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Islamist terror comes from a long tradition of brutal supremacism

Islamist terror comes from a long tradition of brutal supremacism

Date Published: 
Thursday, 8 June, 2017
Summary: 

The London Bridge attackers wanted us to be in no doubt about their motivation. ‘This is for Allah,’ they shouted, as they slashed and stabbed their victims. When they could, they slit people’s throats — just as Isis executioners in Syria, claiming obedience to a command in the Quran ‘to strike off the heads of unbelievers’, had slit the throats of western hostages. Shot by police marksmen, the three men were hailed by supporters of Isis as ‘martyrs’.

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When, for instance, in her speech after the London Bridge attacks, Theresa May decried as a perversion of Islam any notion that it might be incompatible with Western concepts of human rights, she had things precisely the wrong way round. Classically, Muslims have believed that no human rights exist except for those that have been prescribed by God. In the Quran, it is taken for granted that the only way to know how to live well is by means of a divine revelation. Naturally, the Quran casts itself as the ultimate source of these revelations.Anyone who does not submit to the god revealed in its pages is, then, by definition, inferior to those who do. This is all the more so because, according to one of Mohammed’s most quoted sayings, every newborn is naturally Muslim. ‘Then his two parents make him a Jew, a Christian, a Zoroastrian.’ Non Muslims, in other words, are effectively apostates. This is why, should they subsequently convert to Islam, they are termed by many Muslims ‘reverts’. It is also why, for a millennium and more, Islamic states actively discriminated against them. A Quranic injunction decreed that Jews and Christians pay a humiliating tax, the jizya, in exchange for the right to practise their respective religions. Those defined as mushrikun — ‘idolaters’ — were denied the right to practise their religion at all.