kashmire never been addressed or condemend by USA & EU, under these circumstances fearness of terrorisam is natural among USA & EU as they know they all totally wrong.
    Recent election compain of USA & projection by contiminated media may not clearup stagnant & stuckup situation as reflection of official terrorisam is very clear.May God bless USA.

  23. 23 Andrew
    April 28, 2008 at 07:01

    My feeling is that groups such as the Quilliam Foundation will not get anywhere unless they have ‘street-cred’ with young Muslim men. Less than 2 years ago the Sufi Muslim Council was launched with great fanfare, but has since sunk without trace. I suspect the QF may go the same way if it is not well connected with the Muslim youth.

    I would like to ask why the name ‘Quilliam Foundation’ was chosen, because from my reading Abdullah Quilliam gave fatwas that Muslims in Britain should have nothing to do with the British Army because of it’s involvement in the Sudan (in 1896). He also publically supported the Caliphate. These are the same views that Hixb ut-Tahrir, the group Rashad and Ed used to belong to!

  24. 24 VictorK
    April 28, 2008 at 12:24

    @ Lubna: Islam is as dangerous as Nazism or communism in relation to non-Muslims. Just ask all the peoples and nations who over the centuries have been the victims of Muslim violence, violence which is unequivocally commanded by Islam. This is simply a matter of history, not opinion. Hindu nationalists put the number of their countrymen and couuntrywomen killed by Jihad at 100 million. This is probably an exaggeration. But the true figure is certainly in the millions and probably in the tens of millions, i.e. in a class with – if not exceeding – the murders committed by the Nazis and communists. I don’t claim that this is the character of Islam in a Muslim country, just how non-Muslims have generally engaged with Islam for the past 1400 years.

    @Xie Ming: you make as much sense in your last post as you do when writing about Tibet. Spain was invaded and conquered by foreigners, Muslim Berbers and moors. The Spanish liberated themselves and expelled the invader after 700 years of occupation. There could not be a clearer question of black and white or right and wrong. Spain is the country of the Spaniards, just as China belongs to the Chinese. Do you also believe that the restoration of Mongol or Japanese rule over all/part of China is ‘a valid question’? Go and proclaim that in a public square in Beijing (though take care to leave a will first). What are we to make of someone who can doubt either that spain belongs to the Spanish as China belongs to the Chinese? Or do you support the most blatant imperialism and land-grabbing when the victims are white and the aggressors are non-white? Come clean if you do and let’s have a different debate about anti-white racism. A reading of Louis Bertand’s ‘History of Spain,’ especially its 18th chapter, will cure anyone suffering from Andalusian fantasies. Cordoba – like Granada and several other Muslim cities in Spain – certainly was the centre of an advanced culture (though its quality is usually exaggerated by pro-Muslim propagandists); but it was not ‘the centre of Western civilisation’.

    @Andrew: dig deeper and you’ll probably find that the Quilliam Foundation is just Hizb ut Tahrir with a degree in public relations. That’s why I want to hear from a competent spokesman for Hizbut on the programme, so we can judge the real difference between these two ‘interpreatations’ of Islam.

    @Selena: men fight. You’ll never get rid of the word or the thng. You can only hope that they fight for the right things and in the right way.

  25. 25 VictorK
    April 28, 2008 at 13:15

    @ Marahdja: you wrote, “To solve islamist extremism problems, the west has to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors in a format.”

    Why? I’d rather that the West disengaged completely from the Muslim world, limiting itself only to trade with Muslim countries. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq (presumably the bloodbath that follows there will still be due to the injustices inflicted on the Palestinains…etc). Immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan. A cessation of funds to countries like Egypt and Pakistan. Let the countries of the Middle East negotiate the best peace they can with Israel’s nuclear armoury. And since fairs fair, there should be a complete disengagement of Islam with the West: if there is to be no Western presence in the Muslim world, there should be no Muslim presence in the Western world.

    Does that sound reasonable?

  26. 26 John Smith
    April 28, 2008 at 13:33

    This is a over debated issue. The fact is that Islam has no central structure and as such all it takes is one imam to incite hatred and call a jihad. Fighting Islamic Extremism will be as successful as the “war” in Iraq…long and drawn out and in the end may not even be worth it.

  27. April 28, 2008 at 13:44

    Fight extremism? Governments involved have to take a non-selfish role in it.

    1) Properly defining groups who are extreme is a key. You can not call opposition fighters in a country you are invading “Extremist”. They are fighting for their version of freedom.

    2) define by behavior, not by large cultural movements. Until extremist are “marketed” as being small isolated sects of large religious groups and not damming an entire culture for the acts of less then 1%, we will not get help from with in that is much needed.

    3) capitalism. Extremist are born from long traditions of having nothing better to do. “Idol hands are the devil’s work shop.” Don’t invade with Guns and Bombs, invade with Wal-Mart’s and McDonald’s. Set up Reality TV shows and string together the internet. Soon they will be too self-centered, occupied and stupid to participate in extremist traditions. Heck, maybe GW could get elected there for 2 more terms.

    4) Last, don’t group them all together. al Qaeda was nobody until they started taking claim for events they had no real ties too. Next thing you know every nut job in the world wanted to seek their advice and support. Their size was a “self fulfilling prophecy.”

    Remember, “terror” is an emotion not a movement. Staring down the end of a barrel every 5 miles is just as “terrorizing” going shopping in a crowded market, if not more. Only through rational, clear, logical definitions can strike the root cause of these sociological dysfunctions

  28. April 28, 2008 at 14:17

    There are many good questions that have been raised here. Whilst ideally I would like to address them all and in detail, I do not feel that is possible on the blog, but hopefully on the show.

    I would like to make a couple of important points:

    1. Islam is not the cause of extremist violence – rather the political ideology of Islamism, which has distorted the centuries old tradition is what has created a mindset of Ideological, political and theological conflict. It is this modern ideology that has done so.

    2. Islam and understanding its diverse nature is a part of the cure not the problem. It is not a normal traditional Muslim phenomenon and not that is normal to Muslims.

    3. Muslims have never had a church that defined all aspects of faith and politics. Muslim scholars have always existed outside of the political sphere and developed diverse traditions, religious and ethical codes outside of political authority.

    4. In most cases there was legal pluralism – inside both Muslim tradition and also Muslim polity, not imposing one but view but allowing other interpretations and even faiths to have their own law code – the millet system in the Ottoman rule is an example of this.

    The whole church-state secular paradigm therefore is not applicable. That is not to say that parallels can not be drawn; but the ideological/leninist mindset which we describe as Islamism is different from classical Islam, and Muslim politics in history.

    5. Muslims do not in most countries support Islamist movements – though this will raise many debates and discussion concerning this issue – but suffice it to say the faction that does exist is and can be negative for the progress development of actual politics in these societies, and in worst cases gives rise to violent and terrorist activists.

    6. The anachronistic analogy of Sheikh Quilliam, and Islamists is really off the wall! I can not comment on it here but suffice to urge everyone to read the following detailed article which explains the issues involved:

    http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/BritainsFirstMuslimActivist.htm

    7. Our foreign and domestic policies – such as supporting tyranny, imbalanced lack of criticism of aggressive states, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what is perceived as excessive uses of force by authorities, errors by the police authorities magnified in the media, have created an environment wherein Islamist politics and ideology can spread and therefore can be manipulated into providing political justifications for terrorist theology, but it is still the distorted theology/ideology that provides the bridge to terrorism and the religious motivation of eternal paradise that propels someone int terrorism. Both issues have to be contextualized and understood in relations to each other. Bad policies such as extending pre-trial detention (particularly when the need has not even been substantiated for it) can only alienate people further and provide propaganda fodder for extremists.

    These are some brief thoughts that we can discuss later…

  29. April 28, 2008 at 14:44

    Hi good VictorK. That’s pretty interesting ! So what about the Muslim victims of Western colonisation and Crusader wars all over the centuries. Christianity is the religion of mercy and peace. And Jesus Christ is the messenger of mercy and peace. But when the European armies took over Jerusalem centuries ago, they slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslims. While when the Islamic leader Saladdin took over Jerusalem from the European armies, he didn’t take any prisoner, and let all Europeans out of the Holy city dignified, with their arms and flags. Can you see the difference good VictorK ?! Is it fair that we judge Christianity according to the behaviour of the Crusader armies ?! Of course not. And the same thing goes for the victims of Western Colonisation and victims of Western slavery trade.. Good VictorK, please face it pal : EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES… A human being can be good or bad, and that applies to all human beings regardless of to which religion they belong…. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  30. 30 Will Rhodes
    April 28, 2008 at 15:55

    Marahdja April 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Islamist extremism as well as terrorism as practiced by group like Al Qaeda are in most parts unethical ( from a western point of view)

    Then please inform us what is ethical?

    What is driving me crazy at the moment is that so many in the ‘Islamic’ word are ignoring ‘us Christians’ who are trying to help Muslims regain their stature in the world. Please, if you want us to stop and you want to carry on with the murders – let us know and we will end it.

    Christian clergy have been murdered for being who they are, Christian – do you call that ethical?

    Western powers ( minority primarily white living in Europe and North America and representing less than 10% of the world population ) have been trying to impose their culture and their way of life to the rest of the world by among other means, exerting violence against the will of the people.

    The ‘Islamic extremist’ ISN’T trying to impose Islam on the world? Sorry, I don’t understand your point.

    But also, in their attempt to reach a comfortable level of control over Arab countries resources like oil and natural gas, they have committed a lot of questionable deeds and sometimes with a revolting arrogance.

    My friend – Arab oil wasn’t developed by the Arab nations – it was developed by western companies with investment from western governments – and still is! That is where the wealth has come from – the west. Now that the US and Europe are hell-bent on developing alternatives to oil and will do it, where will Arab wealth come from then? China? India? In the short term, yes – but they too will move away from oil and gas.

    Will the Arab world then move toward industrialisation? You will then have to deal with working conditions, unionised labour et al.

    Islamist extremism is a response to those aggressions coming from the west, perceived both as offense against arab nations but also against Islam. To solve islamist extremism problems, the west has to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors in a format that would include reparation for Palestinian and Arab sufferings since the end of the WWII.

    Perceived it the correct word. The west IS promoting peace between Israel and the whole of the Arab world, not just the Palestinians. What we want you all to do is stop the fighting so you can then speak! Why do Islamic extremists keep murdering their leaders who advocate peace? It is a two way street – you are wanting it to be a one way street with the Arab world being listened to and all others subjugated and then you say that will bring peace, it won’t!

    The west has also to stop firing at Arab and islamic culture and adopts more tolerant and respectful approach for Arab and islamic thoughts and way of life.

    That is reciprocal, my friend.

    And last not the least, western powers should refrain from using military actions to solve political problems and promote more comprehensive and negociated solutions.

    Agreed, yet again, Muslims have to put the weapons down and come to the negotiating table with as much an empty agenda as those who are the other side of that table.

  31. 31 Will Rhodes
    April 28, 2008 at 16:01

    Ahmad Hammad April 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Ros!
    It’s extremely unjust that you have targetted Islam.
    From you, the next topic shall be: Why are the Muslims alive at all???

    That is a patently silly remark!

    No one is asking that question nor should it be asked – you bringing it up just makes us believe that you want to move any debate away from questioning the ethics of those who use religion for political aims.

  32. 32 Xie_Ming
    April 28, 2008 at 16:20

    The Golden Age of Cordova was ended by a fundamentalist invading from the Megreb (North Africa).

    As many have noted here, fundamentalists foment problems in all faiths, often on the basis of what they think is the authority of Scripture.

    It is possible to have broad-minded religious leaders. In India, The Muslim ruler Akbar (1591) legislated religious freedom and tolerance and even attempted to establish a new religion (Din Ilahi) that would incorporate what he considered the best features of the prevailing religions.

    Akbar’s attempt at creating a new religion did not encounter success because identity comes mostly from one’s existing culture. A prophet would have appealed more to the emotions than to reason and would have exploited dissatisfaction.

    A possible lesson for us here is that the street youth needs an alternative to his micro-culture. This would imply a social or religious center under the direction of skilled and humane leaders, preferably those able to interpret the ideals of Islam in a Western context.

  33. 33 mustafa
    April 28, 2008 at 16:23

    Any person who thinks that practicing muslims should be regerded as extrimists is misled . At present the christian west has their troops in Iraq, Aghanistan, Bahrain, Qatar, Somalia, Tajikistan usbekistan, Egypt, Jibuti Saudi Arabia and many more wrecking haovc in the name of democracy. What are they doing there if not forment t trouble and sustain them?. Don’t forget over 1.2million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the American invasion of Iraq, over 4m displaced into exile. What do you call that? Is that not extremism? It is extreme extremism indeed.

  34. 34 VictorK
    April 28, 2008 at 16:24

    @Lubna: you are presumably unaware, then, that the Crusades were an entirely justified defensive reaction by Christian states against centuries of Muslim aggression? That aggression had seized formerly Christian lands such as Syria, Egypt, Spain, all of North Africa and…Palestine. Muslims had also attempted to conquer France and were in the process of conquering the Byzantine Empire (it was a Byzantine Emperor who the Pope quoted in his Regensburg address: the victims of Jihad had no illusions about what it was that Muhammed had brought into the world). I make no apology for the Crusades or the Crusaders

    You stated that ‘Everybody makes mistakes’ – but the Muslim conquests were not mistakes: they were what good Muslims knew they were obliged to do as a matter of religious duty. The difference between Christ and Muhammed is revealed by one question: ‘Who did Jesus kill?’ As you will know, Muhammed led his followers in battle (unprovoked, to force his new religion on those who didn’t want it), reserving a fifth part of the loot for himself (there’s a Koranic revelation conveniently permitting that – sweetened by saying that such spoils could also be expended on orphans as well as the Prophet). Beheading is a punishment laid down in the Koran and ordered by Muhmammed against countless enemies. The names of enemies and critics (including women) that Muhammed ordered assassinated are recorded by Muslim historians.

    Islam is not a religion of peace, unless we are to deny what we have known of it for 1400 years.

    @Rashad: I look forward to tomorrow’s programme. As you say, a blog isn’t the place to deal with all these issues. Some comments, though, on your remarks.

    Re your first point: credible only to those who know nothing about Islam and its history.

    Point 2: no responsible non-Muslim will put the safety of his family, his friends, his fellow citizens, and his nation in the hands of Muslims.

    Point 3: the Caliphate played a significant role in the formation of Islamic doctrine and practice, including redacting the Koran into its final version. Much of the present chaos in Islam, as a previous blogger noted, stems from the absence of any kind of central authority ever since the Mongols murdered the last Caliph (the Ottoman Sultans may have assumed the title but no one regards them as legitimate successors). The consequence of this is that no set of Muslims – like the Quilliam foundation – will ever be able to exert meaningful authority over any other Muslims.

    Point 4: accept what you say about the millet system. The Ottomans were of course one of the great exponents of Jihad and subjugated several nations of South East Europe (as well as a number of Muslim states). All of their victims would have preferred having their independence restored than any amount of legal pluralism under imperial subordination.

    Point 5: possibly true – but most Westerners are interested in fighting Islamic terrorism here in the West. Even if most Muslims did support ‘Islamist’ movements isn’t that their right to do so (when they enjoy the privilege of democratic expression, that is – as they showed in Algeria and Palestine).

    Point 6 – I’ll look at this – but if the man supported a restored calipahate then the comparison is not entirely undeserved.

    Point 7: ‘our’ foreign and domestic policies should be framed according to the British national interest, not as a means of appeasing domestic and international Islamic militants. If it’s in the British interest to support a tyrant, then so be it. With the wisdom of hindsight we can see that it would have been in the interests of Britain and Iraqis to have left Saddam Hussein in place, if not to have supported him. It is not for us to democratise the Islamic world (aren’t we cursed for that because of Iraw and afghanistan?). You can be a loyal Briton and want to see our soldiers pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan (as I do); but when someone argues for the same thing because it will be good for Muslims and the Muslim world, then I am forced to conclude that wherever his loyalty lies it is not to Britain.

    Will Hizb ut Tahrir be represented on tomorrow’s programme, since they are the ones best placed to make the argument that they do not stand outside the Islamic mainstream and therefore the entire premise of this debate is mistaken. The problem is, in fact, Islam, not ‘Islamism’. And it’s Islam that we in the West will have to challenge and tame.

  35. 35 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 17:40

    Marahdja:

    Western imperialism and its “jewish allies”? What, are you Borat? Singling out the Jews, yet you aren’t an antisemite. Right………

  36. 36 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 17:45

    I think the big difference between Islam and other religious is how seriously muslims take their religion. All religions have horrible things written in their holy books. I went to a bar mitzvah a couple years ago, and the rabbi was the hippie type, and he read a bit of the haftorah portion in english, and before he read it, he actually apologized and said “remember people,this was writtena really long time ago” and then he went into the part about invading some city, and killing all the men, and enslaving the women and children. Nobody takes the stuff seriously, hence not much jewish extremism. It’s the 21st century. Come on people. We should be going to Mars, not killing each other over most likely fictional events from the 7th century. If someone today claimed that god spoke to them, they would be in a padded room.

  37. April 28, 2008 at 17:54

    Hi again good VictorK. I wasn’t asking you to make an apology for the Crusades or the Crusaders. I was only reminding you of the many and many horrific crimes committed by the Crusader armies against innocent Arab Muslim civilians centuries ago, and especially when they took over Jerusalem and slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent Arab Muslim civilians. While when the honourable Islamic leader Saladdin took over Jerusalem, he let all Crusader soldiers out of the Holy City dignified with their arms and flags. And why did you skip commenting on Muslim victims of Western colonialism and victims of the Western slavery trade ?! What about those ?! It fascinates me so much that you’re able to see the mistakes of the ‘other’ and condemn them so strongly, but at the same time you’re unable at all to see and condemn your own mistakes. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  38. 38 Xie_Ming
    April 28, 2008 at 18:12

    The Crusades are a bit outside the subject here.

    We can have a thread on it sometime.

    The Pope organized the worst one for political reasons in Europe- mostly to get rid of a lot of knights and younger sons of the nobility, who went East for plunder and plenary indulgences.

    When they took Jerusalem, everybody-men, women and children- had his guts cut open to see if any gold or jewels had been swallowed, etc.

    Let us not go into the Crusades here!

  39. 39 VictorK
    April 28, 2008 at 20:17

    Lubna: I think we should both take Xie Ming’s advice and focus on the topic of the thread.

  40. 40 Xie_Ming
    April 28, 2008 at 20:45

    People in various threads might be interested in this book:

    The Rise and Fall of PARADISE.
    When Arabs and Jews Built a Kingdom in Spain

    ELMER BENDINER

    Copyright 1983
    This edition published by Dorset Press
    a division of Marboro Books Corporation,
    by arrangement with Joanna Cole
    1990 Dorset Press

  41. 41 steve
    April 28, 2008 at 23:49

    I think some of the lessons of the crusades are relevant to this discussion. The christians during that era were terrible. They were violent, and would kill in the name of God. What happened, much later, was that christians became secular. They introduced a separation of church and state in some cases, and in others people just stopped taking religion so literally. Private individuals were and still are free to be as devout as they want in their private lives. I don’t see any hope until Muslim societies become secular, but given so many muslims describe Islam as a way of life, rather than just a religion, I see no chance of that ever happening. The christians were bad, and violent, but they had 10th century weapons back then. There’s only so much damage you can do with a sword, a bow, or a trebuchet. Things are different now because the weaponry makes it so easy to kill so many people.

  42. 42 Xie_Ming
    April 29, 2008 at 02:51

    There is was tremendous gap in Rashad’s narrative:

    WHY, at age 15+, did he change his orientation?

    Was it only the persuasiveness of the recruiters?
    Did he search for a greater significance for his life?
    Did he want to rebel against his father?
    Was he lonely in the community?
    Did he need to join a group, any group?
    etc.

    The motivations and mental state are critical for planning a response, and Rashad has NOT addressed them!!

  43. 43 Will Jones
    April 29, 2008 at 08:27

    For some information on Abdullah Quilliam –
    http://abdullahquilliam.wordpress.com

    You have to wonder how they could skew his image in such a manner and think people would take them seriously,

    Secondly – why is there an anti-semtic statement in your policy document?
    Why are you singling out Polish Jews and mocking their clothing?

    Thirdly – why do you still have the name of “Advisors” such as BaBikr on your site when it is publicised on the internet that they have never given you any such position and are against your foundation?

    Fourthly – that now makes it 4 advisors who have withdrawn themselves – why the high turnover?

  44. 44 VictorK
    April 29, 2008 at 09:17

    @ Xie Ming. I don’t thnk the motives of Islamic terrorists are rational unless you are prepared to accept that the world view of Islam should also be valid for non-Muslims. I don’t care what their motivation is, just that they are attacking me, my family, my fellow citizens and my country, and they need to be dealt with firmly and mercilessly.

    There is a simple way to deal with this: let Muslim terrorists know that even though they will suffer no consequences for their actions (having exploded themselves into the paradise) there will be very real consequences for their loved ones and for their community, including making their families liable for the damage to property and the compensation due to victims arising from their terrorist acts (which I think should be a general legal principle). If this means saddling individual Muslim families with bills for several hundred thousand pounds and bankrupting them, very well. I’d also close, temporarily/permanently, any mosques at which terrorists were known to worship. It will force even suicide bombers to think long and hard before ruining their families and damaging their communities (as it is, some of the families of the suicide bombers here in Britain are now being looked after by the state through various welfare payments).

    Muslim terrorism will diminish when Muslims themselves fear the consequences of it. Everything else is just sentimental liberal indulgence.

    p.s. – the history of Islam in the West belongs to a different thread.

  45. 45 VictorK
    April 29, 2008 at 10:56

    I’ve just read the brief bio of W H Quilliam:

    http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/index.php/component/content/article/85

    So the Foundation is named after a man who was an enemy of Britain – and the West – and whose sole loyalty was to Islam and to promoting the interests of Muslims. We have been warned.

    Hizb ut Tahrir at least have the merit of openness.

  46. 46 Xie_Ming
    April 29, 2008 at 13:16

    We have a guest coming on today, from a comfortable and conventional background, who, at the age of 15+, joined a revolutionary Islamic group.

    It is essential to understand what he recalls as his feelings and motivations at that time. Only if the CAUSE is identified, can we rationally suggest a CURE.

    This is a specific case and a specific opportunity.

    [The general question concerning motivations of suicide bombers, Israel’s Gush Emunim terrorists, fundamentalist extremists like Ygail Amir, etc., can be deferred to a different thread]

  47. 47 Ahmad Hammad
    April 29, 2008 at 13:54

    @ Will Rhodes!
    That’s not a silly remark! Rather your remarks seems to be silly as it was a sweeping statement without going into my words I’m afraid!
    🙂

    Anyways, I yet again try to elaborate what exactly I wanted to say.
    See, First there was a question about the bad treatment with women in Islam. And of course, the conclusion was pre-determined.

    And now, the question to fight against the Islamist Extremism…

    Don’t you think Will that asking NO questions in WHYS about any other religion and just targetting one religion whose image has been deliberately tarnished by the aliens to that religion is simply Unfair? And a biased move?

    If that’s not the case, kindly tell me as to what is going on then….

    Don’t you know that the freedom fighters whom you call the extremists were primarily nourished by the US to safeguard her interests in the name of religion? And once her enemy, the USSR, got disintegrated, the US started hunting those very fighters? Isn’t it a crystal clear display of the bluffing of the Christians?

    And again, I shall request you to please count the innocent Muslims (childern and ladies) who have been killed since 9/11 and compare the number with those of the Christians or the vicitims belonging to any other religion. You will find the real Extremists….

    I don’t know why Europe, in spite of having the brilliance in Logic and the light of Renaissance, believes in the biased media depiction.

  48. 48 VictorK
    April 29, 2008 at 14:25

    @ Xie Ming: it is only essential to understand this guest’s former feelings and motivations if you expect the British government to make some gesture of appeasement to others who retain the same feelings and motivations.

    Was he an ‘Islamist’ because of a certain ‘interpretation’ of the Koran, Sunnah and hadith? Then what if that interpretation is, as I believe, and as Hizb ut Tahrir would have no difficulty in demonstrating, perfectly orthodox? Understanding that won’t make any difference.

    Was his motivation British foreign policy? Understanding that, no elected government could afford to change its foreign policy to appease a set of enraged, half-educated, and fantical adolescents and youths.

    Was his motivation the suffering of Palestinians, Kashmiris and other Muslim peoples, and a sense that ‘the West’ in general is some how to blame and needs to do more to resolve these issues? Again, there is no practical benefit to be had from knowing and understanding this, unless we take the view that a handful of teenaged Muslims should dictate the external relations of the entire Western world.

    These issues appear very differently to someone like you – who can afford to take an indulgent and rather academic view that assumes that effects dervie from meaningful causes that are amenable to rational scrutiny and can lead to carefuly engineered solutions that will produce just the intended result – and someone whose country actually has an Islamist terror problem and has suffered dozens of casualties because of it and can expect many more unless firm, and if necessary harsh, action isn’t taken to deal with it..

  49. 49 Will Jones
    April 29, 2008 at 14:49

    The Quilliam Foundation launch document simply highlights how opportunistic they are in taking Abdullah Quilliam as an exemplar, given his own views stand in complete contrast to theirs.

    http://abdullahquilliam.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/quilliam-foundation-versus-abdullah-quilliam/

    One is not hopeful of their research capabilities.

  50. 50 Xie_Ming
    April 29, 2008 at 15:07

    I would ask Rashad to use the delay to:

    Prepare a list, in order of emotional salience to him, of the factors that influenced him, at age 15, to join that radical organization.

  51. 51 Robert Evans
    April 29, 2008 at 15:49

    I find it annoying when people are invited on to World Have Your Say. Then at practically the last minute they decide to back out of your programme.Personally I would want to have him back on the air as soon as possible. This is because I am interested in what these people have to say. I am not particularly interested in the people who are critical of these people before they have said a single word. If they were to be critical afterwards then so be it.

  52. 52 Xie_Ming
    April 29, 2008 at 18:52

    In our school there was a boy, aged 9, whose indoctrination was not ours, for he continually made contrary assertions that the teachers sought to silence. Then, a new teacher began to ask him “why do you say that?” and follow up with one or two more questions. That effected a remarkable change in the boy.

    One who is indoctrinated later, in adolescence, can be “deprogrammed”, or reprogrammed. (The CCP is quite skilled in this).

    Most people have an obedient authoritarian personality (Altemeyer). These will accept an ideology as a package and allow it to be replaced by another package taken as a whole. (Communists becoming Nazis in Hitlerian Germany offers an example.) Since they did not independently think and adopt the ideas one at a time, the ideas were not integrated into their personalities.

    Ask these people several “whys?” and they fall apart. The confusion will become evident to all, included the individual concerned.

    Thus, set up an environment where the dialog can pass beyond a parroted agenda.

    Again, Rashad could save a lot of time by listing here the factors that caused him to join that group.

  53. April 29, 2008 at 19:29

    islam is a message of peace and love. nobdy has the right to impose his version of islam on others.
    some islamic governments promote islam , not necessarily practice it, only with the aim of perpetuating their regimes. When this backfired now they are re-thinking their strategies , i hope.
    it is the right of every human being to have a religion that he is happy with , but i have a message to the western world .
    if you want a safer world , help us get rid of dictators. those who impoverish their nations creating a flow of refugees and boat people.
    even now we see boat people trying to cross the mediterranean from countries which were prosperous befor.
    european governments have helped dictators to continue by dealing with them nonchallantly. i beleive they should oppose dictatorships with more vigour.
    a country which has a poor human rights record should be ostracised , al travel and diplomats must be forbiden from entering democratice nations.relations shoud be frozen until the regimes collapse , this will help ease islamist extremism.

  54. 54 Persistent
    April 29, 2008 at 22:54

    At least three posters (above) have suggested that demonizing Muslims in the West is not valid. One suggests that certain topics have been selected with that intent. On the other hand, there is undeniably a problem restricted to a subset of those who profess Islam.

    When the Hebrews returned from the Babylonian Captivity, they brought with them the idea of demons and a Devil. That demonology was passed on to Christianity and Islam.

    Stereotyping is a natural development for survival in the human brain. One needed to instantly react to a threat and a fast, broad way of classifying a threat developed- stereotyping from general evidence. Some here would make Muslims such a stereotyped demon.

    We are still equipped with that hunter-gatherer brain, but we have the ability to discriminate between all Muslims in Britain and those who are at risk of becoming terrorists. This discrimination must be made.

    I had hopes that the proposed program might have helped such discrimination. I would be disappointed if the proposal turned out to be a con perpetrated on our beloved WHYS.

  55. April 30, 2008 at 02:42

    For the sake of your religeon, and the lives of young Muslims yet to wrap themselves up in suicide vests …….all Muslim people who value their beliefs need to clearly ridicule the Jehadists as the true enemies of Allah.

    What God could possibly be impressed by some religous nut cases killing themselves and other Muslims in the name of Islam??????

    These extremists make me want to attack and kill them. Not because they are Muslim, but because they are dangerous and do not deserve to continue consuming oxygen and food that worthwhile humans of all races and religeons need.

    troop

    Nehalem, Oregon

  56. April 30, 2008 at 08:00

    Talk to the extremists! For heaven’s sake, TALK TO THEM!

    Stop the nonsensical rule of non-engagement with terrorists.

    Why be more willing to kill them than to TALK TO THEM?

    JUST TALK TO THEM!

  57. 57 nancy
    April 30, 2008 at 12:56

    Firstly, islamic extremism can not be fought until the following is known

    1) what is the drive behind islamic extremism
    2) What is the history of the islamic extremists and how have they been hurt by the west and America
    3) what is the aim behind extremism
    4) why is the west and America the enemy but Africa is not.

    It is high time America and the west research on their past, bring down their pride and stop their superiority complex to tackle the issue of extremism.I say this because things happen everyday to me that if am asked to kill a briton,an american or a european for killing or maltreating my people, i will do it without being brain washed.

    So, the only solution is for all the western leaders to come together, have a round-table talk on the harm they have done in the past to the islamic people and find a way out to amend the broken lines and stop maltreating other races, stop racism or else you would have more than the ISLAMIC EXTREMISM. a NEW racial extremism + islamic extremism is on the way!

  58. 58 Shirley
    April 30, 2008 at 14:27

    I have been reading this thread, but I have had a hard time bringing myself to post here again. I feel that there has been much racist ranting here, and I feel insulted and offended. Mind that I am only expressing my feelings, not trying to pass judgement or demand some form of censorship.

    Mark called on us Muslims to cease calling on Israel and the international community to implement the rights of the people of Palestine. He also made several sweeping generalisations about us: that we all want to wipe Israel off the face of the map, that we all want to destroy Western culture, that we all blame the West for the shortcomings of Islamic governments and societies, etc. Additionally, he described our religion as backwards (“6th century religion,” to quote) and inferior to what he described as the “realities of the 21st century.”

    He claims that we are violent against non-Muslims who do not want to become Muslims, that we treat women as unequal to men, and that we respond violently to people who disagree with us.

    By the time that VictorK entered the discussion with his claim that Islam is only extremist, that killing non-Muslims where we find them is a standard of our rleigion, and that the moderate path is properly foreign to Islam, I really didn’t feel like contributing further to the discussion. His list was just as insulting as Mark’s: He claims that we Muslims have always been hostile towards non-Muslims and disenfranchised them, saught to violently impose our religion on the whole world, considered non-Islamic societies and peoples as inferior to us, and refused to acknowledge the faults within our own societies.

    To be honest, it is insulting to me as a Muslim that non-Muslims take it upon themselves to define our religion and claim their descriptions as veracious. It causes me to wonder what their qualifications are for elucidating our religion for us when we have a distinctly different way of describing our own beliefs and practises.

  59. 59 Nick in USA
    April 30, 2008 at 15:02

    Make muslims clean their own house. If muslims are offended when people criticize their religion for being violent, then perhaps they should try to remove those violent elements from their religion. Speak out against them instead of speaking out against the people who claim muslims are violent. The western world can’t do the job for them because we can’t distinguish between regular muslims and terrorist muslims (the terrorists generally don’t wear a suicide bombing badge on their sash). Any attempt to intervene by the west will just cause muslims to claim that they are being attacked for their religion. With this being the case, the people who went to the same churches as suicide bombers should have been speaking out against extremism every day. The truth is that the extremist’s peers are the ones who could have made a difference and failed to do so.

    My solution: Do what america does best. Start the propaganda train rollin’. Create a media network that consistently speaks out against extremism. Show the community that terrorists are just cowards, not heroes. The media is powerful. For example, I resisted Hannah Montana for as long as I could, but eventually, one of her songs got stuck in my head.

  60. 60 Xie_Ming
    April 30, 2008 at 19:27

    Nancy:

    You are on the right track concerning studing the causes of Islamic extremism. In fact, a lot of organizations are doing just that, but with a view to military “hearts and minds” operations.

    Israel, understandably, does everything it can to discover such motives.

    I have read a lot of material concerning the Palestinian suicide bombers, and we could have a thread concerning that sometime.

    The specific problem here is the young people who join, or risk joining, a revolutionary group within Britain.

    A blind mole in a dark tunnel could realize that presenting a debate concerning understandings of Islamic history and ideology would have little or no effect on adolescents at risk.

    The best way to start with your idea is to interview an adolescent who has joined such a group and ask him about his emotions and reasons. If WHYS is unable to do so, perhaps someone else in the BBC might.

  61. 61 Abdulhafid ar-Russi
    April 30, 2008 at 19:37

    This thread is full of hate for Islam, isn’t it. It is also so full of factual and historical misrepresentations that it would probably take a full time degree course in history of Islam to correct them all. It is, sadly, not surprising that people have formed quite detailed points of view on the basis of anti-Islamic propaganda presented in mass media. The age of seeking the knowledge for oneself is gone – it is far more fashionable now to parrot the ignorant or intentionally biased statements from mass media sources than actually getting stuck in books to check the evidence.

    I notice that there are a number of staunch Israeli supporters here. Perhaps it would be beneficial for these people to have a read of a brilliant book by Benny Morris (Jewish Israeli historian and respected academic) “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited” to fully understand the complicity of all parties in the Palestinian problem.

    It would also be beneficial to remember that nothing is simply “black and white” – there is far more “grey” than most people are prepared to admit.

  62. 62 Shirley
    April 30, 2008 at 20:14

    “Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or mischief in the land, it shall be as if he has killed all humankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all humankind.” [Qur’an, 5:32]

    This is the basis of the Islamic perspective on the value of human life. We Muslims are forbidden to kill wantonly and without just reason. We believe that God has commanded using the Qur’an to deal justly with others and to treat them with respect. We believe that we are only permitted to use force against others in order to defend ourselves or others against injustice or tyrrany. We base these beliefs on Qur’anic injunctions and principles. See the Qur’an 5:8, 17:33, 22:39-40, 31:15, 49:9, and 57:25. See also the following quote from one of our books.

    “As far as ‘force’ is concerned, Islam is not completely opposed to its use but rather seeks to control it in the light of the divine Law (al-shari’a). … The Islamic concept of justice itself is related to equilibrium… All force used under the guidance of the divine Law with the aim of re-establishing an equilibrium that is destroyed is accepted and in fact necessary, for it…establish[es] justice. Moreover, not to use force in such a way…increase[s] disequilibrium and disorder and result in greater injustice. … As for … ‘rough or injurious physical force or action’, Islamic Law opposes all uses of force in this sense except in the case of war or for punishment of criminals in accordance with the shari’a. Even in war, however…[o]nly fighters in the field of battle must be confronted with force…” [Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Islam and the Question of Violence”]

  63. 63 steve
    May 1, 2008 at 02:20

    Interesting statistic:

    12% of France’s population is Muslim
    60% of France’s prisoners are Muslim

    That’s very disproportionate, much more so than the state in the US with blacks in jail which is used to make the claim that America is racist.

  64. May 1, 2008 at 14:24

    Islamic extremist,
    it is very though and complicated subject,but before discussion on it we should consider the situation before 9/11.

    As everyone know that,there was no insurgency or terrorism,in the world before 9/11 incident it really created thereafter.

    United States,hurriedly investigated the matter declared Afhganistan responsible for the incident and invaded.

    Resulting in tens of thousand people were killed including women and childern.
    Majority of the people lost their lives during the invasion were innocent so reaction created against the united states and allied forces taken part in the strike on Afghanistan.

    United States is a single super power on the earth and its allies armed with latest sophisticated weapons and on the other hand Afghanistan is a armless poor state being run by the persons who defeated Russia and got him out from Afghanistan with the assistance and on the indication of the United States.

    They were not in position to face a superpower but burning in the hell of revenge.
    They discovered a new stratigy called ”suicide attack”and made the superpower defensive in the war.

    A man ,who is going to lost his own live,burning in the hell of revenge of his beloveds killed the invasion, according to my considered opinion,no power on the can prvent him to do what he wante to do.

    TO BE CONTINUED.

  65. 65 Xie_Ming
    May 1, 2008 at 14:47

    Abdulhafid ar Russi has suggested a book to clarify much of the misinformation offered on this thread:

    Benny Morris (Jewish Israeli historian and respected academic)
    AU – B. Morris
    TI – The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited
    SO – Cambridge Middle East studies 2004;(18):xxii, 640 p.
    MH – Refugees, Arab.
    Palestinian Arabs.
    Israel-Arab War, 1948-1949 Refugees.
    Jewish-Arab relations History 1917-1948.

    “Morris’ earlier work exposed the realities of how 700,000 Palestinians became refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. While the focus of this edition remains the war and exodus, new archival material considers what happened in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa, and how these events led to the collapse of urban Palestine. Revealing battles and atrocities that contributed to the disintegration of rural communities, the story is harrowing. The refugees now number four million and their cause remains a major obstacle to regional peace. First Edition Hb (1988): 0-521-33028-9 First Edition Pb (1989): 0-521-33889-1

  66. May 2, 2008 at 14:38

    One way we can fight Muslem extremism is not to feed into into by our pathetic Western ‘joking’ about any subject we like.
    Muslems hate jokes about their religion. They are hurt by these jokes. And who are we, in the Christian world, to dismiss hem as havig no sense of humour.
    The world has enough pathetic jokes as it is. More comedians fail than ever become successful – wonder why. Because they are basically not funny!!
    It seems outrageous that unfunny and even funny comedians think they have the right to just joke about anythig that takes their fancy, and too bad for those who feel hurt.
    I remember being in a bar once when a younger man tried to pick me up. When I didn’t respond in the way he wanted, he joked: “Aw you should just go home, you’re body’s gone”.
    Well, at the time I was over 40 and not too happy about such a joke.
    He wasn’t happy either when I accidentally knocked his pint of beer over into his lap.
    If we in the West continue to hurt an entire populace by our ‘jokes’, we are giving food to the extreme fundamentalist viewpoint that the West is cruel and wicked. They can’t be blamed for having this opinion.

  67. 67 traditionalislamism
    May 2, 2008 at 19:17

    Hello Rashad. Remember me ? 🙂

    How is Shiekh Ba Bikr and TJ Winters?

  68. 68 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 08:30

    We have to do everything in our powers to convince
    them that committing terrorist crimes will NOT
    change anything……

    Dennis from Madrid, United States of America

    PS: It is sad that Ed Husain didn’t show
    to argue his side of view….

  69. 69 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 12:55

    (@WHYSadmins: just transferring 2 old posts to a more appropriate topic; sorry)

    The reason that we Muslims are not all dashing into the streets and killing non-Muslims where we see them is because the immediacy of the commands in verses such as 2:216 or 2:29 applied to certain battles that the Muslims were fighting at the time of their revelation. Those battles have long since finished.

    Islamic scholars explain that where we have verses on a subject, some of which are general and some of which are conditioned, the conditions set out in the latter explain and limit the generality of the former. Other verses in the Qur’an put limitations and conditions on jihad. For example, 2:190, 9:36, and 22:38 (poss 39) state that we are only to fight those who are fighting against us, and that we cannot exceed limits. Other verses, such as 2:208, 4:90, 4:128, and 8: 61 indicate that peace is the better way. Ayatullah Shirazi, a Shia scholar, once wrote, “Just as violence is a weapon, non-violence is a weapon too. However, the weapon of non-violence is sharper than the weapon of violence.” Some of the verses discussing peace re-state that we cannot fight those who did not attack us.

    In “Jihad: The Holy War of Islam and Its Legitimacy in the Quran,” Ayatullah Mutahhari, a Shia Islamic scholar, stated, “the Quran limits jihad strictly to a type of defense and only permits it in the face of aggression.” He specified that the conditions for the legality of jihad are that the other side intends to attack us or that some group of people is oppressed under a tyrannical ruler; and he excluded forced conversions as a reason for jihad: “There is no place for the use of compulsion in religion, no one must be obliged to accept the religion of Islam. This verse [2:255] is explicit in its meaning.” He arrived at these conclusion by using the method of limiting general verses by conditioned ones: “the conditional verses are explanations of the unconditional ones.”

    We Muslims also have several narrations from Prophet Muhammad and those who succeeded him in leadership that impose conditions on how we are to deal with enemies in battle. We are not to tie them up; mutilate them; kill elderly, young, women, or those who flee the battle; cut, burn, or flood trees and crops, kill animals, violate or steal from the property of the enemy, enter their houses, or even irritate the women.

  70. 70 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 12:58

    Most important is our consideration of fighting in the battlefield as a lesser form of divine struggle. We Muslims believe that the greater jihad is the struggle against the self and towards greater piety. On returning from a battle, Prophet Muhammad told his followers, “You have now returned from jihad al-asghar [lesser struggle]. The jihad al-akbar [greater struggle] continues to remain a duty with you.” This is why I stated that the verses ordering Muslims to fight applied to those battles that the early Muslims fought.

    Bashir Rahim, a Shia Islamic scholar, explained the difference between greater jihad and lesser jihad. “There are two kinds of jihad, the major jihad and the minor jihad. [The major jihad] is the struggle against one’s inner self. … [The minor jihad] means to struggle for Islam. Not for extension of boundaries, … not for the glory of any…nation, but for the defence of Islam and the protection of its values. Such a struggle can take many forms: through the use of pen, …tongue, or…the sword. … In Shi’ah theology, while self defence is permitted at any time, a general qitaal [warfare] can be declared only by an Imam [divinely appointed leader].”

    Mufti Ebrahim Desai, a Sunni scholar, also declared the jihad against the self to be greater: “The Jihaad against the Nafs is the foremost form of Jihaad.” A listing of some of the proofs used by Islamic scholars that the jihad of the self is the greater jihad is can be found here.

    Mufti Desai has additionally indicated that it is practically impossible to have jihad in the modern era. “Is it not appropriate for any one person to issue a ruling like Jihaad…a Shura of responsible people should decide.” “The decree of Jihaad against the infidels of the world attributed to most Imaams [average Islamic leaders] and clerics is not true.”

    Other Islamic scholars concur. When responding to a question posted at Sunni Path regarding the permissibility of taking up jihad against certain people in the West, Shaykh Gibril Haddad replied, “Not at all, only the rightful leader of the Muslims may declare jihad, otherwise killing such people is only a murderous crime, even if they are criminals. The jihad of the entire Muslim Community right now is to educate ourselves that the crime of others is no justification for indiscriminate violence, although we are supposed to know this basic moral already.” In another post on Sunni Path, he write, “those that claim there is no jihad al-nafs in Islam have imperiled their Islam and might make their shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, AND jihad worthless.”

    From all of this, it is more than clear that Islam teaches the higher path of peace, resorting to show of force only when necessary. Those who claim otherwise are going against volumes upon volumes of sayings from Prophet Muhammad, his successors, and the vast majority of the scholars and only show their ignorance about Islam. This is not some “reformed” version of Islam, but the one Islam that began with Prophet Muhammad. Those that need reforming are those who stand in need of a proper education in Islam. Those who support such fanatics and their distorted version of Islam support stubborn ignorance.

  71. 71 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 13:04

    There will always be people who kill and hate, it is part of humanity. In their mind they know its wrong, but they will justify their violence and hate with something. Right know they use Islam, a peacefull religeon, taken out of context to justify their insanity. It will change and continue as long as there are people. That realy sucks.

  72. 72 Shirley
    August 16, 2008 at 19:49

    Muslims do condemn terrorism: http://www.muhajabah.com/otherscondemn.php

    In addition, there is question about whether the average Muslim should have to go around constantly parroting off a condemnation of terrorism: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-eteraz/the-myth-of-muslim-condem_b_67904.html

  73. 73 Shirley
    August 20, 2008 at 22:56

    The Amman Message, signed by hundreds of Muslims around the world, also speaks out against terrorism. It is a three-part statement that speaks of the religious doctrines that all Muslims share, addresses the issue of anathematising, and defines who can deliver religious edicts. Among the signors of The Amman Message are several high-ranking Islamic scholars from both Shia and Sunni Islam who are looked to by Shia and Sunni Muslims, respectively, as qualified jurisprudents who can deliver religious edicts. The phrases addressing terrorism from among the documents of the Amman message follow.

    * Extremism, radicalism and fanaticism] are not from the true character of the tolerant, accepting Muslim.
    * Islam rejects extremism, radicalism and fanaticism.
    * We denounce and condemn extremism, radicalism and fanaticism today.
    * On religious and moral grounds, we denounce the contemporary concept of terrorism that is associated with wrongful practices, whatever their source and form may be.

    Because these statements have been signed or otherwise agreed to by many of the highest-ranking scholars of Islam, as well as other respected Muslims around the world, the Amman Message serves, in part, as a top-down denunciation of terrorism whose intended audience is Muslims.

    In view of the hundreds of people who have issued or signed on to statements condemning terrorism, including the Amman Message, and who continue to do so to this day, it is preposterous to suggest that we Muslims have a silent majority who support the abominably extreme acts of a violent minority who claim our beliefs, practises, and values. Those who suggest thus really should do some research before opening themselves up for some potentially embarrassing correction.


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