Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Missing the Point - Pickles Letter to Muslim Leaders

What on earth is wrong with our government? This is a letter from Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, addressed to 1,000 Muslim leaders.
Firstly, the claim that a ‘great faith’ has been ‘hijacked’ and that this extremism is not a true representation of Islam. In what possible sense is supremacist violence against non-believers a hijacking or misrepresentation of Islam?  It is quite clearly not only allowed but exhorted in many sura of the quran, and was practiced by Mohammed himself with great enthusiasm.

Most notoriously in surah 9:29

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

What's peaceful about that? The jizyah incidentally is a special tax imposed on non-Muslims by Muslim rulers.

Secondly the idea that 'British values are Muslim values' is deeply offensive. It appears to be subordinating British values and implying that they are essentially derived from Muslim values. This simply is not the case. What Muslim values does Britain hold?

But even taking this as a clumsy way of saying that Britain and Islam share some values, what exactly are they? They certainly don't seem to relate to free speech, freedom of religion, equality before the law or anything else I would recognise as being a British value. Nor would I recognise subjugation of women, hatred of Jews or killing of apostates as relating to any British values.
Thirdly, what exactly is Islam’s message of peace and unity? Where is this message in any Islamic scripture, jurisprudence or scholarly interpretation?
Finally, is it really necessary to describe the EDL as thugs espousing vitriol? To what vitriol is referring to? What thuggery does he mean? It appears that Pickles sees Muslims as the victims here, which of course is exactly what many jihadists would like people to think. 

Where does this notion of Islam as a peaceful religion come from? Who advises Eric Pickles on these things? Does he listen to any counter arguments?

Our government appears to be utterly blind to the dangers of radical Islam, because of it's pathological refusal to understand it. In 2013 we very nearly used the British military to attack Assad in support of a fundamentalist insurrection backed by Al-Quaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Only a narrow defeat for Cameron in parliament prevented this.

We appear to have learned absolutely nothing from this, and still insist on dealing with this problem through empty platitudes and the blind hope that all Muslims and Muslim groups who haven't actually committed acts of terrorism are basically on our side. 

This basic failure to understand our enemy means we are constantly being manipulated into allowing, encouraging and funding a jihad against ourselves waged by people who seek to fundamentally alter our society for the worse. Until we have a far deeper understanding of political Islam we will continue to do so.