Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Jet plot vox pop: not in my name

BBC: Prominent UK Muslims have welcomed the conviction of three men for plotting to blow up planes flying to north America - but have warned that government anti-terrorist powers should be used wisely....

"I think the word 'Muslim' shouldn't be attached to such an activity," said the woman. "I think the word 'Muslim', 'mosque' and the religion he belongs to shouldn't be attached to this activity."

Her husband said: "There are one billion Muslims in the world, so everybody's reputation is damaged saying a Muslim has done this."

Not sure about the logical position of the 'so' in the second statement. It's not because there are one billion Muslims in the world that 'everybody's reputation is damaged'. The number is irrelevant.

Nor is it so much because a Muslim did it but because he did it in the name of Islam.


Anonymous said...

The trouble is that the actual terrorists themselves speak volubly about how they think they are carrying out their work in the name of Islam, and actually quote chapter and verse, and use the sacred rhetoric of the religion. It is easy to distinguish between the individual perpetrators of the crimes and the majority of Muslims. But trying to circumscribe debate by telling us that we cannot discuss the link that the criminals make between their activities and an ideology linked to Islam, is not acceptable any more. The elephant is in the room; he needs to be discussed.


Billy C. said...

The problem with Islam is that it rules the lives of those who follow it and everything else is secondary. Muslims are Muslims first and foremost, even to the point where love and loyalty of family and friends are a by-product of life rather than the reason for living it. This anomaly is not restricted to the followers of Allah, all faiths have some amongst them who do the same, but they are, by and large, a very small minority. The uniqueness of Islam is that the overwhelming majority practice this inhuman trait. So, when I see incidents like 9/11 and shoe bombers and Muslims convicted of plotting to kill thousands of innocent people while they're flying across the Atalantic, I see it as part of their dogmatic faith.

I'm sure many Muslims are appalled by such things, but they must recognise that a faith which works as it does, bears collective responsibilty. That's what they seem unable to grasp and their protests fall on deaf ears as far as I'm concerned.

George S said...

There are Christian households, Billy, in which people may be Christians first and family members second. In fact Christ enjoins us to be as much in the passage, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26) All religions require utter devotion and utter primacy. I have known families break up because of a literal belief in Christianity.

That is the trouble with religious dogma. It quotes this or that passage to justify demands. We shouldn' t forget that Christ also said: "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." (Matthew 15:4).

Those two are hard to reconcile. You could ignore the Matthew and just stick with the Luke, or you could follow an interpretation that puts most accnt on the Luke passage. So you cut off contact with your father and mother etc. A I said, I have seen it happen.

I think the trouble often - or so I read - is that many Muslims cannot read the original Koran and are therefore vulnerable to loaded interpretations. The Bible itself was only translated into the English in 1380, that's about a thousand years after it was first put together.

I have no particular beef about Islam or the Koran - not without first having the same beef with other religious texts anyway.

The point is that to commit murder specifically in the name of a religion is different from simply being of that religion. That is the distinction that the two Muslim interviewees failed to make (because it suited them not to make it - ie "You can't condemn the murderer as a Muslim because we are Muslims and we haven't murdered anyone" forgetting that it was specifically i the name of Islam the murder was done), and that critics of Islam as such also fail to make (because it suits them.)

Billy C said...

I wouldn't disagree with anything you said, George. To me, the free spirit that lives a decent life, having discord and harmony with those who do them no harm and harming no others; doing something (if only a little) to make better the lives of those who are less fortunate, are the true children of God.

And there endeth the lesson from Billy C, taken from verses nine to fourteen of the book of The Elderberry Tree.

Peace be upon you, Brother.