All [Muslims], without exception, know by heart these words: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and Muhammad is his messenger.”
But today there is a contest within Islam for the ownership of that credo and all it entails: Muhammad and his prophethood, his family, his book, and his moral code of practice.
In the early days of Islam, when Muhammad was going from door to door canvassing his idea of one God, he used the tool of persuasion through preaching to convert the Arab polytheists. This was when he was in Mecca. Those Muslims of today who love tolerance, charity, and an acceptance of the other use as their moral reference the Muhammad of this period. I call them the “Mecca Muslims”.
However, after ten years of trying this kind of persuasion, Muhammad and his small band of believers had won over no more than 200 believers. So they moved to Medina, where unbelievers were still invited to submit to the one God, Allah — but if they now refused, they were harassed, threatened, and murdered. A big spectacle was made of these brutal tactics. Muslims of today who kill, terrorise and threaten while screaming “Allahu Akbar” are replaying that script from Medina. These are the “Medina Muslims”.
The Mecca Muslims are repelled by the wanton violence of the Medina Muslims. However, they shrink away from debating them, leaving the arena of winning hearts and minds to the radicals. As a consequence, Mecca Muslims who can’t handle the dissonance either leave Islam, as I did, or, much more commonly, tacitly accept the dominance of the Medina Muslims.
There is, however, a third group of Muslim dissenters: the “modifying Muslims”, who know it is hopeless just to keep declaring that Islam is a “religion of peace”, in defiance of successive bouts of Islamist violence. Most of these Muslim dissidents are reforming believers — among them clerics who have come to realise that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of violence, intolerance and backwardness. …
Islamic reform is a minefield, as every Muslim who has ever hinted at the desirability of adapting scripture knows. Yet after decades of the most barbaric violence committed in the name of their faith, some Muslims have had enough. They do not want to leave their faith as I did. They want to haul it into the modern world. …
The Western response:
With discussion no longer taboo, European governments and societies now have to make their minds up about the category of Muslim leaders they wish to support. And so far, they are making the wrong choice. …
For far too long the British government has consulted and even partnered with duplicitous clergymen like Mr Asim. They represent the non-violent but no less sinister arm of the Medina Muslims, the proponents of dawa — radicalisation that stops short of explicit calls for jihad, but points in that direction. Time and again, in every row over free speech, these people get exposed for who they are. And yet politicians continue to be duped. It took the British government until the weekend to dismiss Asim from his official roles.
The Medina Muslims — the fundamentalists who use violence — have always eventually snuffed out attempts to reform Islam, thus keeping it close to its seventh century Arabian roots. And they’re on a not-so-secret mission to impose it on the rest of us.
Funny how the narrative people never discuss or acknowledge this, instead always supporting the Muslims in the West for their votes. Such long-term foolishness.