Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Model For Muslims

On Monday night, Inayat Bunglawala appeared on Newsnight. He was asked by Jeremy Paxman why the Muslim community didn't do anything to stop Abu Hamza and the like. He answered that there was nothing they could do.

Well, Inayat, that simply isn't true, is it. Just for you Inayat, here's how a religious community responds to members of their community who spread ideas that are abhorrent.

Back in January Iran hosted a conference for Holocaust deniers. Some Jews from a group called Neturei Karta attended. Their presence, obviously, enraged the Jewish community around the world. Here was a group of people claiming to act in accordance with the Jewish faith but, in fact, acting against the interests of all Jews. One of their leaders lives in Manchester. What did the Jewish community do to oppose his views?

He was completely ostracised. Local Jewish shops refused to serve him. He was banned from synagogues. He was told that he would not be buried by the local Jewish community (a big thing apparently). The local rabbis signed a statement declaring him not to be a proper rabbi. There were repeated demonstrations outside his home.

That is a how a religious community acts when one of its members perverts its religion and becomes its enemy. So, if the Muslim leadership really wants us to believe that they detest that actions and statements of the likes of Abu Hamza, let them respond in a similar way. Until then, we will all be left wondering whether or not they really oppose their views.