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30 May 2017


David Eldon

Your conclusions from the article are, of course, correct though I cannot help but feel an element of hypocrisy here - not on your part I hasten to add.
In the same way that laws and other writings, be they scriptures or hieroglyphics or whatever from ancient times, are subject to interpretation we have seen interpretations change over time. On an associated track, there were no cars in the 7th Century so the issue of who could drive a car or not never arose. Fast forward to the modern day and some countries have seen fit to ban ladies from driving cars. Not sure where the interpretation came from, but there is no consistency in the ruling. It means that changes can be made. There are similar interpretations that suit the utterer.
So it is with the suggestion that anyone (leaders included) going against the early beliefs creates apostasy when even Islamic scholars today cannot agree on what constitutes apostasy. Islam promotes the defence of their religion rather than attacking for the sake of their religion. But if a translation of the old beliefs (and I say "a" not "the") induces people into believing they are doing their duty then I have yet to see this being successfully used as a defence in a court of law.
It will indeed take a brave person/people of stature to condemn the murder of innocent women and children, but if we or they continue to turn their backs we will have to watch out for our own.

John D

David, thank you for that, but I got a rather different impression, and was anyway pointing to possible answers to your main queries "Where are the leaders in the Arab world who are condemning these acts of terror? Where are the loud voices of reason from the religious leaders in Islam that would be heard? "

In respect of the first, the author notes the status of every Muslim who has sought political office, or even voted in an election: in so doing they have have elevated man-made law above Sharia, which is apostasy.

In respect of the second, he points out that because Da'esh is exactly following precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers, other Muslims cannot condemn Da'esh without also denying those precepts, which would be apostasy.

Could that be why "the leaders of the Arab world" and "religious leaders in Islam" remain so quiet on the subject?

Best wishes

David Eldon

Thank you for the article. I did read it at the time (maybe you sent it to me) and thought it created more of an excuse than an explanation. The Christians, who have not themselves behaved very well over the centuries, have adopted and adapted to a more civilised way of life. The article seems to suggest that what Da'esh is doing is old fashioned religion - and that therefore somehow it is okay. I can't subscribe to that view today, nor, I believe do the majority of the people who practice that faith. Neither, of course, do I believe that we should be bullied into accepting a way of life that is different to the one we have been brought up in, and which people like you and your forbears fought so hard to protect. The ability to create a world in which we have peaceful co-existence is in our own hands, if that is what we want.

John D

An article (link below) written in March 2015 by Graeme Wood for The Atlantic.com offers a decent analysis of the situation.

The article does not make for easy or agreeable reading, and does not even offer a lot of hope. However, it does seem to provide answers to at least some of the questions that you raise in your current post.


Keep going, David.

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