The debate surrounding Islam and its relation to Islamist terrorism has been given fresh impetus by the Mumbai attacks. There’s no shortage of people in India and beyond who once again are pointing the finger of blame directly at Islam.
‘Where are the ‘not in our name’ protests?’ they ask. ‘Surely it’s not just coincidence that time and again terrorist attacks are conducted in the name of Islam,’ they argue. Do you buy that?
Do you believe the only way for Islamist terrorism to be stopped is for Muslims to acknowledge their religion is playing a role in these attacks, even if the majority deplore them?
Or is radical Islam a separate entity which has little to do with the religion so many of you follow? Does its ability to recruit have more to do with poverty, Western foreign policy and changes in men’s role in society, than it does with the Koran?
I’m well aware that doubt still surrounds who carried out the attacks. One attacker rang a TV station accusing India of unjustly persecuting Muslims in Kashmir. The group that claimed responsibility portrays itself as Islamic. That I know is not proof.
But the perception that these attacks were carried out by Islamists is so strong, it means the debate is happening whatever the Mumbai facts turn out to be.