“Muslims and violence,” a refreshingly honest letter, apparently from two Muslims, in The Guardian, with thanks to John, who notes that “this sort of thing used not to get into the ‘Guardian,’ but there have been several such recently.”
For Muslim religious leaders to condemn the London bombings is commendable. But to support this by saying Islam is unequivocally a religion of peace is disingenuous (Comment, July 22). The prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) himself, while at times preaching tolerance, also ordered the murder of all the men of a belligerent Jewish tribe and the enslavement of all its women and children, following the seizure of Medina – irrespective of whether they were combatants or not. In similar manner, many Muslim leaders justify the killing of Israeli civilians by Muslim suicide bombers and some also justify the terror on the tube because of the UK’s role in the invasion of Iraq.
Over and above this all-pervasive contradictory attitude within Islam are Islamic laws which are even more straightforwardly barbaric on a host of topics, such as holding a women’s testimony in a court of law to be worth less than a man’s, or the mandatory death penalty for practising homosexuals and Muslims whose conscience tells them to leave Islam (apostates).
Some Muslims choose to turn a blind eye to the uncomfortable words that stare them in the face. But as people who (along with hundreds of others) narrowly escaped death on the underground, we strongly feel that this conspiracy of silence about the very real violence in religious texts needs to be broken.