14 September 2016

Finding an English Islam

.... Getting this right is important for integration, he suggested, and will require commitment from both minority and majority Britons:

“The challenge here is this: is there an Englishness that is wholly accepting of Islam and is there an Islam that is wholly comfortable to be English?”

Dr Timothy Winter, Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University, stated that there is no reason in classical Islamic thought to prevent such an accommodation between Islam and Englishness – quite the opposite, in fact:

“A local British Islam, or a range of British Islams, is religiously authentic and even mandatory,” he told the audience, adding that “The classical sharia manuals tell us that local custom and precedent may be incorporated into Muslim life, unless they evidently flaunt a scriptural truth. Only fundamentalism of the Wahhabi type discounts this Muslim normativity.”

An English Islam, one that feels open to people of all races and faiths in England, should be within our grasp. But it will not find itself. John Denham set this challenge to the audience, as we sipped our tea in the Surrey countryside:

“We have a choice, really, of trying to make a national identity that works, that includes everybody; or we could end up with a rather divided national identity which thrusts some people out.” [British Future] Read more