Aftab Malik takes us down the usual apologetic detours, but Nagina Shah says a number of interesting things. From the BBC, with thanks to Daffersd:
As extremists increasingly claim it is not, and attack Western values not only through rhetoric but acts of violence, many Muslims find themselves being forced to respond by re-examining their values.
Here two Britons, both born into the Muslim faith, explain why they have ended up following different paths as far as their religion is concerned.
Nagina Shah, who walked away from her faith and family 14 years ago after a forced marriage, believes that traditional Islam and modern Western life do not mix.
I was born into a strict Pakistani Muslim background but, when I was 19, I decided to break away from my family.
I have three brothers and three sisters, and am the youngest in the family. I’m the only one born in England, in 1972, a few years after my parents had emigrated from Pakistan.
My upbringing was very strict, even by Asian community standards. My family were Sunnis [the majority branch of Islam] and our faith and religion were largely influenced by – and intertwined with – our culture.
But it was backward, strict and suffocating. I was not allowed to go out on my own or even travel on buses.
I went to an all-girls school, although my father believed girls should not really be educated. Instead, all attention was focused on my brothers, who were expected to become doctors or lawyers.
My father preached one thing but did something else in practice. He said we needed to be pure and pious but was himself quite volatile. In contrast, my mother would never say boo to a goose.
The double standards really struck me. I always felt suppressed and suffocated by my father and brothers, who ran the household.
I was never able to accept or understand why my brothers were treated better than me. They were allowed to go out, mix with women, drive, go to college, have an opinion. I was allowed to do none of these things.
My parents chose a husband for me. I was engaged to him at 14 and forced into marriage at 17. when I was 19, I had had enough and I decided to run away from home. On 8 August 1991, I packed my bags and went.
Read it all.