14 April 2016

Tackling Extremism Amongst Muslims While Respecting Freedom of Religion

Holding extreme religious views is harmful in itself. It also makes it more likely that the holder or others influenced by him will become terrorists. Extremism can be addressed without infringing freedom of religious belief, and some concrete proposals are set out.

.... The terrorists who carried out the 7 July 2005 London bombings, who killed Drummer Lee Rigby, who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, and who rampaged through Paris in November 2015 had something essential in common, apart from being Muslims.

All of them believed that what they were doing met with God’s approval. That is clear from the London bombers’ suicide videos. It is also obvious from a moment’s reflection, since people who believe in God don’t do things which they expect will cause them to be sentenced to Hell for all eternity.

Some terrorists die in action. However, others survive and can be interrogated after arrest, and of course the views of many would-be terrorists emerge during their trials. There is a relatively consistent set of beliefs (space does not allow detailed coverage) which mark them out as religious extremists. Obviously other parts of their religious beliefs are shared by most Muslims, including the writer: e.g. Muslims should not gamble or drink alcohol because God does not want us to.

As a rule of thumb, Muslims can be trisected: [Mohammed Amin] Read more