How should we in Britain regard the dicovery of a Jihadi plot to blow up several transatlantic airliners? The government are taking the line that this is a group of criminals who just happen to be Muslim; most Muslims are law abiding citizens who have fitted in to our community.
The BBC avoid mentioning the fact that they are Muslim. They are British citizens of Pakistan origin. As if we were unaware that Pakistan was specifically created in 1947 to provide a separate homeland for India's Muslims.
I spoke to an English lady yesterday. She was a typical middle class, well-educated, middle aged woman. A church going Christian who had brought up four children to be law-abiding, hard-working, honest citizens, all succesful in their chosen vocations. I have always found her to be gentle, soft spoken and tolerant. She is the last person you would expect to have strong opinions about politics.
This is what she said to me, "I hate those men with their aggressive black beards and those women dressed in blackout curtains. I hate what they stand for. How dare they come to our country and try to change us to their disgusting ways? They oppress women. They are so sexually incontinent that they have to cover every part of their women to stop themselves being inflamed. What sort of message does that send to our women? Cover yourself up or we will rape you. They mutilate the genitals of their own daughters. Why are they here? I don't care if they are born here, why did we let their parents in? If they don't like the way we live there are plenty of countries in the world where they stone women taken in adultery (though not men), where they hang homosexuals and cut the hands of thieves. Let them go there. But no, they like the money they get here, they like the properity. Don't they realise that we are propsperous because of the way we live? If we lived like them we would all be poor. The only rich muslims are thieves or plain lucky in living over an oil well that somebody else has found."
I tried telling her that I knew many Muslims who were fully Westernised; who were urbane, modern gentlemen; but she was having none of it. The latest story of airline suicide bombers had caused something to snap.
People in Britain have bent over backwards to be polite and welcoming to immigrants. The mainstream media have been particularly acomodating. Last night I watched part of a programme on channel 4 entitled Shariah TV. But many now think that that hospitality has been abused. Hindus and Sikhs are objecting to be lumped together with Muslims as British Asians.
At least one Christian theologian believes that intolerance is intrinsic to Islam.
Cranmer would like to point out that those who use this surah to insist that Islam means 'peace' are quoting out of context. This passage is from the sixth year of the Hijrah, when the Muslims were a strong and influential community, but not supreme. Mohammed ordered them to defend themselves against Meccan attacks, but not be aggressors because they had a treaty. Many of them were exiles from Mecca, where the Pagans had established an intolerant autocracy, persecuting Muslims. When they tried to assert their rights, the result was bloodshed. This surah was therefore concerned with a specific period of self-preservation; it is not a blanket command regarding all acts of violence
Mohammad used murder, aggression, and terrorism in order to propagate his beliefs and spread his ideology. (Quran 8.17; 33.26; 8.67). He raided towns without warning, killed unarmed men who had gone to the fields and markets on their daily business, captured their wives and children and distributed the younger women among his soldiers while always keeping the prettiest ones for himself and having sex with them in the same day he murdered their fathers, husbands and loved ones. These are not fables, but history as recorded in the Qur’an and the Hadith. This is the ‘prophet’ who sets the example for today’s Muslim youth.
As I have said before the first great virtue is politeness. Without it society cannot exist. It is not the greatest virtue, that is love, but it is foundational. This is the sort of fundementalism that I approve of.