Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Times Online guest contributors Opinion Rushdie calls for reform of Islam

"If Sir Iqbal Sacranie is the best Mr Blair can offer in the way of a good Muslim, we have a problem.

The Sacranie case illustrates the weakness of the Government’s strategy of relying on traditional, but essentially orthodox, Muslims to help to eradicate Islamist radicalism. Traditional Islam is a broad church that certainly includes millions of tolerant, civilised men and women, but also encompasses many whose views on women’s rights are antediluvian, who think of homosexuality as ungodly, who have little time for real freedom of expression, who routinely express anti-Semitic views, and who, in the case of the Muslim diaspora, are — it has to be said — in many ways at odds with the (Christian, Hindu, non-believing or Jewish) cultures among which they live."

The Times has given Salman Rushdie a platform for an attack on traditional Islam in this country.

It is a bit like asking Christians to dispense with theold testament.

But he highlights the Government's planned new law to stop us attacking religions.

It is vital we be allowed to challenge people who would take us back to the mifddle ages rather than face up to problems that need 21 century solutions.

If this goes ahead the mealy mouthed humanists will suffer silently while passionate humanists will risk imprisonment for asserting rational beliefs.