Islam, Islam, Islam and again Islam. Do you want to make money? Do you want to attract attention? Do you want to start your political career? Do you want to candidate yourself as the future Archbishop of Canterbury? Here’s the solution: Say something controversial about Islam and Muslims. Yet, remember, you are up against incredible competition: Satanic Verses, Danish Cartoons, apologetic Popes and the Bush and Blair supporters.
Well, within this kind-of ‘mine is bigger than yours’ game (have you noticed that all of these controversies were started by men?) I am pleased to introduce the winner of the day: Michael Nazir-Ali, a Church of England Bishop, complete with cross and dog-collar. He sits in the British House of Lords, unelected, representing the voice of the Church in the heart of the supposed secular UK. Today, attempting to impress the ‘mine is bigger than yours’ group, he employed (just to remain within the Freudian imagery) psychoanalytic and psychological analysis to the Muslim Mind. He told the Sunday Times that Muslims are hypocritical by default because they have a ‘dual psychology’ in which they seek ‘victimhood and domination”. I paste here some of the other comments:
Mr Nazir-Ali argued it would never be possible to satisfy all of the demands made by Muslims because “their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims… and always wrong when Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists”.
He compared Bosnia and Kosovo, where he said Muslims were oppressed, with the powerful position of the Taleban in Afghanistan, who he said had been the oppressors.
He added: “Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made.”
That Mr Nazir-Ali was not an accomplished historian of Islam was quite evident from his books on the topic (see for instance his Islam: A Christian Perspective ), yet his statement shows that he has spent too much time in trying to convince others that he could win the game. Read his analytic comparison: the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia and the dictatorship and brutal regime of the Taliban. Leave aside anthropological observations about how much the brutal Taliban’s regime should be blamed on Islamic interpretations of the Shari’a or on the Pashtun’s tribal traditions, but Muslims in Bosnia were genocided by non-Muslim Serbs, while the Muslims’ Taliban were oppressing Muslims. So, we are comparing apples with pens. During my research, I have never found support for the Taliban and their regime. Sometimes, however, I found hope that the Taliban would change and start a real Islamic state. Indeed, the majority of Muslims were very critical of the Taliban; then the War on Terror arrived and things, of course, changed. Maybe the majority of Muslims would like that Muslim internal matters were dealt with by Muslims rather than Western fake-democrats ready to kill millions of them for just a ballot-paper.
In the article Mr Nazir-Ali also has observed:
Rigorous checks should be imposed to ensure that arriving clerics were committed to the British way of life.“Characteristic British values have developed from the Christian faith and its vision of personal and common good,” said the bishop in an interview with The Sunday Times.“After they were clarified by the enlightenment they became the bedrock of our modern political life. These values need to be recovered to help us to inculcate the virtues of generosity, loyalty, moderation and love.”
Reading his books and comments, it is evident that Mr Nazir-Ali himself needs a lot of help (and I am sure he will receive it in due time from his Archbishop) to recover those virtues of generosity, loyalty, moderation and love which can help him to be that follower of Christ he hoped to be. Yet I think that if religious checks must be, they should be extended to preachers of all faiths and cults. Mr Nazir-Ali’s anti-homosexual attitudes surely would prevent him from sharing those values which, clarified by the enlightenment, became the ‘bedrock of our modern political life’. Since Mr Nazir-Ali supports the British life-style, purified by the Western Enlightenment, and since Mr Nazir-Ali sits in the House of Lords and receives a salary for his secular service, I cannot other than expect that he will vote in favour of the enlightened British life-style law allowing gay couples to adopt. If he does not support the main bedrock of our modern political life (i.e. secularism), I expect that he will resign his seat at the Lords and renounce his current status and my tax-money. Only then, following his article, will I be able to evaluate whether or not the endless conversions within various Christian churches have purified Mr Nazir-Ali from the ancestral ‘Muslim hypocrisy’ of his grand-father.