And is if to show the world is not short of nutters, we have the crazy and demented actions that played out on a Woolwich street this week. Now I suspect you’ll struggle to find anyone (Muslim, Christian or Atheist) who actually thinks that what these two did was anything other than the actions of a pair of psycho lunatics.
I mean what did they think was going to happen? Were they expecting Cameron to appear on telly announcing his conversion to Islam and the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq…..oh wait! we did that last year! Indeed its likely the outcome of this attack is that the authorities to clamp down on Islamic communities in the UK all the harder. I won’t be surprised if something pops up soon about arming off duty soldiers (which was normal practice in parts of Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles) or police in certain districts. I expect that “snoopers charter” that they tried to sneak through recently will also make a come back.
Inevitably of course had this been two (white) guys who were high on crack or drunk out of their skulls who killed someone, I doubt it would have been front page news. However because it involved those two magic words “Muslim” and “Terrorist” the media when into its 24/7 news cycle mode over it. Indeed after awhile the story became the story as the media started to complain about why they were giving so much air time to this….by giving yet more air time over!
Of course it is important to put clear blue water between lunatics in the wannabe jihadi brigade and normal god fearing Muslims. It is often said that Islamic extremists want to take the world back to the middle ages. actually its more a case of them trying to hark back to the 1750’s. For this was when the Al-Wahhabi sect had its origins in Saudi Arabia. They were an extreme puritanical sect who basically sought to ban everything remotely modern such as radio, electricity, art, dancing, music (even traditional islamic stuff!), drinking, smoking, etc. everything that is except one modern invention – the rifle! So in many respects when we call someone a “muslim extremists” we should really call them a Wahhabist.
However this crazy warped cult has expanded massively in recent years, acting as a sort of “counter-reformation” to modernisation and development in many Muslim countries over the last few decades. Unfortunately, like the Tories I discussed in my last post, many mainstream Muslims are reluctant to challenge the Wahhabists for fear of being labelled “not true Muslims“. While they inevitably deplore and condemn the violence that results from it, they end up sounding like a load of Jerry Adam’s clones, droning on about how horrible terrorism is… then starting preaching from the same hymn sheet as the terrorists!
For example, the Koran, like the Bible, has a number of wacky creation myths. Now while the vast majority of Christians (a couple of Bible literalists to the contrary) now accept that the formation of the world took a lot longer than seven days, far too many Muslims are reluctant to reject these myths (even thought privately they surely except it can’t possibly be true).
Similarly, there is nothing in the Koran that forbids portraits, or cartoons for that matter, of Mohammad. Indeed there were many depictions of him going back many centuries after his death before it started to be frowned on (around about the same time in fact that the Wahhabists sect arouse). And largely the reason for stopping it was the issue of Idolatry (i.e. worshiping of Idols….like Justin Bieber fans!). Muhammad was supposed to be just god’s messenger, direct you’re prayers at the guy upstairs not the guy at the front desk was sort of the point. Of course that would imply that so long as nobody got down on their knees and started worshiping those Danish cartoons then there was nothing blasphemous about them and certainly the threats of violence directed against Western newspapers was wholly unjustified. But you try finding a Imam who will publicly admit that!
Again my prescription to Islam is the same as it is to the Tories. These extremists are they’re worst enemies. They give the EDL/UKIP/Israeli right-wing all the ammo they need to stir things up. There is a need for moderates within the religion to start to challenge such outdated views and drag the religion into the 21st century.