A couple of months ago I blogged about the need to speak out against anti-Muslim cartoons that were being circulated on social media in the wake of the terror attacks in London earlier this year and said:
We as British Muslims also should be conscientious in discharging our responsibilities to our country. Bigotry in all its forms should be repudiated. Whether directed at us or directed at others by parts of our own community.
I had become very concerned that the terror attacks had emboldened racists into becoming more open about their bigotry against Muslims. Less than two weeks after I wrote those words there was a terror attack outside Finsbury Park Mosque which resulted in the death of a Muslim man.
So, after receiving the above rather nasty and evidently racist cartoon via social media earlier today I thought I had better follow my own advice and speak up.
The willingness amongst many Muslims to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories (ISIS are financed by the US/Israelis, 9/11 was an inside/MOSSAD job etc.) is reflective of a mindset that has not grasped that the cause of the success of the West and the long decline of the Muslim world lies in the former having given primacy to the role of reason over religion. In short, the embrace of the Enlightenment and the values it entailed propelled the West to develop a culture that continually seeks progress and scientific advancement unshackled by ancient religious books.
ISIS are manifestly not an Israeli or US-funded group. It is truer to say that they are the Muslim version of the Nazis. They have supremacist beliefs that dehumanise those who do not subscribe to their world view. They represent a serious danger to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
It is entirely right to criticise specific unjust US or Israeli policies. It cannot ever be right to propagate racist myths about them.