Mumtaz Qadri and Moral Blindness.

At present, an ethical crisis exists within Islamic theology and plays a major factor within Islamic extremism. A reading of Islam that suffers an ethical disconnect leads to ethical disorientation. We live in a time where Muslim reactions to the mundane/trivial are met with outrage and condemnation (e.g. Happy Muslims video) while moral crimes such as apostasy killings are met with apathy and silence. Too often influential religious leaders can be seen defending the morally indefensible; their views filter down to the Muslim masses, which can help create intolerant attitudes and destructive zealous mindsets. No better illustration of this problem is the reaction to Mumtaz Qadri’s assassination of a leading politician, Salman Taseer, in January 2011 for his stance against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Taseer had defended Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman, who allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad and as a result was placed on death row. On Tuesday, Mumtaz Qadri was executed for murder in Pakistan and an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people attended his funeral in show of support. It is believed that before his death Qadri was praised and showered with petals as he went to trial. The news of his execution was followed by support and tribute by some British imams, Muslim groups and individuals in the UK – to the extent some were declaring

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A response to claims of unorthodoxy of my theological claims within ‘My Reasons for Joining the Quilliam Foundation’ piece.

There has been some discussion surrounding my statement on my reasons for joining the Quilliam Foundation. In particular, my theological statements concerning the relationship between reason and revelation based on the Maturidi school of thought. I would like to respond to some of the points raised from two online posts. The gist of both criticisms is that in presenting my views I had misused the Maturidi position and that my views fall outside of Islamic orthodoxy namely, they are better placed within the Mu’tazilite school of thought. The first criticism is by Mufti Zameel which can be found here. Zameel begins by summarising from a text entitled Qamar al-Aqmar (Maktabat al-Bushra)’ and then makes his own colourful conclusions. Some preliminary comments: I have not read the text in question – nevertheless, I will go on the assumption that the summary is a fair representation of its contents. However, it is important to note that this is a commentary, of a commentary of a usul al fiqh’ (juristic methodology) book, rather than a major textbook on theology, which is the discipline this topic accurately falls under. Also, historically some Ash’ari theologians held the same beliefs of the Maturidi in terms of knowing good and evil through reason, which is not known or simply omitted by Zameel. Zameel begins to outline that

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Me on TRT World talking about ISIS’s appeal.

Takfirism: Intra-Islamophobia

A few weeks ago I was both verbally abused and physically assaulted by an ex’ member of banned organsation, Al Muhajirioun. Since leaving the organsation, I had not seen this particular person for quite some time and I happened just by chance to come across him at a local petrol station at, of all places. I still remember quite vividly the expression on his face, he was like a bull that had seen red. As he threatened me, he repeated the words: you’re a murtad, a murtad!. For those unfamiliar with the term, murtad’ it’s the Arabic term for apostate and for some apostates are despised with a view that the death penalty should be applied to them. So what motivated this recent attack? Well it was my recent television appearance talking about ‘his’ faith and him wanting to educate me with his fists as he howled, let me teach you a lesson get out of the car. He also hit my vehicle and hit me through the half open window. Thankfully, I was not hurt and the police are now handling the matter. His attitude towards me can be traced back to a major problem we have within the Islamic tradition known as Takfirism. Takfir is the excommunication of a Muslim, denouncing them as outside the fold of Islam.

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Isis: Pied piper of Islamic extremism

Why would Muslims born, raised and educated in the West gravitate towards extremism? This question seems to puzzle many onlookers, and the actions of these nationals seem beyond any rational explanation. What is overlooked is that the Isil propaganda machine cleverly and effectively taps into an already existing theological world view within young Muslim minds. For the last twenty years I’ve witnessed the spreading of two toxic elements running amok in the West. One is Wahhabism, heavily pushed by Saudi Arabia via its preachers, sponsorship programs, mosque funding and book stores. Running parallel is a broader ideology of Islamism, a politicised Islam seeking to impose one version of Sharia on its citizens. This was first pushed by Hizb ut-Tahrir and then al-Muhaijiroun and its many different manifestations. Hatred for “decadent” Western society, which is diametrically opposed to their version of Islamic values, and yearning for an Islamic state enabling one to practice an unadulterated pure Islam, has been the stock in trade of those who currently dominate the activist space. Often mosques are considered hotbeds for extremism, but this is inaccurate. The bulk of this activism exists on university campuses. Often mosques are considered hotbeds for extremism, but this is inaccurate. Mosques are run by a generation who are in most cases out of touch with the youth. It’s at

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Me on @CNN earlier in the week on #Parisattacks

Speaking to Vanessa Feltz. A brief discussion on how I became an extremist.

Quilliam Foundation’a Kat?lmam?n Nedenleri

QUILLIAM FOUNDATION’a katılma kararım fevkalade bir fikir uğraşı ve QUILLIAM’ın genel yöneticisi Haras Rafiq ile aylarca süren fikir teatilerini gerektirdi. Quilliam Foundation’ın geçmişte aldığı ve tasdik etmediğim bazı kararları ve organizasyonun temel varlık sebebini derinlemesine düşünmem gerekiyordu. Son tahlilde QF (Quilliam Foundation)’ın geçmişteki tartışmalı kararları ile değil de organizasyonun üzerinde kurulu olduğu değerler üzerinden tanımlanması gerektiği sonucuna vardım. El Hakim el Cişumiyye el Beyhaki’nin (12’nci yüzyıl Hanefi Mu’tezile fakihi) ‘Şeytan Risalesi’ adlı kitabında şöyle bir soru sorması tesadüf olmasa gerek: ‘Eğer Şeytana Kıyamet Günü’nde konuşma hakkı verilse idi, kime şükranlarını sunardı?’ Beyhaki şu sonuca varır: Şeytan, irrasyonel, adaletsiz ve kerih şeyleri Allaha atfeden fikirleri kabullenen her bir Müslümana sitayiş ve teşekkür ederdi.’ Beyhaki bu sözleri ile günümüzden bahsediyor olabilirdi ve yanlış olmazdı. Günümüzde genel geçer İslam anlayışında akıldışı, etik olmayan ve bayağı ne kadar cihet varsa bunları öne çıkarıp İslamın etik içeriği boşaltılmaktadır. Peygamber Efendimiz’in (s.a.s.) ve yakın ashabının vefatlarından beri İslam geleneği içerisinde iki kampın arasında devamlı bir sürtüşme olmuştur, bu iki kamp rasyonalistler (‘akılcılar’) ve rasyonalizme karşı çıkanlar olarak ikiye ayrılmışlardır. Bunun temel sebebi politik ve ekonomik faktörlerdir, ki günümüzde ekonomik faktörler İslamı kimin temsil ettiği noktasında belirleyici olmaktadır. Günümüzde Müslüman topluluklarında gördüğümüz problemler bu tarihten gelen çekişmenin sonucudur. Bana göre, özellikle bu son bir kaç yılda Müslümanlar arasındaki ‘dini’ bir azınlık bahsi geçen rasyonalizm karşıtı ve temel

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My response to “Sh Haitham Al-Haddad responds to this week’s BBC Panorama”

In this article I would like to address three main points raised in Haitham Al-Haddad’s response: i) his claim to mainstream Islam ii) his comments regarding Panorama documentary causing divisions iii) and the fueling of Islamophobic attacks

My discussion on #radio4 about violent extremism. @13.30 min

Listen here.