Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Britain - The Differences Between Muslims

Mihir Bose has some thoughts on the BBC's expose of the Muslim Council of Britain in the Telegraph.

Sadly, however, when these same Muslims go to the Middle East they find that, far from being treated as fellow Muslims, they are often bracketed with the Hindu infidels and not considered real Muslims at all. Privately this causes great angst among the Muslims but it is not a public topic they like to discuss.

A responsible Muslim leader of this country would address this issue and stress the fact that, while those from the subcontinent are part of the worldwide religion that is Islam, they also share many cultural roots with the non-Muslims from the subcontinent. This makes them unique in the Muslim world. Indeed, the subcontinent is the only place on earth where two Islamic countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh, have between them produced three female prime ministers, something inconceivable in the Middle East.

There are brave Muslim leaders, some of whom were bold enough to appear on Panorama, such as Ghayasuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Institute, and Taj Hargey, the Muslim scholar from St Anthony's College, Oxford, who revealed how Muslims are taught to consider non-Muslims as kaffirs and inferior to them.

These - not Sir Iqbal - are the modern Sir Syed Ahmed Khans. If only they succeeded in explaining to Muslim Britons that there is a difference between politics and religion, non-Muslim Britons would realise there is a difference between the Islam of the subcontinent and the Islam of the Middle East.

But where and who teaches "Muslims ... to consider non-Muslims as kaffirs and inferior to them"? The Imams at the mosque, the parents at home or both? Taj Hargey said he had heard it preached in mosques "ad infinum" and "ad nauseum" and then he said Muslims were taught from a very young age "non-Muslims as kaffirs and inferior to them." Sounds to me like it's both.

What all of these "Muslim leaders" should be doing is calling for the reform of Islam. As long as Islam teaches that non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims we are going to have trouble.

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