VIENNA, April 9 – European imams meeting in Vienna have pledged to work harder to prove that Islam is compatible with democracy and that the majority of Muslims living in the West support human rights, free speech and pluralism.
More than 130 prayer leaders from across the continent, whose meeting was sponsored by Austria as current European Union president, agreed Islamic theologians in Europe must do more to establish that their faith does not clash with Western values…
The declaration urged Muslim theologians in Europe to point out chapter and verse how Islam fits with Western values.
“Theological arguments have a good chance of leading to lasting changes in attitudes,” it said. “These should be seen as part of the solution and fostered in public discussion.”
Unfortunately, the actual theological arguments these Imams claim to make are strangely missing from this report.
Among practical steps they sought were Islamic arguments against immigrants isolating themselves in self-made ghettos, refusing to integrate or rejecting the separation of church and state in Western democracies.
Imams should also show that violations of women’s rights — through forced marriages, female circumcision and “honour killings” — were rooted in traditions from outside Europe and not justified by Islam, they said…
But once again the theological arguments backing up this claim are missing. Where are they?