Friday, May 24, 2013

Melanie Phillips on Woolwich Beheading

Stiff competition for Most Fatuous Reaction award | Melanie Phillips

But worthy contenders as all these are for this prestigious award, I have decided that two further notable contributions tie in equal first place. In a statement described by the Spectator as ‘sensitive and calm’ the Prime Minister, David Cameron, told the nation that the Woolwich attack ‘was also a betrayal of Islam’ ,’ there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act’ and the fault lay ‘solely and purely with the sickening individuals who carried out this appalling attack’.
In similar vein the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:
‘It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam but it is also equally wrong to try to draw any link between this murder and British foreign policy or the actions of British forces who are risking their lives abroad for the sake of freedom. The fault lies wholly and exclusively in the warped and deluded mindset of the people who did it.’
So to the Prime Minister and the Mayor, there was nothing to connect the Woolwich atrocity to Islam at all.  But on his little video rant, one of the killers drew explicitly on the Koran as the inspiration for his attack:
‘Surat at-Tawba through...many, many ayat throughout the Qur’an that...we must fight them as they fight us...’
which refers to a number of exhortations to ‘fight the unbelievers and ‘kill the polythesists wherever you find them’ and other such stuff in similar vein..
Nothing to do with Islam? It’s as absurd as saying the Inquisition had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, or the Holocaust had nothing to do with Nazism but these things were just the product of a few warped and deluded individuals.  
If indeed such terrorism is noting to do with Islam, why is it justified by the Islamic high establishment? As the liberal Egyptian thinker Tarek Heggy wrote last year:
 ‘The cornerstone of the theory, which is the essence of Islamic thinking, is that humans must not set the rules governing relations between people, but that these can only be set by the Almighty. To this day, not a single leader of any movement of political Islam has reconsidered the idea of hakemeya [the Islamist view of man-made laws] introduced by Sayed Qutb in his famous treatise, “Signposts Along the Road” … Thus the Islamist has a constant problem with man-made constitutional and legal rules.…
‘Certainly the leaderships of most schools of political Islam refuse to describe the suicide attacks launched by Muslim fanatics against civilians as terrorist attacks. Certainly too none of them consider Osama bin Laden a terrorist. Indeed, most hold him in high regard…’
What’s bizarre is that jihadis are treated as genuine Muslim spokesmen -- see the way broadcasters were giving one of them air-time yesterday -- but when it comes to analysing an Islamic terror attack, that very same political and media establishment falls over itself to agree with those extremists that its perpetrators are not real Muslims at all.