Saturday, July 23, 2005

Mixed signals

"Whoever kills a human being, then it is as though he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a human life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." ( Surah 5: 32).

The British Muslim Forum included this in a fatwa read out in most mosques in Britain yesterday, and that's great.

By contrast, these are the kinds of verses others pick up on:

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” (Sura 9:5)

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) People of the Book.(Sura 9:29)

Poignantly at this time, David Pallister (Guardian 22 July) quotes a
spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain:"We feel like [we are] on an ocean with no sign of the shore and we are going farther into the ocean. We don't know what to do. It's all too much."

Tariq Ramadan sounded sensible on the Today Programme this morning - saying, among other things, that both Muslim and indigenous European communities were parents to the young extremists, and that they needed to act together to deal with the challenge. If he means what he says - and on the evidence I think he does - then attempts by Murdoch media and others to demonise him and other moderates will surely make the situation a lot worse.

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