Time to Brush the Wool Away, Boris

Michael Copeland directed the following remarks at the UK’s clown prime minister back before he was PM, when he was just the clown mayor of London.

Time to Brush the Wool Away, Boris

by Michael Copeland

(First published at LibertyGB in March 2014, long before Johnson was Prime Minister)

Boris Johnson is having the wool pulled over his eyes with a red herring past its sell-by date. So are Cameron and the team. We have heard it before: this PR “spin” is old hat, a distraction, but it is what they want to hear, so they love it. Enter on stage the impressive-sounding Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. Hear the reassuring purring of its executive director, Irfan Alawi:

“Moderate, traditional, spiritual, and even conservative British Muslims … should … support effective measures to curb the spread of extremist ideology.”

How fine this sounds: it is the comforting sound-bite, feeding the wishful notion of the Nice Peaceful Moderate in contrast with the problematical “extremist Islamist”. Remember that the previously attempted “effective measures” consisted of paying money to mosques, and they proved ineffective. The soothing spin rests on the deliberately dishonest distinction between an allegedly nice, kind, peaceful Islam and a violent, problematic, dangerous “extremist Islamism”. This has been lapped up by the government, but it is bogus. It is deception. No sin is committed, though: lying to the kuffar is “halal”, allowed, in Islam. It has a name, taqiyya, and a section (r8), “Permissible Lying”, in the Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller.

A “moderate” Islam? No. “These terms are ugly and offensive”, said Tayyip Recep Erdogan, observant Muslim Prime Minister of Turkey, “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that is all there is to it.” There are moderate Muslims, yes. They are like that, though, in spite of Islam, not because of it. The only way to be “moderate” is to be partially observant. The fully observant observe the command to kill: that is not moderate. Where is this? The Koran has the answer.

The instructions in the Koran express ordinary basic Islam’s core, “radical” (from Latin radix, root) ideology. In over a hundred verses the Koran mandates violence against non-Muslims (TheReligionOfPeace.com). One example is in chapter 9, Sura At-Tawba, the one cited by the Woolwich killer, “Kill unbelievers wherever you meet them” (v.5). There is only one interpretation available of “kill”. Under Islam’s doctrine of “abrogation” Chapter 9, being the latest complete chapter chronologically, overrides and “abrogates” all the peaceful verses elsewhere. “The verses of forgiveness”, wrote ancient scholar Mohammad As-Shawkani, “are abrogated by the obligation of fighting”. The Arabic word artfully translated as “fighting” entails fighting to the death, killing, explains the Arabic-speaker Ashraf Ramelah, of Voice of the Copts. Hear the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa, Sunni Islam’s highest authority, “Muslims must kill non-Muslims wherever they meet them, unless they convert to Islam”. There we have it — from the horse’s mouth. The ordinary basic ideology in the Koran is extremist and mandates violence.

Muslims are eager to protest that the context of the Koran is important. Here it is: Islam instructs that the Koran is “true, …universal and trans-time” (Ahmad Saad, North London Central Mosque) and “valid from eternity to eternity” (Sam Solomon, former professor of Sharia law). It forms part of Islamic law, and announces: “None may change his words” (18:27). For denying any verse there is the death penalty, which can be carried out lawfully by anyone, “since it is killing someone who deserves to die” (Manual of Islamic Law, o8.7(7), o8.4).

Islam itself fits, like a glove, the Government’s own definition of “extremism” in its “Prevent” strategy:

“Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs…”

Because Islam — ordinary basic Islam, that is — instructs violence against non-Muslims, it qualifies as violent extremism. Irfan Alawi’s fine-sounding encouragement embodies a problem. It entails partially observant Muslims telling fully observant Muslims to deny the Koran. There is no mileage in it. It has no credibility.

Time to brush the wool away, Boris.


For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.