BBC R4’s Moral Maze – The ISIS Problem

Moral Maze

Yesterday evening, I took part in a discussion about the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Radio 4’s Moral Maze programme. The episode can be heard in full here.

I mentioned that in light of the pledge by the so-called Islamic State to continue to carry out more atrocities in European countries that European Muslims had a special responsibility to be extra vigilant and assist the authorities wherever possible to prevent those attacks. This might seem unfair – after all, why should European Muslims have a special responsibility to prevent the attacks when the overwhelming majority of them are appalled by the actions of the terrorists? Even so, it is quite likely that the closest associates, friends and family members of the ISIS terrorists are Muslims. They may well be better placed than most of the rest of the population in identifying worrying changes in attitudes and motivations on the part of those who have been seduced by the message of the extremists.

During the discussion, Claire Fox insisted that Islam should not be above criticism and critics should not be labelled Islamophobes for doing so. I wonder if most Muslims would agree with her. I responded by saying that no idea, including Islam, should be above criticism. The point, I think, is worth underlining. The scientific revolution in Europe and the Enlightenment have led to spectacular progress in recent centuries and this has been in very large part because no idea was held to be above criticism. It is only by allowing all ideas to be continually exposed to criticism that we can hope to improve our ideas about the world and identify misconceptions. Regrettably, this is not the case in most Muslim societies across the world, where many ideas, particularly those involving the place of religion and religious beliefs are held to be above criticism, and those who dare to question them are all too quickly branded as deviants or heretics.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable experience taking part in the show and I particularly enjoyed annoying Melanie Phillips once again.

This entry was posted in Extremism, Islam, islamophobia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to BBC R4’s Moral Maze – The ISIS Problem

  1. Ash says:

    I would agree with the first paragraph, but seems most of these lunatics operate in secrecy and go to great lengths to avoid detection and any sort of suspicion.

    As for the second paragraph usual hypocrisy and double standard applied by Islamaphobes and their apologists.

    I am not sure what you mean by the following ….”It is only by allowing all ideas to be continually exposed to criticism that we can hope to improve our ideas about the world and identify misconceptions.”

    As regards the Heretics and Deviants they should openly admit their heresy and deviance instead of trying to portray themselves as mainstream.

  2. K.Aslam says:

    I heard your contribution. Your text above reads well, but didn’t come across on the radio. I think it’s counterproductive to conflate Israel and its policies with what’s happening in Europe and European Muslims. Simply muddies the water. Stick to the point!!

  3. Jo Loney says:

    I enjoyed listening to the discussion but what was lacking was a full on discussion and discourse on spiritual idealogies. All actions are informed by belief systems whether the person admits to fully subscribing to a particular religion or the Christian.

    I am a Believer and yes with God’s grace I would die for my faith if I were confronted with a question of either submit to Allah and renounce Jesus as Lord or I will shoot you.

    Whilst I would die for my faith as some have done past(Hebrews 11) and many since then, I find no where in The Bible that would lead me to kill another. The most important mandate from Jesus, who I am trying to follow is to Love my neighbour as I love myself.

    The Muslim God is not the same as God, In Christ. There is only one God and it’s God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit. There is only way to know God and it is through Jesus. The outworking of Islam and Christianity are fundamentally at loggerheads with who they claim God is and His attributes. Whilst this will forever be the case, there will always be war and blood shed until Christ comes again and all the world WILL bow the knee and declare Jesus is Lord.

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