UK Waking Up?
There’s a blurred line between moderate and extremist Muslims
Which of the following do you think is, or are, the more satanic: football, the Royal College of Music, taking the dog for a walk, or Jews? I’m looking for spiritual guidance here, please.Indeed, Turkey's new Prime Minister has declared that the concept of a "moderate" islam is offensive:
I’ve tried ringing Sheikh Riyadh ul Haq, the eminent Muslim scholar, to find out but no reply. I think, reading between the lines of his various speeches, it’s Jews. But one can’t be sure. For example, “Jews” and “music” are sort of synonymous; music is part of the “satanic” web by which Jews spread their filth through the world, as I am sure you’re aware. So pointless to distinguish between them, really.
Old Riyadh – who used to operate out of Birmingham Central Mosque until an unseemly argument over one of his wives, allegedly – is not just any old Islamic scholar, but perhaps the most important one in Britain today. He is the leading theologian of the Deobandi sect that controls many of Britain’s mosques (charitable institutions subsidised by you and me).
Aside from music, football, walking the dog and Jews, Riyadh also takes a pretty tough stance on Hindus, homosexuals, Christians and immodest women. He’s not going to be a big fan of Joan Rivers, is he?
His favourite things, meanwhile, seem to be long beards, armed jihad, martyrdom, the Muslim Council of Britain (which quite likes him, in return) and marrying lots of women. Does this make him a hardliner?
The same rather pointless dispute was occasioned when Yusuf al Qaradawi, the Egyptian Islamic cleric, was invited here a few years back (at Ken Livingstone’s instigation) to share his views with us all. "Extremist!" came the cry, citing Qaradawi's support for the execution of homosexuals, physical chastisement of women, female circumcision, suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and so on.
However, as Britain’s Muslims pointed out, in the Islamic world Qaradawi is indeed a venerated moderate; he condemned the 9/11 attack, supported the war against the Taliban and while he thinks it’s okay to smack women about a bit when they’ve been stroppy and disobedient, he strongly advises against using a stick to do so. A swift punch or a kick should suffice. Ergo, he is the Roy Jenkins of the Islamic world.
The terms moderate and extremist are not much use to us when considering Islam; they sort of merge with one another. You can be shocked, if you like, that almost half of Britain’s Muslims attend mosques where Riyadh’s views are de jour. But you may then wonder what goes on in the other 50%: do they have “hardliner” mullahs or not?
Incidentally, you can enjoy ul Haq’s lectures by ordering cassettes from online-Islamic-store.com – “your one-stop shop to Islamic shopping”. There’s some useful stuff on how to sneeze in an Islamic manner, too.
"These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it."PM Erdogan also objects to the term "islamic terrorism", because such a thing cannot exist. Ha ha. For mroe of his taqiyya (virtuous lying to deceive the infidel), see Daniel Pipes' roundup.