Friday, April 11, 2008

Boris accused of ‘smear on Islam’

Cranmer urged and begged Boris Johnson to run for the office of Mayor of London, and, as he promised, His Grace has prayed every day for him since his candidature was confirmed. It remains His Grace’s conviction that in a democracy God gives people the governments they deserve, and the people of London now deserve a man of conviction, honesty and integrity.

That man is Boris Johnson.

But it is not remotely surprising that Ken Livingstone is cheating and lying as he seeks to smear the Conservative candidate, not least because Boris Johnson represents the most credible threat to Mr Livingstone’s private fiefdom since the office of Mayor was created.

The row centres upon an article Mr Johnson wrote for The Spectator in the wake of the July 7th bombings - 'Just don't call it war'.

The accusation is that while Mayor Livingstone was making his tearful statement exhorting the people of London to unity in the face of adversity, Mr Johnson was sowing discord. While the Mayor was proclaiming ‘our defiance and our unwillingness to submit to that kind of terror and kind of cowardly attack’, Mr Johnson was blaming the Qur’an. While the Mayor said the bombings were ‘a criminal act by a handful of men’, Mr Johnson said: ‘Islam is the problem... and the Qur’an is inherently violent’. The Mayor ‘made certain that we were looking at individuals’, while Mr Johnson ‘smeared an entire faith’.

Mr Johnson subsequently accused the Mayor of ‘demeaning’ his office, and took ‘deep offence’ at the Mayor’s claim that he had said the Qur’an was ‘inherently’ violent. He added: ‘My view is that Islam is a religion of peace and indeed I am very proud to say I have Muslim ancestors. My great-grandfather knew the Qur’an off by heart, Ken Livingstone, and I really wish you would leave off these kinds of tactics, which demean this race and demean your office.’

This is interesting not only because of the Mayor’s misrepresentation of the Spectator article, but because Mr Johnson is discovering the difficulties for journalists of entering politics: their words come back to haunt them.

The Spectator article is accurate and forthright; it is bold and uncompromising; it is everything one can no longer be in politics. Mr Johnson wrote:

The Islamicists last week horribly and irrefutably asserted the supreme importance of that faith, overriding all worldly considerations... the problem is Islam. Islam is the problem.

‘To any non-Muslim reader of the Koran, Islamophobia - fear of Islam - seems a natural reaction...

‘Judged purely on its scripture — to say nothing of what is preached in the mosques — it is the most viciously sectarian of all religions

‘The trouble with this disgusting arrogance and condescension is that it is widely supported in Koranic texts, and we look in vain for the enlightened Islamic teachers and preachers who will begin the process of reform. What is going on in these mosques and madrasas? When is someone going to get 18th century on Islam’s mediaeval ass?

Politicians can no longer talk in such terms; Paul Goodman and Michael Gove would not dare. To refer to Islam (the faith) as 'visciously sectarian' is not conducive to winning the Muslim vote, and such phrases potentially undermine David Cameron's painstaking overtures to minority ethnic groups.

Of course Mr Johnson distinguishes between ‘Islamicist nutters’ and the moderate majority, and he added: ‘Last week's bombs were placed neither by martyrs nor by soldiers, but by criminals. It was not war, but terrorism, and to say otherwise is a mistake and a surrender.’ But this conclusion is lost on the Mayor, and there is sufficient in the article for him to excise sentences from their context and convey them as the smearing of an entire faith.

Mr Johnson’s mistake in his polemic was to ignore the history and the theology. Had he once used the phrase ‘classical Islam’ or referred to the ‘classical interpretation of Islam’, he would have been on safer ground, for it is indeed true that classical Islam has always been an ideology that aims at world domination - if necessary by force. As Martin Parsons observes: ‘If an “enemy” is to be defined, then the enemy is not Muslims, but the classical interpretation of Islam.’

It is important to distinguish between this historic interpretation of Islam and the views of ordinary Muslims in the West today. Mr Parsons states: ‘For the masses Islam has more often than not taken on a traditional form, where people believe in God, concern themselves with prayer and with the other basic devotional duties of Islam, but do not bother much with legal, political or military requirements.’

Patrick Sookhdeo suggests that the current threat to the west is due to ‘a puritan form of Islam re-emphasising the literal teaching of the Qur'an and Hadith, as classical Islam in countries such as Saudi Arabia has always done’.

When Mr Johnson referred to ‘Islam’s mediaeval ass’, he was doubtless alluding to this classical interpretation, but it was all too subtle for the crude cut-and-thrust of politics, and way beyond the mental capacity of a cerebral dwarf like Ken Livingstone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the problem is Islam.
No pedo worshippers in a country no Islamic terroism.

11 April 2008 at 12:11  
Anonymous Smith Dorrien said...

So does Islam need to be less literal in how it interprets the Koran - less Protestant one could say ...?

What would an Islamic reformation look like?

11 April 2008 at 13:44  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

You will find that humanity is in conflict with Islam, which is why we have "moderate muslims" who make an exception to the inhuman aspects of Islam.

Thos who hope for an Islamic "Reformation" are dishonest liberals of the worst kind who actively hope muslims will believe less in their religion whilst presenting the "Islamic Reformation" as a reasonable and legitimate modulation of the Islamic religion.

The liberal cognitive deficit is this:

Liberals expect Muslims to,

A. Practice the religion of Islam (because it is one's human and individual right)


B. Expecting Muslims to not behave in an Islamic manner described in the Koran.


There is no one on planet earth who break the above flowchart. Only Allah can do that.

Koran: 2:106. Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We {Allah} abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

I challenge all comers. Everyone. Have a go. The high and the low, the sophist and the philosopher. The president and the pauper.

11 April 2008 at 14:11  
Anonymous Cinnamon said...

Your Grace no doubt would say the same about moderate Nazis, and recommend that they take the classical 'Mein Kampf' and other supremacist theories less literal in future.


Your Grace might also perhaps like to know that the Turkish Islamist PM, a Mr. Erdogan said that 'there is only one kind of Islam.' (when asked about less brutal versions thereof). Whether that was before or after he said 'Democracy is the train that we board until we arrive at where we want to be', is anyone's guess.

11 April 2008 at 15:15  
Blogger Death Bredon said...

Your Grace,

Who much is Livingston paying you? The only difference between his kind of PC appeasement and yours is one of degree, not kind.

11 April 2008 at 16:02  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
and still the silence from the great muslim scholars is deafening.

my quest: does the muslim faith have stances that are in conflict in the light of modern humanity thinking ??

who will be the first named scholar to admit there is a problem ??? and make it past 48hrs

11 April 2008 at 16:41  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Your Grace

I wrote something about this subject from my own meagre knowledge, just after the attacks on the Archbishop of Canterbury. If your Grace has the time, he might like to read it HERE

My contention was (and remains) that the true Word of God is to offer His Way, but not to inflict it. Also, that He is the only one with the right to inflict punishment (beyond the normal criminal law, of course) and not us.

Perhaps this is the key that I was trying to find: if Islam truly is the word of God, then its teachers and practitioners must surely operate in a manner consistent with His unchanging nature.

Was this a reasonable assessment?

12 April 2008 at 14:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A minor part of the Islamic world appears to be 'taking on', almost single handedly, a combined force which has never been more advanced, rich, influential and powerful.

With mega tons of highly expensive, state of the art, modern equipment, capable of fighting very destructive, extended wars, without more then a few thousand 'friendly' casualties.

That under far worse circumstances took on the whole of the Axis forces during WW2 and won hands down within 4 years. Even then destroying their enemies at a rate of 10-1.

This current war does not make sense. Wars are not new but wars on terrorism are very new indeed. Why for thousands of years of well documented wars. Has the history books never recorded such an event taking place. Until today. Could it be simply, that such wars never did exist and therefore can not really exist today? In the past things like civil unrest and resistance groups only existed as a threat, when the occupying forces were leaving anyway. They did not terrorize other countries 100 times more powerful then themselves while doing so. This would only have made their situation worse, and achieved nothing but more retribution and pointless sacrifice.

Hitler had at least a good chance of ultimately winning or gaining a peaceful advantageous settlement. A few bands of brainwashed terrorists, even supported by a few rich Islamic nations, simply do not stand a chance of 'winning' anything.


There has not been another serious attack on the west for several years.

We, as in the western powers, are still in Iraq and are clearly not going anywhere soon. While sitting on the Iranian border, gaining experience and intimidating the hell out of the Iranian theocratic Islamic dictatorship.

There has not been an Islamic revolution in Europe, and there is plainly not going to be one, anytime within the next 20 years, if ever.

Most people in the UK and America do not seem to really care very much how long 'we' are in the middle east, unless too many troops get killed. Even then it is clear that no president, Democrat or Republican, will essentially change 'US' foreign policy to any significant degree.

When things do not make sense, I smell Conspiracy. The sort of conspiracy, the evidence for the existence of which, can only ever be circumstantial. Any other type of evidence will never be allowed to be in the public domain.

In my opinion there is possibly only about 100 people in this world today that really understand what is happening in the Middle East and why. Myself most surly, NOT being one of them.

One thing we can surly understand by now. That this all has very little to do with place men like George Bush or Tony Blair. These two characters obviously have about as much real power to influence world events, as Cranmer or myself do.

Which, when it comes to important wars, is Absolute Zero.

12 April 2008 at 17:17  

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