The Corner

Islam and The Uk

Some serious thinking on the subject starting to go on over there (and about time too, I hear you say). In The Times, Amir Taheri makes some suggestions to British muslims about how they should behave, concluding:

Muslim men should consider doing away with Taleban and al-Qaeda-style beards. Growing a beard has nothing to do with Islam; the Prophet himself never sported anything more than a vandyke. The bushy beards you see on Oxford Street are symbols of the Salafi ideology that has produced al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

Some Muslims also use al-Qaeda and Taleban-style clothing to advertise their Salafi sentiments. For men this consists of a long shirt and baggy trousers, known as the khaksari (down-to-earth) style and first popularised by Abu Ala al-Maudoodi, the ideological godfather of Islamist terrorism. Muslims who wear such clothes in the belief that it shows their piety, in most cases, are unwittingly giving succour to a brand of Islamist extremism.

It would also be useful if Muslim preachers paid a bit more attention to God, which means doing some theology, rather than making speeches about Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq which are, after all, political, and not religious issues. The excessive politicisation of Islam has created a situation in which the best-known Muslim today is Osama bin Laden.

Islam must decide whether it wants to be a faith or a political movement. It cannot be both without being hijacked by Salafis or Khomeinists who have transformed it into a breeding ground for terror.

Meanwhile, in the new Spectator, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo argues that Islam is not, on balance, a religion of peace, although, as a good Anglican, he believes it can be saved.

Mark Steyn, on the other hand, is contemptuous of Britain’s chances of being saved given its current attitudes (yes, that includes Tony Blair). His advice?

[S]top funding the intifada, reclaim lost sovereignty from Europe, imprison and/or expel treasonous imams, end the education system’s psychologically unhealthy and ahistorical disparagement of the Britannic inheritance in your schools

Pity all four of those go against long-established Labour party policy. Perhaps Tony Blair can undo some of the damage he has done if he takes Mark’s advice.

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