Muslims must be Consistent

Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem.
(In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Kind).

One thing that’s been exposed in Manchester in the aftermath of the cowardly and horrific terror attacks, is the inconsistency in the stances of some of the city’s mullahs along with a number of others in our country, from a variety of denominations and sects. I don’t particularly want to drop names, which is why I’m discussing this from a general perspective.

While ALL have condemned terrorism and many have marched in the streets for peace and in condemnation of terrorism, a number of prominent mullahs in this country hold views, and have made public speeches that undermine their noble stance against terrorism.

How, for instance, can a mullah square the very welcome and universal stance that terrorism and murder are evil, with the idea that in an “ideal” Islamic state (whatever that is?), LGBTI people can be persecuted or even executed? Some even go so far as to discuss the ways gay people should be killed.

The only way I can square this, is that ALL such punishments are completely unacceptable in the modern world.

A person is of course free to disagree with homosexuality if they personally do not like it, but to go so far as to suggest gay people should be executed for something that they cannot help being, and which is in truth no one else’s business, is outside the pale of civilised behaviour, and just like slavery, should be absolutely and resolutely condemned by everyone in civilised society.

When we have imams and sheikhs who think it is perfectly acceptable for people to be executed for nothing more than their sexualities, we should not be surprised when groups of people protest outside our mosques demanding answers.

Muslims need to be consistent, especially in condemning the indefensible. If the mullahs aren’t, we must collectively hold them to account.

To ensure this in future, it’s absolutely vital we continue to develop generations of educated and empowered Muslims who don’t need to rely on a class (priesthood?) of mullahs. Islam shouldn’t have a priesthood anyway… Imams and sheikhs should be respected for their wisdom, taqwa (consciousness), knowledge, and good advice. If they are failing in these, they are failing us as imams and sheikhs.

Muslims should familiarise themselves with the deen. Develop a strongly humanitarian understanding of religion, and not be afraid of speaking out when necessary, against those who pervert Islam to further incompatible, inhumane, and uncivilised agendas.

Paul Salahuddin Armstrong

Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims

4 thoughts on “Muslims must be Consistent

  1. Not a fan of Islam at all. It’s roots are evil.

    That being said, I am very conflicted in a way. There is one family, Muslim family with 4 kids, who I love very, very, very much. A special love, special bond. But I dislike their religion tremendously, at the core. I fear our special, precious relationship will end if we ever discuss religion, specifically, theirs.

    My “role models or idols” are former Muslims who are now Christian. Or even Atheist. But they have the knowledge & courage to speak out against Islam, as they learned the wicked roots of it first hand.

    Did Muhammad commit acts that would now make him the World’s most wanted man? Yes or no.

    • In many cases, people who leave a religion do so because they’ve had a bad experience with people of that religion. I’ve listened to ex-Muslim testimonials, and in most cases the reasons they left Islam weren’t theological, but how they were treated by bad (even evil) people that identify as “muslims”, who while claiming to be muslim were actually going very much against the teachings of Islam. Consider ex-Christians, many leave Christianity for similar reasons, the only difference is the religion they left.

      Another point to keep in mind, is that due to all eyes being on Islam at present, many ex-Muslims have made careers writing or speaking as “experts” on Islam. A number who embraced Christianity have even become very active preachers specialising in trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. Would you go to ex-Christians to learn about Christianity, or to a scholarly balanced person within the religion who knows and lives Christianity? Or perhaps both, to build your own balanced perspective?

      Your question is framed in an unfair manner. People who have studied history know you cannot judge anyone who lived even 100 years ago by our standards today, never mind someone who lived 14 centuries ago! The only way to fairly judge someone is to understand the society in which they lived, the rules people lived by, the social and cultural context.

      I’m satisfied that Prophet Muhammad did his very best to build a better society for his people, and it is on record that his intervention turned around the Arab peoples from very backward warring desert tribes to a true civilisation that inspired the world, and still inspires many to this day. Clearly, if Prophet Muhammad was the evil criminal person some people claim, Islam would never have grown so rapidly, or had the immensely positive impact it has had on many people throughout the world for nearly one and a half millennia.

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