We have seen this before. The Fiqh Council of North America condemned attacks on innocent civilians, without specifying what constitutes an innocent civilian — a key issue when Islamic authorities including the “moderate” Sheikh Qaradawi are saying that there are no civilians in Israel, and thus all Israelis can be killed lawfully according to Islamic law. That is the same justification other jihadists have used for 9/11. That means that for any Muslim condemnation of terrorism to have real teeth, it has to be very specific: saying that American and Israeli civilians are innocent, and thus entitled to respect for their lives and property according to the traditional canons of Islamic law. Short of that, the condemnation is hollow.
Now a slew of British Muslim organizations have issued a similar document (thanks to Leon), and I’m sure it will raise the same excitement and high hopes among non-Muslims that the Fiqh Council’s did — and will serve ever after as a useful tool for deceivers and self-deceived alike. The BBC (thanks again, Leon) is already breathlessly reporting that “British Muslims are leading a new campaign condemning the recent attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.” But in reality, this one is not as clever as the Fiqh Council’s document: its weasel wording is relatively obvious.
MUSLIMS UNITED !
..Whoever kills an innocent soul.. it is as if he killed the whole of mankind, And whoever saves one, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind” [The Quran, 5:32]
“An innocent soul.” But reading beyond the quoted passage (you know how important context is, after all), we learn what awaits those who not deemed innocent: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter” (Qur’an 5:33).
The Muslim communities across Britain are united in condemning the attempted bombings in London and Glasgow.
We are united with the rest of the country at this critical time and are determined to work together to avert any such attacks targeting our fellow citizens, property and country.
Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. We reject any heinous attempts to link such abhorrent acts to the teachings of Islam.
“Innocent people.” How, then, does this declaration do anything to refute the views of the British jihadist Anjem Choudary, who has said forthrightly on British TV that no non-Muslims are innocent? Anjem Choudary would have no trouble agreeing to this statement. And there’s your problem.
Then it gets even worse: “We reject any heinous attempts to link such abhorrent acts to the teachings of Islam.” That sounds as if they’re declaring that the jihadists are not acting according to the teachings of Islam, and that’s all to the good, if they can actually fight the jihadist interpretation of Islam and present an alternative that is viable in terms of the Qur’an and Islamic law. But this statement can also be taken to mean that any attempt to explore the elements of Islam that give rise to violence and terror, and to formulate effective reforms, is also “heinous” and must be opposed. After all, British Muslim groups have been vocal in demanding that the media not refer to jihad terrorists as Islamic at all — and Gordon Brown is happy to oblige. But this cuts off the legs of sincere Islamic reformers: you can’t reform what you won’t admit needs reforming. And when you label any exploration of the topic itself as “heinous,” you’re miles away from any real confrontation or refutation of the use jihadists make of Islamic theology.
“¢ British Muslims should not be held responsible for the acts of criminals.
Here again, where is a statement that “British Muslims must redouble their efforts to fight the spread of the jihad ideology in their communities.” Instead, the focus is on what non-Muslims must do — so as to head off that ever-present but evanescent “backlash.”
“¢ We commend the government for its efforts to respond to this crisis calmly and proportionately, and welcome both the Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s and the Home Secretary”s emphasis on the need to distinguish between the overwhelming majority of British Muslims who are law-abiding citizens and a few criminals who seek to inflict harm and terror on our country.
Lovely. But why not say that you’re going to do everything you can to make it easier for the British government to distinguish between peaceful Muslims and jihadists, by instituting mandatory nationwide anti-jihadism programs in mosques and acting energetically against Islamic supremacism in other ways?
“¢ We express support for the emergency services who are working tirelessly and courageously to avert these attacks and ensure the safety of our country.
“¢ We urge the media and all politicians to continue to maintain the values of our open society, free from prejudice and discrimination, sustained by tolerance and mutual respect for all.
Here again, calls on non-Muslims to act. Nothing about what Muslims can and should do.
“¢ We call on our government to work towards a just and lasting peace in areas of conflict around the world and to take the lead in helping eliminate the injustices and grievances that foment division and nurture violence.
In other words, “This is your fault. You non-Muslim British brought this on yourselves, by your policies. Change them now…or else.”
The unity of our society must be maintained and we must not allow divisions to emerge between us. We must remain friends, neighbours and colleagues, and take Britain forward as one nation — towards a Greater Britain.
A Greater Britain, eh? A clear renunciation of any intention to impose Sharia in Britain in the future might have been nice here, instead of vaguely ominous platitudes.