Monday, July 18, 2005

Empowering Good People

Charles Moore, never one not to risk the wrath of others for saying what he believes, has recently written:

"Another thing said is, "But most of the Muslims I come across are sweet, peaceful people." True, at least in my experience, but the unanswered question is, how can the sweet, peaceful people best be empowered? One could demand answers from British Muslim leaders to some hard questions. Will they condemn the Muslim rule which says that believers who apostasise should be killed? Will they condemn the killing and kidnapping of all British citizens including troops in Iraq? Will they state that all suicide bombing is unIslamic? Will they issue fatwahs against Osama bin Laden and others who preach terror in the name of Islam? Could anyone who refused to do any of these things be considered a good citizen of this country?"

Good questions all.

UPDATE: and it seems that at least part of this demand has just been met. Muslim leaders today denounced the London bombings as unIslamic. They also went on to say that there are many other people in Britain today who are prepared to become suicide bombers - so these leaders really do their work cut out for them.

3 comments:

Becky said...

I was inspired by your post to Google Moore's latest comments in the Telegraph. Off to make a pot of coffee and read : )

pip said...

unislamic?! that made me chuckle... more serious was the point made in the fatwah about killing innocent people being 'a crime against humanity'. i dont pretend to fully understand the subtle difference between a holy and unholy war, but perhaps this may help. my confusion is simply this: if islam is a religion for pacifists, why are there some many technical references in the Quoran to war?

Carlotta said...

Thanks for the link Pip. I agree the difference between jihad and Unholy Hirabah seems a tad obscure at first sight, but what does seem fairly clear is that an increasing number of imams and other Muslim bigwigs are saying that terrorist activities are crimes against humanity, and/or violations of Islamic teaching.

It seems that most religions and religious texts contain a combination of both good and bad theories, often in direct contradiction to one other. The Bible is riddled with incitements to aggression and violence which are directly juxtaposed with pleas for pacifism; similarly in the Quoran. So good outcomes rather depend upon a reasonable and responsible interpretation of these texts and religious ideas.