Friday, 17 July 2015

Ramadan Flim-Flam

Well, it's "Fitr Friday", so what else should we expect but yet another laughable article about Islam from the BBC?

Today's piece, by the Beeb's religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt, is titled "Ramadan offers chance to oppose extremism". Curiously, though, we are first serenaded with a load of gumph about charitable giving, and don't actually see anything about opposing extremism until paragraph 9, when we are told that "Some Islamic clerics around the world have used Ramadan as a chance to reflect publicly on how to reform the religious discourse within Islam to keep up with the challenges of 21st Century life, and to oppose extremism."

Before we get on to the examples Wyatt cites, it is worth noting that NOWHERE in her piece does she discuss the counterpoint to this - that "some Islamic clerics" use Ramadan not to "oppose extremism", but to do exactly the opposite. Incendiary calls by clerics to intensify the jihad during the month of Ramadan are not unknown, and the rate of jihad terrorism tends to spike during the period, as devout Muslims seek to prove just how devoted they are to Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Last year's Ramadan Bombathon scorecard is at the top of this post. I'll be posting this year's as soon as it becomes available from The Religion of Peace.

Anyway, the article goes on to cite a couple of examples of moderate Muslim reformers. The first is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the President of Egypt, who Wyatt says "called for a revolution in Islam, saying that outdated interpretations had made the Muslim world a source of destruction."

In fact, as I documented here, Sisi's words were hollow and unsupported by concrete action, as the persecution of Christians and atheists in Egypt continues apace, and "blasphemers" are still arrested and imprisoned.

She also cites American Muslim professor Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, who she says has "urged a return to the core tenet of mercy in Islam, describing the religion as a house that had been neglected and was in need of renovation."

Hamza is quoted thusly: "The water taps aren't working, the plumbing's not working. The house is in disarray...You don't destroy it, you don't set it aside. You renovate it." He said Muslims should not oppose even strong reforms, nor feel that everything needed to be changed: "Because of the urgency of the situation, some people are waking up... and thinking we better do something," he said.

Nothing here, however, about what Hamza would actually do to bring about this much-needed reform, how he would go about it, what it would look like, what it would achieve, or whether it has any support in the Muslim world. Just empty flim-flam.

But as far as relevant flim-flam goes, that's it. After that, the piece descends into irrelevant nonsense about Muslims who blame the Western media for making Islam look bad, and think we should all just be more tolerant of them, and that will make everything better.

So after that promising headline about "opposing extremism", the article itself actually contains nothing whatsoever about opposing extremism.

Just flim-flam.

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