Woolwich slaughter: sorry, MCB, but this *is* a school of Islam
The beheading of a British soldier in his own country has long been threatened by some of our home-grown Islamists, but such a barbaric act occurring on the streets of London has been quite literally incredible, unimaginable, inconceivable. Yes, there are gruesome 'religious' decapitations all over YouTube, but that sort of bloody horror is peculiar to the shady fiefdoms of Mogadishu, Chechnya or the Sudan. It just doesn't happen in England. Not to a 20-year-old young man wearing a 'Help for Heroes' charity T-shirt, walking peacefully in the warm London sunlight of the merry month of May.
There appears to be some unfortunate attempt at media censorship going on, and this will help no-one: indeed, it is more likely to increase suspicion over motives and inflame anger. One of the killers, speaking in a recognisable saarf-Laandan accent, was recorded on video. He said:
"We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don't care about you."The Muslim Council of Britain rushed out a swift statement, washing its hands of the murder, repudiating utterly any link with Islam: "A barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly," they said.
The problem, of course, is that it manifestly does have a link with Islam. It may have nothing to do with the MCB understanding of the religion in modern Britain, and doubtless they sincerely believe that 'No cause justifies this murder' and that the 'Vast majority of British Muslims acknowledge armed forces for the work they do world'. But to say it has no basis in Islam is to deny Islamic history, ignore the brutality of the warrior Mohammed, and brush off those inconvenient jihadi-Islamic movements in the modern era who seek to emulate their prophet's example.
The MCB is also rather selective with its condemnations and justifications. Have they repudiated Palestinian terrorism? Or does that particular cause justify the slaughter of the Fogel family? Have they said anything unequivocal to condemn the Taliban? Have they condemned their co-religionists who rally in the streets of London demanding the overthrow of the Government and Monarchy and the establishment of a Caliphate?
The truth is that those who hacked away at a British soldier yesterday are acting in accordance with a theologically determined logic which can certainly be situated within a sharia view of Islamic culture and understood on the basis of Islamic religious precepts. The killer calmly and rationally quoted Islamic sacred texts: 'We must fight them as they fight us' echoes the Qur'an:
"..fight (qātilū - literally means kill) in the cause of Allah those who fight you... And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for fitnah (oppression, persecution) is worse than slaughter;... if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith'" (Sura 2:190-9).The reference 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth' is the Mosaic Pentateuch reiterated in the Qur'an:
"..fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together" (Sura 9:36).
"Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against, because they have been wronged and surely, Allah is able to give them victory" (Sura 22:39).
"And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation" (Sura 5:54).These murderers invoke ancient religious rulings and refute any notion of abrogation. As Osama Bin Laden put it: "It is commanded by our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge."
No moderate or reasonable Muslim would invoke the literal interpretation of such texts today. But it is simply not true to say that this interpretation of Jihad has no basis in Islam. The Woolwich slaughter is a declared reprisal attack which comes as a direct consequence of the British military presence in Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan. It is, to the jihadi mind, a rational act of holy war, of the sort advocated today by the die-hard Salafist-Wahhabi movement.
That is not to say that the Woolwich killers are members of this school or adherents of its teachings. This is simply to refute the crass and simplistic assertion by the MCB that this slaughter 'has no basis in Islam'. In fact, it bears all the hallmarks of the sort of ritualistic killing not infrequently featured in the Qur'an and Ahadith. This is not, of course, to excuse or justify the action, but we get nowhere very quickly at all if the official body which purports to represent all British Muslims denies the religio-political or theo-cultural inspiration of the slaughter.
The MCB needs to acknowledge that Sunni Islam contains the malignant ideological strand of Salifism. They must own it, condemn it, and seek to reform it. It is that very same militia devil that has overrun Timbuktu and Mali, and is crushing everything that opposes it. The Salafi-Wahhabi movement is now a global phenomenon: it has spread way beyond it primitive desert tribalism and burst forth into our civilisation. It not an Islamic denomination of peaceful shrines, sacred texts and respect for aesthetic heterogeneity: it is one of death and destruction in the name of Allah, following the zeal of Mohammed. We either bury our heads in the sand, or eradicate it utterly from our presence. If we choose to appease Saudi-Arabian puritanism, it will destroy us, just as it is wiping out the mystical Sufi strain of Islam wherever it is to be found.
Political ignorance and judicial impotence against the irruption of virulent quranic rhetoric is no longer acceptable. All authentic Muslims are in submission to Allah: all are jihadists, or holy warriors, for truth. The vast majority, as the MCB point out, pursue the jihad of peace. Others look to the primitive quranic era, and seek to destroy our idolatrous Christian deviancy. The Muslim Council of Britain needs to respond with something rather more potent than a lame bit of text.