Mohammed Shafiq is the Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, which claims to be dedicated to combating “extremism.” In this interview with Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan after the Manchester jihad massacre, he does his best to equate jihad terrorist killers with the forces who oppose them (which he smears as “far right”), dissembles about Islamic teaching, and blames the Manchester attack on the British government’s foreign policy.
“We’re not going to let the terrorists succeed, and we’re not going to let the far-right, also, come to our city and divide us.”
Note the moral equivalence: there are the terrorists on one side, the “far-right” on the other, both seeking to divide people, and here is good old Mohammed Shafiq smack in the middle, the voice of sanity, the voice of reason, the voice of peace, the voice of unity. Shafiq doesn’t mention one all-important fact, and Murnaghan doesn’t challenge him on it: the “far-right” in Britain hasn’t killed anyone, isn’t plotting to do so, and isn’t condoning any violence. The death toll from Islamic jihad terrorism is 22 in Manchester, plus other violent attacks and plots in Britain, as well as 30,000 murderous jihad attacks around the world since 9/11. So Shafiq’s equivalence between the two is ridiculous. What is he trying to do? He is trying to defame and discredit those who are calling attention to the reality of jihad activity in Britain, and its motivating ideology. If he succeeds, jihad activity will go on in Britain while everyone is too afraid of being labeled “far-right” or “Islamophobic” to raise their voices in protest. And that is exactly what is happening now.
“No faith in this world encourages the brutal massacre of children as we saw Monday night. No faith! And if that was what my faith was teaching, I wouldn’t want to be in it, either.”
In reality, a hadith depicts Muhammad reacting with savage indifference to the killing of children by the Muslims: “It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.” (Sahih Muslim 4321)
These children were collateral damage of the raid, just as they today might be collateral damage of a jihad bombing such as the one we saw in Manchester Monday night— and Muhammad allows for that.
“My faith teaches compassion, and they’ve distorted our faith, we’ve gotta take them on. But more importantly, as a community, we’ve still not done enough. When we’ve got young people who are so disconnected from our society that the moment we talk about what’s happening in Libya, in Syria, in regards to our foreign policy, we get accused of being apologists for terrorism. Let’s have an honest and open debate about these issues, and above all, let’s not let people divide us.”
Shafiq says: “We’ve gotta take them on, but more importantly” — and shifts into a critique of British foreign policy. The subtext here is that the jihad attack was the fault of British actions in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. If only the U.K. would adopt a foreign policy that was to the liking of the global umma, then there wouldn’t be jihad attacks such as the one in Manchester. If the British government stops fighting against jihadis, then the jihadis will stop fighting them. This view sounds reasonable and has many advocates inside Britain, but it ignores the fact that the jihad imperative to “fight until religion is all for Allah” (Qur’an 8:39) remains even against compliant infidels. It also ignores the fact that Britain only got involved in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq because of jihad attacks that predated those interventions and thus cannot reasonably be blamed on them.
Murnaghan then asks Shafiq if Muslims feel oppressed in some way, and so get the idea that they have to fight back, even in extreme form? Shafiq agrees, and continues to blame jihad terror upon British foreign policy:
“Yeah, so you look at what happened in Libya, we went in, we bombed Libya, and then we left, and ISIS was on the rise in Libya. The same in Afghanistan, the same in Iraq. So I’m arguing that because of our military adventures in these countries, we have allowed the terrorist narrative to take hold, we’ve allowed people to be brainwashed, and then we have what we saw here on Monday. There’s no justification –“
When Murnaghan asks Shafiq what he says to Muslims who want to go to Syria to join the jihad, Shafiq ends up blaming Sky News itself:
“Well, first of all, I think we’ve gotta take on the narrative. So they’ve got in their mindset this ideology which says you can use violence to make political points, and Islam sanctions that. And we’ve gotta use the edicts that we’ve seen from scholars like Tahir ul-Qadri or Sheikh Hamza Yusef, American, they’ve produced real strong evidence from the Qur’an and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, why terrorism is wrong. And that’s what we’ve got to promote, do that, and grass roots, and actually give young people a voice and give them a platform. Cause Dermot, no disrespect to you and Sky News, on these panels, how often do we actually give young people a chance to speak up, and talk about their issues?”
“Edicts that we’ve seen from scholars like Tahir ul-Qadri or Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, American, they’ve produced real strong evidence from the Qur’an and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, why terrorism is wrong.” Murnaghan doesn’t ask him at that point to explain what he means by “terrorism,” and that’s a shame, since all too often in such contexts sly Muslim spokesmen are referring to the supposedly “terrorist” actions of the U.K., the U.S., and Israel, and not to the actions of Islamic jihadists.
Murnaghan should have asked him to clarify that point especially since the reformers Shafiq mentions are anything but. Tahir ul-Qadri issued a massive fatwa against terrorism that is really just a gigantic exercise in deception: it never even mentions, much less explains away, the Qur’an passages that jihadis use to justify violence and terrorism. Moreover, Tahir ul-Qadri himself is the framer of Pakistan’s blasphemy law that has been used to persecute countless Christians and other non-Muslims. Some reformer! Hamza Yusuf is no better: he ridicules the idea of Islamic moderation and said that the victims of the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre “knew what they were doing” — i.e., they had it coming once they blasphemed Muhammad.
That Shafiq is also taken for a moderate and given such a platform on Sky News and elsewhere is evidence of confused and complacent, if not complicit, the media elites in the U.K. and all over the West really are.
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