Ziauddin Sardar lays into Quilliam Foundation founders

The embrace of former extremists is a slap in the face for Muslims who have worked tirelessly to build a British Muslim identity and foster inclusion by constructive community activity. It’s another attempt at the marginalisation of the overwhelming majority who never had a moment’s doubt that Islam gives no sanction for such murderous and misguided perversion of belief.

I am troubled by the fact that former extremists are seen as the only people who know how to deal with extremism. Just because you have been an inmate of a mental hospital does not mean you are an expert in clinical psychology. But former extremists are being lionised because they confirm the basic tabloid prejudice that violence is a natural part of being a Muslim. So whose ignorance is being vindicated? Certainly the potential of an open, unapologetic belief in Islam as a valuable part of British society is not on the agenda.

At every stage of dealing with extremism, the government has made the wrong choice. First, only British-trained imams were to be promoted, though how and what they were trained in was not examined. Then there were to be roadshows at which religious scholars selected for their moderation and tractability, rather than an understanding of the problems of young British Muslims, would explain the error of extremist ways. Then Sufism was touted as the solution, and the Sufi Muslim Council was created as the voice of moderation. Now the way forward is with sinners who were once mouthpieces for jihadi propaganda and advocated the violent rejection of all things western.



3 Responses to “Ziauddin Sardar lays into Quilliam Foundation founders”

  1. 1 Ed Husain April 25, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Is there anything I can do to help, sidi?
    Happy to clear up much of the misunderstandings.

    Warm salams,

  2. 2 Jav April 25, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    As Rashad Ali once said, it is not what is said, it’s the piece of paper that is important that let’s you say it.

    Thus one sees the founders of the Quillam Foundation all busy in trying to gain the academic pieces of paper that will allow them to say what they want.

    In the meantime, given no academic credibility amongst any of the founders, they must make do with citing existing scholars for endorsements and support. However, it is important to get the ok from scholars who you claim endorse you otherwise it can be embarressing when they openly reject you (eg Hamza Yusuf et al) or when you get found out misquoting and misinterpreting the classical scholars and the divine texts (www.abu-ibrahim.blogspot.com). Worse still, is when you base your arguments on a misreading of history and have to be corrected (www.muslimdecline.com).

    Who funds their endevours is not important; what they say is as it will determine what funds come their way.

    And what is it that is being said? Little more than what the UK government spiel has been over the last few years.
    Foreign policy has nothing to do with the anger amongst Muslims
    Shariah is unacceptable and must be kept separate from politics
    Islamic law is harsh and brutal and unacceptable for the current age
    The Caliphate and unification of Muslim lands is unthinkable
    Israel is legitimate and must be acknowledged

    It is said history repeats itself and the emergence of a new set of self-styled pseduo-scholars out to grab whatever grant and government funding is nothing new to Muslim history (see the Ahmadiyya movement in British India for similarities).

    Where will it end? Like all groups before them, they will be used for a while before being cast aside…

    “As for those who sell for a small price the covenant and faith they owe to Allah and their own plighted word for a small price, they shall have no portion in the Hereafter. Nor will Allah speak to them or look at them on the Day of Judgment, nor will He cleanse them: They shall have a grievous torment, a painful doom.” [Quran 3:77]

  3. 3 Koranist April 29, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Shariah law is not a koranic term but was invented by Imam Malik and Al Shafi. Earlier Muslims never understood it. It relies on this mysterious revelation that neither Muhammad nor any of the 4 caliphs played a part in and is noweher mentioned in the koran. This revelation is refered to as the “Sunnah”. This revelation popped out out of nowhere so much so that Al Shafi had to tell people how this new revelation was indeed there even though few if any heard about it.

    This revelation only acknowledges Muhammad and no other prophet or messenger. This revelation believes that God’s law is synonymous with Muhammad’s biography and no one elses. It believes that God’s law adapts and changes to muhammad’s needs and experiences and circumstances. This revealtion changes from Mecca to Medina and from early times of Muhammad’s prophecy to later times. It relies on the “naskh and mansoukh”. Today their followers refer to themselves as “Ahlul Sunnah”.

    They were supported by the corrupt Abbasid dynasty and later this revelation was adopted by various sects in Islam like Shiasm and Zaidism and other political movements that were involved in the battle for power after Muhammad’s death. Through this revelation a new term called Shariah or Islamic law came into being relying on the idolization of a new god called Muhammad. By tracing hislife they can formulate a divine law constructed around Muhammad’s life and no one else. This revelation throws away all the prophets and previous scriptures as having been “abrogated”. Here in this extract Al Shafi introduces the muslim generation almost 170 years after Muhammad to this mysterious revelation that up until then nobody has heard and according to Al Shafi was understood and carried down by a few authorities, some of them were themselves involved in the political battles against the 4 caliphs.

    29. Someone asked me: What is [legal] knowledge and how much should men know of it?

    30. Shafi’i replied: Legal knowledge is of two kinds: one is for the general public, and no sober and mature person should be ignorant of it.

    31. He asked: For example?

    32. [Shafi’i] replied: For example, that the daily prayers are five, that men owe it to God to fast the month of Ramadan, to make the pilgrimage to the [Sacred] House whenever they are able, and to [pay] the legal alms in their estate; that He [God] has prohibited usury, adultery, homicide, theft, [the drinking of] wine, and [everything] of that sort which He has obligated men to comprehend, to perform, to pay in their property, and to abstain from [because] He has forbidden it to them.

    This kind of knowledge may be found textually in the Book of God, or may be found generally among the people of Islam. The public relates it from the preceding public and ascribes it to the Apostle of God, nobody ever questioning its ascription or its binding force upon them. It is the kind of knowledge which admits of error neither in its narrative nor in its interpretation; it is not permissible to question it.

    33. He asked: What is the second kind?

    34. Shafi’i replied: It consists of the detailed duties and rules obligatory on men, concerning which there exists neither a text in the Book of God, nor regarding most of them, a sunna. Whenever a sunna exists [in this case], it is of the kind related by few authorities, not by the public, and is subject to different interpretations arrived at by analogy.

    35. He asked: Is [legal knowledge on this kind as obligatory as the other, or is it not obligatory so that he who acquires such knowledge performs a supererogatory act, and he who neglects it falls not into error? Or, is there a third kind, derived from a narrative (khabar) or analogy?

    36. [Shafi’i] replied: There is a third kind [of knowledge].

    37. He asked: Will you explain it, give its source, and state what [portion] of it is obligatory, and on whom it is binding and on whom it is not binding?

    38. [Shafi’i] replied: The public is incapable of knowing this kind of knowledge, nor can all specialists obtain it. But those who do obtain it should not all neglect it. If some can obtain it, the others are relieved of the duty [of obtaining it]; but those who do obtain it will be rewarded.

    Here in Al Shafi’srisala, he inroduces the Muslims to this missing mysterious revelation that was never compiled by the prophet nor his companions and was never mentioned in the Koran. The person he was communicationg with did not even know what this revealtion is and did not even know what to do with it. This concept of dividing the revelation to 2 revelation is what Bani israel did with their talmud which also was compiled much later after Moses and was never written down but orally passed down by a few group of people which is somehow there to explain the Torah. The Sunnis today will tell you the Sunnah is to explain the Koran. Yet the Koran never explained to us what this Sunnah is.

    Real islam is only in the Koran, that is what the propeht and his companions left behind. That is the revelation!

    25.33. And no question do they bring to thee but We reveal to thee the truth and the best explanation (thereof).

    17.89. And We have explained to man, in this Qur’an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse except with ingratitude!

    39.27. We have put forth for men, in this Qur’an every kind of Parable, in order that they may receive admonition

    16.89. One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims

    Koran is fully detailed, complete and an exposition of all things.

    6.38. There is not an animal on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but are communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.


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