23 February 2015

Moderate Muslims

.... I don't think any of us, say twenty or thirty years ago, could have foreseen where we are now. In the UK the expectation was that the next generation of Muslims would start to follow our example, and would increasingly abandon their religion as so many of us abandoned our Christianity, and we'd see an increasing secularisation as they adapted to our culture. For some no doubt that's happened, but the effect, such as it is, has been completely overshadowed by the growth of radical Islam.

For many young Muslims, it seems, their Muslim identity turns out to have been far more important to them than we expected: more important than their identity as UK citizens.

It could be argued - it has been argued - that that's down to marginalisation and racism. Such factors aren't irrelevant, but there's much more going on. And, as many young Muslims have decided, if you're going to be defined by your Muslim identity, then you might want to embrace what most of the clerics tell you is the real Islam, the genuine back-to-the-dark-ages world of the first Muslims.

So no, I don't see any sign of that Muslim reformation anytime soon - from the theological point of view, at any rate. But I guess we'll get there in the end. [Mick Hartley] Read more