Crispin Blunt is right. All too often we see non-Muslim government officials, politicians, judges, etc. say what Islam is — generally that it is a Religion of Peaceâ„¢ that teaches tolerance and respectful coexistence as equals with non-Muslims. This is an iron dogma that is never questioned, but is never backed up by actual evidence from Islamic teaching, either.
In contrast to all that, Blunt is correct: “It is for Muslim scholars, Imams and elders in your communities who must set out the theological and cultural errors of a violent interpretation of the Islamic faith – it is not the role of the West to tell Muslims what is Islam and what is not Islam.”
I have called for the same thing for years, and have seen plenty of shoddy presentations that ignore large swaths of teaching from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and seem designed more to reassure jittery non-Muslims than to convince jihadists of anything. Genuine Islamic theological challenges to the jihad doctrine generally criticize the jihadists for killing their fellow Muslims, without saying anything about the killing of non-Muslims, or make airy condemnations of the killing of “innocents” without spelling out whether or not non-Muslims are to be considered innocent at all. Some argue that the present-day jihadists lack the proper authority to wage jihad, but this ignores the universal duty of defensive jihad, and in any case leaves open the door for offensive jihad when the conditions are right.
The one thing that Western non-Muslims assume exists and is widely accepted, an Islamic theological and legal argument against jihad warfare and Islamic supremacism in general, establishing the principle that Muslims should live as equals with non-believers in a non-Sharia society on an indefinite basis, has never actually been produced, except in the non-traditional presentations of individual scholars who have no significant following in the Islamic world.
“‘It’s not for the West to tell Muslims what is Islam and what is not,'” from the Ilford Recorder, December 11 (thanks to Twostellas):
COMMUNITY leaders must come together to help fight the evils of extremism, an MP has urged during a high-profile event.
Shadow minister for Home Affairs and Counter-Terrorism, Crispin Blunt spoke at the League of British Muslims end of year celebrations, held at Ilford Community Centre, Eton Road, Ilford, on Thursday….
Key note speaker, Mr Blunt told the gathered crowd – which included Ilford MPs Mike Gapes and Lee Scott, Recorder editor Chris Carter, and police deputy borough commander Supt Nick Simpson – that it was not for non-Muslims alone to tackle radical preachers.
He said: “It is for Muslim scholars, Imams and elders in your communities who must set out the theological and cultural errors of a violent interpretation of the Islamic faith – it is not the role of the West to tell Muslims what is Islam and what is not Islam.”
Mr Blunt added that measures to target extremism – such as special rules on detaining suspects – could sometimes have the opposite effect.
He said: “When young British Muslims are arrested on terrorist charges and held for days on end without being charged, when communities see the consequences of a local resident under a control order – when all these things happen there is not only a sense of injustice, but a sense that the community is under siege.
“And it is this sense of injustice which is seized upon by the extremists.”
Community centre chairman Bashir Chaudhry – who also heads the League of British Muslims – said the stirring speech went down well.
The leading Muslim said he disagreed with one point raised by Mr Blunt about a lack of British identity being at the root of some extremism.
Mr Chaudhry said: “We very strongly believe in our faith, and if you’re a good Muslim you would not do anything to harm anyone.
“No religion advocates violence.
Unfortunately, there are all too many Islamic clerics around the world whose words contradict Chaudhry’s assertion.