Scottish Daily Mail

We Bri­tish Mus­lims have

- COM­MEN­TARY by Dr Taj Hargey

THERE is noth­ing in Is­lam that can jus­tify the tak­ing of an in­no­cent life, noth­ing that can con­done what mur­der­ous Is­lamic State fa­nat­ics have done in its name. This gang of crim­i­nals has bought our faith into grave dis­re­pute and be­smirched its hon­our. Mus­lim lead­ers must act be­fore it is too late. We must demon­strate that this hor­ren­dous slaugh­ter in Paris was not sanc­tioned by us or per­pe­trated with our bless­ings. And we must prove to young im­pres­sion­able Mus­lims that we do not con­done this car­nage.

The French Mus­lim com­mu­nity should have acted more as­sertively al­ready. They should be march­ing in the streets, chant­ing ‘Not in my name!’, ‘Not in the name of Is­lam!’

But in­stead, there is an eerie si­lence. They are do­ing noth­ing tan­gi­ble to op­pose the poi­sonous ide­ol­ogy that orig­i­nates from Saudi Ara­bia and lies at the heart of IS the­ol­ogy, and which sadly has in­fected Euro­pean Is­lam. In Great Bri­tain, the Mus­lim Coun­cil of Bri­tain, the Is­lamic So­ci­ety of Bri­tain and the Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tain should be bussing in Mus­lims from Scot­land, Wales, all over the United King­dom, to protest in our cap­i­tal at what hap­pened. They should be or­gan­is­ing a mass ‘Not in our name’ march of all Mus­lims, ir­re­spec­tive of sect or de­nom­i­na­tion, con­demn­ing IS un­re­servedly for all it stands.

A tiny rally in Trafal­gar Square on Satur­day

night is not good enough. Prom­i­nent Mus­lim or­gan­i­sa­tions need to spear­head the fight against IS and the ug­li­ness and in­tol­er­ance that it rep­re­sents.

It is not the first time that th­ese self­pro­claimed Mus­lim groups have failed us.

In the af­ter­math of the tragic July bomb­ings in 2005, there was no co-or­di­nated re­sponse or protest march or­gan­ised by the UK Is­lamic com­mu­nity. Fifty-two in­no­cent peo­ple, in­clud­ing five Mus­lims, were mur­dered, but no Mus­lim or­gan­i­sa­tion took to the streets shout­ing ‘not in our name’.

Yet, Mus­lims can mo­bilise our­selves when­ever we be­lieve it is war­ranted.

For ex­am­ple, we were quick to gather col­lec­tively in protest against Sal­man Rushdie when his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses was ac­cused of blas­phemy, and quick to march in Lon­don in 2006 against the Dan­ish car­toons ridi­cul­ing the Prophet Muham­mad.

Yet if there had been a mass rally by Mus­lims im­me­di­ately af­ter the Lon­don bomb­ings a decade ago, there would be less ex­trem­ism in the UK to­day. It would have sent a pow­er­ful mes­sage that Is­lam does not coun­te­nance blood­shed, ex­cept when it is in le­git­i­mate self­de­fence. And, if we had done so, we would not have more than 750 young Bri­tish peo­ple go­ing to Syria to join IS.

So why do we play the fiddle while Paris burns? Mus­lims are fet­tered by a mis­guided loy­alty – by the idea that we must not ‘wash our dirty li­nen in pub­lic’ and crit­i­cise our faith, be­cause our en­e­mies will take ad­van­tage.

This is rub­bish. The Ko­ran says the high­est loy­alty is not to Is­lam, but to truth and jus­tice. We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure this sort of atroc­ity does not hap­pen again.

If we do noth­ing, our in­ac­tion gives a twofold mes­sage: first, to the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, that in­no­cent French lives do not mat­ter; and sec­ond, to the vast ma­jor­ity of the Bri­tish pop­u­la­tion, that we are con­don­ing mur­der.

In France, the col­lec­tive si­lence from the coun­try’s Mus­lim lead­ers will again be in­ter­preted as tacit ac­qui­es­cence. It will aid and abet Marie Le Pen’s Na­tional Front in next month’s im­por­tant re­gional elec­tions.

IS is a toxic cor­rup­tion of our faith, a can­cer in our midst.

Not only do we need to re­sist its jaun­diced con­fla­tion of ji­had (in­ner strug­gle) with bloody ag­gres­sion, but we must also com­bat IS for its anti-non-Mus­lim, ho­mo­pho­bic and re­pres­sive fe­male ide­ol­ogy.

Mus­lims need to con­demn un­re­servedly the hor­rific slaugh­ter that took place on Fri­day night. We must show that we will de­fend the val­ues of this great so­ci­ety – and, in this way, we will also show that we pro­tect the true teach­ings of Is­lam.

Dr Hargey is di­rec­tor of the Mus­lim Ed­u­ca­tional Cen­tre of Ox­ford

 ??  ?? Speak­ing out: A shop worker in Lu­ton joins a Twit­ter cam­paign in the town yes­ter­day
Speak­ing out: A shop worker in Lu­ton joins a Twit­ter cam­paign in the town yes­ter­day
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