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Letter To an MP from a Sharia Watch Supporter
Dear Mr Tugendhat.
Whilst I support your decision in the vote last night I’m puzzled as to the description of the provenance accorded to the ‘cult’ of ISIS in both the debate and the article you recently wrote for the Telegraph. If memory serves, you read Islamic studies at Canterbury university so it cannot come as a surprise to you that the actions of IS mirror very closely those of Mohammed when he was effectively exiled to Medina and from where he pursued a philosophy of war, rape, slavery and subjugation (dhimmitude).
The elephant in the room is this doctrine which is full of contradictions and further complicated by the concept of abrogation as declared by Mohammed, combined with the declared infallibility of both the Koran and every aspect of his life. Describing the conduct of IS as a ‘perversion’ of Islam, as it is often portrayed, or ignoring the fact that the objectives of IS mirror very closely those of Mohammed, simply serves to postpone a discussion and continue the veil of obfuscation that exists surrounding the entire subject of Islam and its principle religious objectives.
Quite simply, Muslims themselves prolong an adverse (and correct) interpretation of their religion and of themselves as individuals by failing to develop any acceptable and believable interpretation of how their beliefs differ from what is written in their most fundamental of texts. The writings are there for all to see and it doesn’t help that there is regular tacit support given to Islamic objectives which is consistently revealed by a series of attitude surveys amongst Muslims carried out over recent years.
The discussion that isn’t being had is how a modern day and British Muslim squares a 1400 year old tyrannical doctrine, which disregards humanity as a concept in place of a dominance of religion and the complete subjugation of unquestioning submissives, with a tolerant and inclusive society that embodies the concept of humanity as a fundamental principle. Sharia law, for example, is racist and misogynistic yet remains a fundamental tenet of Islam and is rumoured to be practiced in the UK in areas deemed to be too ‘sensitive’ for the rule of UK law to apply.
Simply by pretending that Islam isn’t wedded to a cause of world domination and that somehow a Muslim can be a ‘submissive’ whilst magically purporting to adopt ideals and cultural norms seemingly abhorred by their core doctrine will not allay a progressive realisation of this contradiction and a concomitant increase in religious intolerance.
We, as tolerant British people, do not want such religious tensions to increase so a part of the answer in preventing this is a greater understanding of how modern Muslims in a caring society really feel and the only way of doing that is to acknowledge the role of Islamic doctrine in the objectives of IS and provide an answer to it.
You, because of your understanding of this religion, are better placed to instigate a greater openness and truthfulness about Islam if you have the courage to do that rather than pretend that IS doctrine is somehow not authorised by Islamic dogma and is, in some way, a misrepresentation of the religion.
You may be aware of this quotation from the late Ayatollah Khomeni, the leader of the Shia world in being quite specific about the relevance of 6th century Islam to today’s world.
“Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. . . . But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this
mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”
There is so much known about the life and behaviour of Mohammed and the ‘bible’ he left behind and from authoritative pronouncements that anyone can discover the ‘true’ and original nature of Islam from the original texts, the Syria, Hadiths and the Koran. Only an openness in this deliberately secretive religion, often enforced by violence and the threat of violence, will assuage, what may otherwise become an increasing intolerance of Islam and all that it stands for in a country that is probably one of the most naturally tolerant in the world.
So when you say:
“This is not a group that can be negotiated with or pacified. It is a jihadist cult that claims legitimacy from the divine, not the human and for which every success is an encouragement to greater crimes”
you are correct in the main yet omit that the divine authorisation they claim is, in fact, a broad and accurate interpretation of Islam, you do us all a disservice.
I urge you to keep this subject on the agenda but in truth rather than fiction. There has to be a substantive reason (or reasons) why so many Muslims want to live their lives in peace and in apparent contradiction to their religious calling. Anyone that can answer this question will do the world a great service.
The reply from the MP:
Dear Mr Allen,
Thank you very much for your comprehensive thoughts on this difficult topic. I have read what you write with great interest and have considered carefully what you say.
I rather suspect that every religion, Christianity included, allows an interpretation that other religions find anathema. Not all Muslims are hell-bent on barbarism and returning the world to a Caliphate.
One of the wonderful things about being British is the flexibility and laissez faire attitude that we offer people from other cultures who wish to share our country, and I find a strength in this that I would not want to forego. Bring others up to one’s own level, I say; don’t descend to theirs. Whilst like you I acknowledge that there are risks in living this way, I would rather do so than live otherwise.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
Tom Tugendhat MBE MP, Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling
House of Commons