"There is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it."


Thu, Jun 13th, 2013 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Fascinating piece by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the trouble within Islam in relation to "the murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby on a south London street [...] ."

There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature. There is not a problem with Muslims in general. Most in Britain are horrified at Rigby’s murder.

But there is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. There are, of course, Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu ones. But I am afraid that the problematic strain within Islam is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view of religion — and of the relationship between religion and politics — that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies. At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the worldview goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So, by and large, we don’t admit it.

This has two effects. First, those who hold extreme views believe that we are weak, and that gives them strength. Second, those Muslims — and the good news is that there are many — who know the problem exists, and want to do something about it, lose heart.



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