Does Islam Need A Reformation?
Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi
File Size: 79.86MB
Welcome to London where we have a packed house here for does Islam need reformation this evening's debate? Thanks very much to AI era for continuing this important series which allows avenues of discussion to be shared with a wide audience.
Tonight we'll be talking about does Islam need reformation? Never have so many Muslims lived in lands that are not Islamic? How is that going to look? What is that going to mean? How is it going to work? Our new fatwas new laws, new understandings needed within our community in order to make this work and what about the people of the lands where Muslims are now living? How is this interaction going to go forward?
Dinesh, meanwhile, claims a caliphate. Is this something that all Muslims should accept and do accept? If not, what does that schism mean? All of these are areas we'll be looking at tonight, and more. I'd like to take a moment now to introduce this evening's panelists beginning over on my left with Tom Holland. Tom Holland is a historian of antiquity and the early Middle Ages. He's author of Rubicon, Persian fire and Millennium and the translator for Penguin Classics of Herodotus histories and about to do a penguin classic on one of the first ever English royal right. There we go. England. Very exciting. We look forward to that his most recent book dynasty, the rise and fall of
the house of Caesar was published last September in 2015. His previous book in the shadow of the sword covered Late Antiquity and the emergence of Islam. Meanwhile, Islam The Untold Story, was his award winning documentary questioning received Muslim traditions about the life of Prophet Muhammad. Please welcome Tom Holland.
To my right, welcome Zahra. Huda Faris Azhar is a speaker and researcher at the Muslim debate initiative. Zahra Faris is a graduate of Arabic and Islamic studies from so as the School of Oriental and African Studies. She has delivered lectures at a number of universities around the world including King's College London, and University College London. She has publicly debated Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, and Zara speaks on a plethora of topics including women in Islam, Justice for women and men, reformation and revival Muslims in the West and more.
She most recently sat on the motion this House believes Sharia law is fairer than English law. Please welcome Zahra Faris.
To my left again, Theo Hobson is a journalist and theologian Thea Hobson is an Anglican theologian. He was educated at St. Paul's School in London. He read English literature at the University of York, then theology at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of whose whole the hoh has written on Protestant thought, especially its relationship with secular liberalism, and currently writes a blog on the spectator. Welcome please Theo Hobson?
To my right Abdullah andalusi debater thinker and co founder of the Muslim debate initiative. Abdullah andalusi is an international speaker, thinker and Muslim activist. His work involves explaining and demonstrating by rational argument, the intellectual proofs for the Islamic belief system and promoting the Islamic way of life and solutions for contemporary problems. Abdullah has also spoken at numerous universities colleges, and regularly appears on various TV channels including BBC and Al Jazeera. In 2009, Abdullah co founded the public discussion forum and Muslim debate initiative. Please welcome Abdullah
next up de la mirada.
suffered choudry he is a Philly theologian and academic safarik choudry completed his undergraduate studies in philosophy in 2002, focusing on medieval philosophical theology at King's College London, before embarking on further studies in Arabic and traditional Islamic Sciences at alasa University in Cairo, Egypt. He returned to London to complete his master's degree in Islamic studies with distinction. safarik has taught philosophy and Islamic Studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is an independent writer and teacher and critical thinking, history and religious studies. Please welcome Suffolk.
Finally, on my left Dr. Taj, hoggy is a Muslim educator from the Muslim educational center of Oxford. Dr. Taj is an Oxford trained historian and theologian who is a specialist in Islam, the Middle East and Africa. Apart from his scholarly expertise in Quranic Oh, I don't know this words, Herman that hermeneutics How do you say that? hermeneutics Okay, I shouldn't have revealed my ignorance there. Islamic theology, Middle East history and African politics, Dr. hoggy has brought his liberal views to the place of his birth and established South Africa's first inclusive House of Muslim worship. And that is our panel this evening.
Now, before we get started, I want to introduce some general rules for all of my speakers, and you as an audience, this is going to be a well mannered, but interesting and possibly exciting debate. There is no need for bad language, and it won't be accepted. I am the chair here this evening. And I will bring out my inner Miss trunchbull. If I have to. Those who read children's literature know what I mean? It'd be locked in the closet. So let's have some good behavior, some enthusiastic responses. And if anybody does fall into any form of hate speech, or threatening manner or any form of unpleasantness, we have external security, and you will be asked to leave that won't apply to my
wonderful panel and will be delightful. However, please do observe some timings. If I feel you've gone off topic, I will reserve the right to rein everybody in, in order that you will get a fair share and that the audience benefits. If I have to warn you twice. If you if I feel you're not listening to me, then I will cut into your discourse and may be not be keen to come back to you. And again, you'll miss out. So without further ado, tonight is going to be done in a question time manner. So we will begin with a question from our audience. machmood Khan, Muhammad Khan.
Hello, good evening. My question is for sufferer. choudry is the whole debate around Islam and reformation really about theology? Was it more to do with politics? Thank you.
Marla, and he also
want to thank my co panelists, audience. Thank you. Good evening, sir. Mr. alaikum, warahmatullahi wabarakatuh?
Well, I guess some people do look at the the Reformation debate,
primarily through theology. So there are some aspects of Islamic theology that are seen as problematic. Just to give you a couple. The idea of martyrdom, for example, that came up Sam Harris, has been sort of bashing that idea around quite a bit that you know, this idea of dying for a higher plane or something like that, or a higher ideal.
That's dangerous. Another sort of theological idea that's come under attack, and I'm sure other theological precepts will be brought out in the discussion and debate tonight. What Another one is the fact that the Quran
the text of the Quran is taken as the you know, the absolute literal Word of God was watch. Whereas that's dangerous, because that locks us into absolutes that makes it an immovable text and things like that. So for some people, yeah, I mean, the these ideas if there should be reformed,
excuse me, these ideas should be reformed. However, I think there is a strong case for the driver for the clamor for reform, reforming Islam, being political. So some reasons could be political reasons. Could be the fact that
In Europe, for example, there is a strong visibility of Islam there's a growth of Islam in the public space. So you've got
Islamic services, Islamic products, you know, you've got this idea of creeping Sharia that the
media the tabloids like to use, you know, you've got Islamic symbols. So the headscarf the veil in some cases, minarets. So what we're starting to see, you know, we're starting to see more and more an encroachment of Islam into the public space. So that could be a possible reason. Because that's an indicator, that's a marker that really, secularism isn't something Muslims have wholeheartedly embraced, because the pre modern understanding of Islam anyway, is that Islam is totalizing. In other words, Islam regulates every aspect of life. So, that could be one possible reason, another possible reason could be
the demographic explosion, you know, Muslim growth rate is very, very, very high. And so, what was once a small problematic minority is now going to become a large problematic minority, if I can see that, if I can put it like that. So the Muslim percentage is growing, the failure of integration policy or assimilation models. So in Europe, there is a,
there is clear that governments are struggling to co OPT Muslims into adopting secular values. Muslims have been sort of putting it at arm's length have not embraced it, they've not been convinced of embracing a secular ideal. So just just leaders just
So just to summarize, some people look at it as theology, but primarily, I think, is more political. The driver for reforming Islam has been political, some of the reasons I mentioned. Tom, can I bring you in here? Some of what we were hearing there from suffering, an encroachment of Islam on public space threatens secularism of Europe? Does that mean Islam has to change or it has to change? Is there a happy medium? Well, I think lurking in the question is the implicit sense of actually, European Islam has already changed, because another way of phrasing that division between theology and politics would be to say, church and state. Now I understand why you didn't say church or state
because obviously, the concept is a Christian one.
But I think the fact that you see this division now as existing, is interesting for the way in which it suggests that Christian concepts are starting to seep into the intellectual fabric of European Islam. Now, that division of church and state within Christendom, which is a long way back, I mean, it has its origins ultimately, in the the the response of Jesus to the question when he got given the coinage should we pay tribute to Caesar, render unto Caesar? what is Caesar's render unto God, what is God's. And that kind of enshrined a notion that the political and the spiritual should be distinct, which is fed into modern day secularism, if you like. secularism is a Christian invention
that has been secularized. And I think the implication of your question is that the same process is now starting to happen to Islam, that Muslims are starting in Europe certainly are starting to internalize this notion that there is indeed a division between the sacral and the secular.
And the fact that you you frame it in that way, I think sort of serves to answer your question. I think that
I think that we can see that, actually, can you can you just what, what specifically was the question that the actual phrasing,
in which case, it's about both.
And we have two different categories there. And that is extremely interesting.
internalizing this division between mosque and state, if you want to put it in that way, what would you see the markers as being Muslims, internalizing it, or conceptualizing in that way?
I actually want to bring Abdullah on this and we'll come back to you in a second. I'm told that this idea of church and state seeping into the Muslim community here in Europe, is that something you recognize?
I think the problem in the West is it demands all its minorities to assimilate into the state ideology, and it has always done so for other minorities, Jews and Catholics prior to that, and we're just the latest minority of which we have a belief that
Which has something to say about the political realm or essence, man's affairs with life's affairs, we believe that your purpose in life has a connection to life's affairs. pretty radical idea. And but the actual that was actually the the idea of every civilization up until the western civilization realized they had a problem with trying to reconcile issues with their religion. What I would disagree with Tom Holland was maybe the point of text is that when Jesus was asked, according to new testament to anyway,
should we pay taxes to Rome? And Jesus says, Why are you trying to trap me? Because he knows that anyway, he answers and generally the, the Jews of the time didn't like paying taxes to Rome, Roman was occupying Judea. And so Jesus had a very clever answer, which is, you know, give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give unto God what belongs to God, but what belongs to God? What the heavens in the earth? All right. That was Jesus's argument. And people were amazed at the argument and they couldn't vote him. He could have just said, Yeah, pay taxes. Why didn't you say that? What I'm just being more direct than if that's what he meant. Right? But what we find is, later on, a
individual called St. Paul, who I would say is the first reformist of Christianity did away with the Mosaic law, the mosaic called the law of Moses was a complete way of life. It was a political, it gave political laws that gave us a system of ruling, and St. Paul did away with that made Christianity more acceptable to Gentiles, to Greeks to Romans, when in Rome do as the Romans This is probably St. Paul's philosophy. And that created the problem within Christianity, because St. Paul never envisioned Christians getting power, they believe that Jesus was going to come in their lifetime. So who needs to care about power? when Jesus comes, he will be the one in power. And he
will say everything, right. But Jesus didn't turn up in their lifetime. And a couple of 100 years later, Christians ended up in power, and they didn't know what to do when they go into power. And that kind of led to the kind of problems and also the rise of the the Roman Catholic Church, and so on, so forth. Anyway, before I go off the topic, what I will just say is that is the question isn't really do Muslims have to change Islam? Or should we reform Islam? To fit into the West? The real question, which is asked by scholar Tim Winton, and Matthew was, can Western liberalism tolerate Islam? And I think that's a better question to ask. That's a great one that we'll be coming back to
in a second.
The I'm going to let you have a question asked, and then you can bring in some of your thoughts on that. Because this question is for you,
then, go ahead.
Yeah, I think I think we're getting to some pretty heavy stuff here, which is my sort of my sub area, which is, which is great.
Yeah, I agree that Christianity begins with this separation of church and state, basically, whether you say it's through Jesus, or I agree, it's largely through Paul, actually,
where he says that the Christian community accepts living within a non Christian political order, which is the Roman Empire, and then not even planning to take over the Roman Empire and christianize it, at least in the New Testament period.
They're assuming that their religion is non political. And that's a complete difference, as you will know, from the origins of Islam, were the two things come together where the Prophet is, in a sense, launching a new political order. One historian says he's his own Constantine, who's the Roman Emperor, later on. So in a sense, it's true that when Christianity does start having power, it doesn't know what to do with it, although it does have a few 100 years to sort of get used to the idea as long as it doesn't suddenly panic and get help with having power now, but that's quite a that's quite a good way of setting up the difference is that
Christianity is is is not a religion, which assumes that religion and politics are a unity. And you can call that by different reasons later on. It's called Christendom, or a slightly contentious term theocracy, the unity of religion and politics. Christianity is uniquely skeptical about that. And that's it's big difference.
from Islam, I think I just want to bring in here the the machinations of the Catholic Church, and the politics of the bishop. In practice, of course, it Christianity does become an empire and have power. So in a sense, it does resemble
Islam or any other form of empire or whatever, where it's a Christian power, and it was the most powerful in the world.
But the difference is that when it when you look at its founding texts, there isn't a basis for that unity of religion and politics. That's the big difference, although, in practice, it does become a political power. Can I just go ahead? I mean, I think it's distinctively Western. Actually, it's a Latin notion and this this idea that that church and states should be separate. Actually, you don't get it, for instance, in Byzantium to nearly the same degree, it really gets enshrined in European history in the 11th century, with a remarkable poet called Gregory the seventh, who absorbs within the Catholic Church, the right the sacral. Right, the Emperor's and kings within Christendom had
traditionally traditionally laid claim to, and by doing that, he effectively de sacralized, the realm of the king, the realm of what would become known as the secular. And so the corollary of that, ultimately, was that by absorbing the sacral into itself, the Catholic Church created a space, which people both within and outside the church were able to accept, existed beyond the sacral level. And it's that but it will, it's that that ultimately feeds into European Western modernity, because you have this concept of church and state as being separate entities, but the irony of it is the godfather of that separation is actually a pope. Okay, let's, let's have the next question,
which I think should link quite nicely on to that. David Knowles in the audience David Knowles.
Welcome and your question is for as for Tom Holland, and I was to ask when we think of the word reformation, another idea comes to mind that of Puritanism. To what extent do you think the current strain of militant Islam stands in the same puritanical ad fontas tradition as, say, the English Puritans who canceled Christmas?
You know, how can we let's just begin to touch on this word reformation. Okay. Well, let me bring everything okay. I'll try and keep it brief. Although this is a massive topic, obviously. I think obviously, there is a risk that people from Christian backgrounds run when they talk about other religions, and particularly Islam, that they assume that Christianity is normative, and that religions sort of follow a lifecycle like a butterfly. And you think, you know, for God's sake, it's time for a reformation. Now, that clearly is not the case. Islam like Christianity evolves according to its its own rhythms, its own DNA. Now, having said that,
I do think that there are points of resemblance between the Protestant Reformation and what is happening within Islam. And there are several reasons why I think it's legitimate to say that. The first is that both Christianity and Islam are founded on moments that exist within history. And so therefore,
both within Christianity and within Islam, the notion that the lifetime of Jesus, the lifetime of Mohammed has a particular sacral potency, it is particularly instructive for those who follow
is enshrined and so a tendency to look back to the example of the apostles if you're Christian to the Salah, if you are Muslim, is always been a part of it, and has obtained and increased saliency. Obviously, with Salafism, the very The very name suggests that now I think that there is a particular parallel between what happened in the 16th century with Christianity and what is happening now in the form of the print of in the form of the internet. Because what happened in the 16th century was that the printing press made available.
Scripture translated into vernacular languages that hitherto had not been as readily accessible. And it enabled tinkerers and tailors, to the horror of people like Thomas Moore, to read these texts, and to arrive at conclusions themselves that were conditioned their own conscience read of their own conscience, not mediated by the traditions of the church. I think that the internet is playing a very similar role in the development of Islam. Because what is happening is that anyone can now go online and find Quranic scripture had its life, Mohammed, whatever.
Okay, to move into a new area slightly, the internet is the printing press of the Islamic reformation. A very good we'll come we'll come back to that. I just want to bring in Dr. Taj, because there was a word there that sprang out from David's question Puritanism. And Tom was summarized to summarize are we will be romanticizing the past and its heroes somehow and even the the the passing of Puritanism Is that something that is a current trend
Would you like to address that word Puritanism? Clearly, I think many people think that the utopian society of seventh century does it Arabia is the one for all times. That was a peculiar moment in history. Islam is not wedded to an culture, or to a region. To me, Islam is universal, and timeless, particularly the Quran. And so for us to talk about the reformation, in terms of what happened in Western Europe, that trajectory is not quite what Islam has undergone. I think for me, when I was invited to come to this gathering, the idea wasn't that Islam needed reformation. For me, it was always does Islam have Islamic needs a restoration, meaning that we need to go back to the original
to the pristine to the, to the text of Islam, unfortunately, today we have a situation in, in the world and especially in Europe, you know, with
the idea that
we are Muslim, without any rationality, and I think we are essentially ritualistic Muslim, we are not really thinking Muslim, we think that emblems, superficial symbols, and I may offend some people here, things like you know, the long beard, things of hair covering facial masking, things of that nature, as as Islam, I would say with the utmost respect to my brothers and sisters, who do that, that that's not Islam, that's just a cultural manifestation. We need to get back not to the puritanical Islam, but to Islam of the Quran. Now, what what has happened in 1400 years? And that's part of the reason why the earlier question talked about, should we is this thing a theological
question or political question? Now, we respectfully disagree with my colleague at the far end, I think it's essentially theological. But what what has happened in 1400 years, is that, you know, Islam has actually moved further and further from the original ethos. Now, as a Muslim, or any other Muslim would agree that there's only one divine text, there is no other divine text with all the respect I can muster is only the good only the divine text, everything else. And I call it the toxic trio, or the terrible triplets.
The terrible triples are the Hadith, number one. Number two, the Sharia. Number three, the fact was, now if you look at all those three, these are essentially masculine device interpretations, commentary, and opinions. You can never have the force or the legitimacy of law. And so we have a situation today, in Islam, we no longer follow the text. But we follow these secondary, supplementary and sillery
literature that often contradicts the divine text.
I love that point. And I think we're gonna explore it more about the Hadeeth in a little while. So I'm just going to stop you there. Thank you. I just want to come to Zahra and take up a point that you raised Zahra, do Muslims in the UK, recognize, in your experience, a need to change themselves or their sacred text in order to live here? If so why?
Okay. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim festival Greetings, Assalamu alaikum. And thank you to the organizers for inviting me into everybody for coming here this evening and taking time out of your evening.
Now, the title does Islam need a reformation? And whether this is a question that is present in the minds of Muslims here in the UK? I think it's not a question that Muslims feel themselves but rather they feel that this is a question that is constantly being asked of them. And one that has been asked for a very long time, in fact, and the question has never really been I would say about whether Islam itself needs an ideological or a theological reformation but rather the question is Islam or secular liberalism? Should Islam simply just adopt a version of secular liberalism? I think that is the question a lot of people are actually dealing with, rather than the mechanics of a
reformation and what the church or the Christian experience was. And one of the most frequented footholds, I would say in this discussion, and perhaps has been touched upon by my co panelists, Dr. Harvey just now is the issue of of women and the liberation of women and these emblematic issues and the apparently male dominated scholarship and I would just point out that I would contest that and many people would contest that Islamic scholarship has been male, dominated.
There are works for example by a scholar called chef Akram nadwi. That documents at least 8000 female scholars who were very active and present during the time that all of these laws and provisions were being formulated. So I think there's something to be said there. But moving on to try to stick to the topic itself. in colonial Egypt, for example, at this project of trying to force a reformation, I would say started with British British colonial officials, specifically citing things like the veil and the treatment of women under Islam as their justification for for colonialism. The Bush administration similarly sighted, wanting to liberate women as their key
interest in the lead up to the war. So this is again, not something new. The thing is, the West began its colonization around the world, particularly the Muslim world. When I say colonization, in this sense, I mean, trying to force this secular liberal ideology, before it itself had even implemented any idea of modern women's rights, which I find is quite ironic. And in the Muslim world, they took away many of the things that Muslims were enjoying, which if you saw Muslims enjoying those rights, Muslim women enjoying those rights, you wouldn't say they were in need of a reformation what sort of what sort of though? Yeah, sure. So for example, and in Egypt, there was a
very common tradition of Muslim women to train and become doctors. Because it's never been considered that women should not study or not be professions or not pursue these sorts of fields. It's never been considered that they should be confined to particular spheres, like the household, which is what you see now. However, when Lord Cromer into Egypt, they basically instituted provisions saying that women need not study to become doctors saying that our women at home make do with male doctors. So you can do the same, which is a huge setback. This is just one example. But there are there are many others.
And I just want to add one more thing to this. And, okay, let's say that they've been trying to pull the Muslims community of Muslims to this secular liberal worldview, what is it that they are trying to liberate Muslim women to? And I just want to very quickly, if I may, just set out a few of the fruits. I wouldn't say a few. Okay, okay. Okay. So for example, shocking domestic violence statistics, rising divorce through reduction of marriage to little more than a piece of paper, the sexual objectification of both men and women for commercial purposes, education gaps, criminal punishment gaps, the ongoing isolation and discrimination between the genders in this country, and
not just this country, but you know, secular liberal countries generally. So I would ask, Is this what is being offered? Is this what we are trying to be reformed to? I would argue that Muslims need to revise what their classical understanding of Islam was, revived the proper practice of Islam as it was practiced, and which flourished for hundreds of years. And that is what needs to be done this question of reformation or pulling the Muslim community towards a secular liberal ideology. The advertisement for it, I'm afraid is not great.
Now, there was actually a gentleman in the audience who had his hand up at the beginning of your, your answer. Would you like to ask to ask a question? You're welcome. Yes, please. Hi, good evening, guys. Thank you very much. This one of the sensors that I get from the debate, is that the sense in which we're using the word reformation? Oh, sorry, sorry. Yeah, one of the sensors that I get from the debate is that the way that reformation has been used as been to use some kind of historical model. So, you know, it's got to be a Christian model. And if we use this kind of historical model, can there be a reformation of Islam, but what I've been wanting to know from the panel is whether or
not reformation could work with new thoughts with new hermeneutical, you know, resources with new approaches. And you know, it's not the case that we have to reform Islam, some kind of historical reformation, but maybe Islam could be reformed using new methods of reformation. And whether or not that's possible. Okay. Very interesting. Thank you. I'm gonna go to one of the two of our panel, at least for this, can we have some kind of agreement on what we mean by reformation? And whose reformation Are we going to follow suffering? Would you like to?
I think it's now we're starting to open up the debate. I mean, look, if you mean by reforming, changing attitudes, ie changing Muslim attitudes, I'm all for that. So for example, many Muslims have become individualistic, so they've dropped or they've discarded a sense of collective obligation which Islamic emphasizes over and above individual priority so that individualism has crept in Muslim attitudes. Another
sort of thought that has crept into the Muslim community is profit before the profit. So in other words, this idea that money and maximizing money over and above Sharia ethics and prophetic sort of directives that has creeped into the Muslim psyche, I would like to see that reformed
third issue is a sort of a hedonistic ethic. So, you know, the tragic sort of grooming case that was just in the media, I think couple of days ago, three individuals, you know, were found guilty of grooming, that kind of behavior is not a product of Islam. Totally antithetical to Islam. That's a product of a hedonistic sexual ethic, that, you know, you maximize your pleasure, as much as you can, that kind of idea like to see reform, if we mean by reforming Muslims, you know, changing these kind of attitudes. The last one, I would say, is this idea of being silent, silent against injustice. So people being bombed, you know, in Syria, you know, even continuing in Palestine, yet
Muslims are told to remain silent, because they're somehow detached from, you know, a sense of global duty to Muslims elsewhere in the world, have to use Professor Cornell's phrase, you know, Muslims are becoming well adjusted to injustice. Now, these kind of ideas, I would love to reform if we mean by reformed reforming attitudes, but that's not I think, what the debate is about the debate is about, there is something inherently
Islam is antithetical to to modernity, Islam, you know, it has to it has to go through that a Jonah, mental that kind of modernization. Now, that is what the claim is about. I want to submit just very, very quickly, Islam doesn't have to conform to modernity only has to be modern.
Yeah, I think that's helpful. I think we're clarifying.
I think that's helpful. I think we're clarifying what the debate what I think the debate is about or what it should be about, and, and what I think is this the debate is, does Islam need a reformation that clarifies its its relationship to Western ideology to secular humanism, if you like to the ideology of the West? That's the real debate, we can evaded if we want. But that's the real debate that we can talk about or not talking about tonight. And I think, yes, it needs to clarify. Whether it believes based there's basic choice of whether it believes in a theocratic model of church of religion and politics together, or whether it believes in freedom and whether it believes in
affirming other points of view as valid. And that means a form of politics, in which people who are not Muslims are not inferior, they are valued, and that's what the West does, and it calls it secularism or secular humanism. Okay. The question is, should Islam go down that route? Should it say yes, there's something good there, that we acknowledge that if we do not go down that route, it's dangerous because the opposite to that route is die ash? What What do you feel? Do you feel that without a reformation we're all going to swing towards direction this country? Is that something that you find inherent in this country? No, because we're not a Muslim country.
Okay, Abdullah, yeah.
Where do I begin with that statement?
All I say is I don't think Islam needs a policy on secular liberalism, any more than we need a policy on communism or any other ideology that has come out of the West.
Why is it that the alternative to secular liberalism is theocracy? There are so many different forms of government, I would say that the Sharia or Caliphate system resembled eight nomocracy, which is rule of law, the law being the absolute sovereign, not a bunch of clerics in control. And I could say that you want to go theocracy what we're going to go to the House of Lords you'll see about 30 or so bishops there who have the ability and right to legislate or have a state about on British legislation. So you want could argue that the Queen being the head of the church as well, that Britain is a theocracy, and you don't seem to have any problem with that in a secular liberalism
systems making the laws?
Okay, well govern the church is also the head of state. All right, that's fine. So what we're seeing is that we let's get our terms correct. I would say that the rise of certain groups in the Middle East certain groups in the Middle East, which have had connections to secular regimes beforehand, like the Baathists, who are now the children of Saddam Hussein and President Sisi who uses factors to kill his opponents. What we see in his in the Middle East is the reformed Islam that was created 100 years ago by colonialism. And they said that the colonialists this made discussions by liberal Chroma who discussed about reforming Islam, and he's and he opined that a reformed Islam is Islam no
more. And they wanted to create a system and a ruling group in the Muslim world who were pragmatists and they would bend any kind of Islamic institution to
rubber stamp any law they want to justify they're very secular nationalist authority. And the entire Muslim world is dominated by pragmatism, not actual legislation from a Islamic source. And that's the problem in the Muslim world that 400 years, we've already had a quote unquote, reformed Islam. And this is this, this, this reformed Islam is in the image of the West, and it has caused so much tragedies, how is it in the image of the West? Okay, well, the idea of secular leaders, for example, that's certainly a Western concept, the idea that the nation above religion or above or above an idea of a spiritual brotherhood, that's very Western, we didn't come from Islam. And the fact that
you should bind religion to pragmatic concerns, the ends justifies the means or a type of utilitarianism. Again, that is a foreign idea. And these were taught to us by our colonial overlords 100 years ago. And if you look at your Chrome, book, modern Egypt, please read it for yourself or McCauley of India, read how they've discussed how they're going to change the minds of the natives, and make it more Western and how to change the way politics is conducted. And low Chroma set himself at the Western nations would never tolerate that to create a government in these countries, they control based on Mohammedan and outdated, Oriental ideals, they said they will never tolerate this.
And so they created a government in their image by their own admission. So this is the issue we have to deal with. Okay, so I will come to you in a second time. So Abdullah is saying that there's been this enforced falsified reformation in several dictatorships across the Middle East. And look how how that's worked out. I think we have a question from the audience here. Yes, please.
And I really would like everybody in the audience to think about what would it mean, what would it look like? What What would you like a reformed Islam to look like in the UK? If you think it needs reformation? And of course, if not, why not? So please, I want some more questions on that. Thank you for that. Theo made a point. And he presented a dichotomy, that if it's not secular liberalism, then it's dice. And this is exactly what dice says. And he has effectively agreed with dice. This is the black and white view, dice presents to the world. If you are not with us, then you are disbelievers, you are secular liberals, or you are simply with the West. This is what we have to
fight. This is what we have to oppose this idea of this bloody dichotomy, which was just presented by Theo dice only came about two to three years ago, we have a civilization called the civilization of Islam. We are tolerance. We had universities, we had libraries, we had Jews, Christians and Muslims coexistence was coexisting for centuries under Sharia. Under the same law, which Theo considers to be the brainchild of dice. This is a point I wanted to present and you can comment on the
simplification of your point diet or not diet? Is that all we have to live by? Um, yeah, I mean, I accept the point that there is a danger of oversimplifying that sort of dichotomy. And that in practice, there are, of course, different forms of Islam and so on.
But I think the
the still the really, the really important question is to what extent Islam accepts that there is something good within the ideal of pluralism and so on that the West has, you will say, well, that's also in traditional Islam. Great, then affirm it in that way. That's fine. But
you know, it's obvious form is the contemporary Western form of human rights and secularism. That's the fullest form of that ideal. And I would say that the
medieval caliphates that had their virtues did not have a full full form of that, you know, there was still lesser rights to people who didn't sign up to Islam. So a full human rights secularism, the question for Islam that I would like us to be debating tonight, rather than evade is to what extent does it a firm that Zahra Yes, and to hopefully tie up the Danish dichotomy, just to point out as far as I'm aware, they were actually former secular Baathists. So again, to cite them as some kind of, you know, opposite end of the spectrum of secularism is is false. And also, generally religion is often invoked for legitimacy by all sorts of people it doesn't mean that they represent
the religion in any way. And they shouldn't be used as an example or a reason for why a particular religion
An entire civilization needs to reform its beliefs. The war on terror was described as a battle against Satan fought by the army of God in 2003 by Bush's Deputy Undersecretary of defense. So, you know, just because someone uses the language of religion doesn't mean that they are representing the religion, or that somehow their religion is now requiring a reformation. And that's I just wanted to make something I don't I don't want us to evade this question that Theo is, which is the point of us being here tonight? What is reformation? What does it need? Do to the people in this room? Who are Muslims need to change in order to be in a secular, Western environment? Tom, I'll come to you next.
Well, I actually think that the, the influence of the West has been
on Islam has been much greater even than Abdullah implied, because
I think that it's had a corrosive effect on the autonomy of Islamic thought, which really until I suppose the early 19th century, had existed without influence from the west, Christianity, Western Christianity, and Islam. Were not greatly interested in each other, and did not greatly come into ideological contact with each other until the 19th century. And then you mentioned the,
the right of Jews and Christians to live under Islamic rule. But of course, as you will know, it was prescribed in the Quran that Jews and Muslims pay for the privilege and that they be subject to discriminatory taxation. And as it evolved over the course of Islamic history, it was agreed that was that Jews and Christians should feel humiliated when they paid the tax. Now, that tax, the jizya, was
removed, licensed out, together with slavery over the course of the 19th and 20th century, not primarily, because this was a movement welling up from within the ideological marrow of Islam, but under the influence of essentially French Revolutionary thoughts. And the very idea that the very phrase, universal human rights implies something that there exists out there something like natural law, it's out there, it's universal. It's there, it justifies the fact that everyone should be treated in the same way. Now, traditionally, the justification for law in the Muslim tradition is that it comes from God.
So essentially, within the league, that not a natural, no.
Because in the West, in the West, the western region was ultimately derived from Greek philosophies. This idea that law exists out there beyond the gods.
An independent law of gods, okay, there was a hand at the back, there was a hand very patient hand at the back. So please, I think it's her sister stand up.
After this, okay.
somebody come to
I think there is an aspect of this question that we should really be talking about as well. And this aspect of should Islam be reformed? Yes, we were talking about liberalism and liberal secularism. But it's the idea of modernity, which I heard earlier on. It's the idea that modernity is the only way forward and it is the most humane and most just way forward.
I mean, when we talk about modernity, we talk about capitalism, and we talk about democracy. But all these things really adjust, do they really equal humanity and equality? We all know the history of capitalism. It's a bloody history. It's a black dirty history of slavery of taking over other people's countries and any of us that have studied how this came about with Oscar. So surely, we should be questioning the premise that modernity is what we should be. I have your question. Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm going to go to thank you for your question. Dr. Touch just to summarize modernization for the sake of it, is it a good thing when you apply it to a theology? Can
we stick to to this, this point, please? No, I think modernization Yes, for sake of is not good. But the point is, you know, we are skirting around the issue. The issue is, you know, a much revival, the Prime Minister recently remain nameless, said the policy of his government government was indication, indication indication. I would say the problem here is theology, theology, theology. You know, we do Muslims do not wish to admit that things have gone bad in our own house. We would love to talk about the stench out there. We ignore the stink here. So for example, we see how the Quran has been totally sidelined in regarding apostasy today, you cannot leave your
Religion and be safe in any Muslim country. In other words, you can join the club of Islam, but you can never leave it. apostasy come from the Hadith come from the Sharia come from the fatwas. Same thing about same Friday prayers. It's compulsory in the Quran. Women been taught, however, from the Hadith that is optional for them. The issue of blasphemy says it's not a claim in the Quran. It's been manufactured by the mullahs and the clergy. And the list goes on and on and on. We need to understand one thing when Islam went to Indonesia 70,000 Islands, an archipelago there in 300 years, it becomes a dominant face. How does it do that not with guns and ammunition and who dies type of
conversion, it becomes the dominant faith and the largest Muslim country today, because it adapted and adjusted to Indonesian culture and society. In other words, the first mosque looked like Hindu temples, the Muslims, married local women and local food, the war local dress, they became integrated into that society and brought along then their identity as Muslims.
In that case, Islam was already reformed itself to fit in with society's being beyond the Arabian Peninsula. It's working. No, it hasn't worked. India, for example, we've come here with our baggage. I mean, you know, for example, the average Muslim here think I'm sure I'm a Pakistani Muslim, I'm a Bangladeshi Saudi whatever, or my ancestral baggage, we need to be British mustard. We need an Islam that British Islam and let me hear me out. I'm not talking about mfr, ma 60 Islam, I'm talking in Islam. I'm talking about Islam that are rooted in and relevant to this society. In other words, my Islam is different from Saudi Islam, or from South African Islam, or from Turkish Islam or whatever
they are Kazakhstan Islam, because Islam that fits this society, the menu, the ambience, the atmosphere, we need to make the slot
that is at home in this society.
Okay, thank you. Well done.
Okay, so I think we're moving onwards now to a section where we're considering Is there such a thing as a British Islam and a European Islam? And I will bring you in Abdullah. But can we take another question? And hopefully, it'll be relevant to yourself? I think a sister at the back on the right. My right. So yes, Blackie job.
fallback. Yes, sister? Did you have a question?
Well, a brother, you know, you can't you can't get your wife to hold your hand up, boy. I mean, how does this look? How does that look? Seriously? No, that wasn't that wasn't what happened. It was it?
is a question for Theo. First of all, everyone else.
The question that you asked on, when will Islam or the British Muslims or the European Muslims accept that there's some good in the liberalism of the secularism in the Western world?
The same question can go back to the Western world, when we the Western world accepted there was good in Islam, because if the Western world democracy was truly free and equal for everyone else, then they would have accepted Islam as it is and ask it to report.
So I take from that you think you think that you're of the standpoint and the belief that Islam is perfect here, as it is, and there's no need for reformation to fit in here that people can live here with Islam as it is? My my personal view is that Islam is perfect is how certain people interpreted and implemented that is not including here or across the world. Right. Thank you.
Yeah, I think, I think that the difficulty is
for, for Muslims to
Yes, as you say, except that there's something good within the secular ethos
in and that's difficult, because there's also I admit, there's also stuff bad in the West, you know, it's not, it's not flawless, and I'm a I'm a Christian, and, you know, it's the West is largely secular. So there's a tension.
It doesn't mean that, you know, I think everything's perfect that the West does, but it means that I accept the necessity for a non Christian order for a secular humanist order, I would call the ideology of the West, secular humanism, but in a way, that's
It's not as negative as that sounds to a lot of us because you can be religious within it, I would argue. And I don't think it's a threat at summit, some of the Muslim voices tonight have assumed very fixed in a very fixed way. That that is a threat. That's a threat to us this ideology of secular humanism, secular liberalism, whatever, that's the enemy, we must we must fight that we must make sure that we talk against that. I'm saying Well, no, rethink that it's not your enemy. It's something that religions can live within the some forms, I admit, where it can be oppressive to all religions, but they're relatively rare. Most forms of Western secular humanism, are friendly enough
towards religion of all sorts. Thank you. I'm going to throw that over to Abdullah, actually, friendly society friendly, secular liberalism, friendly humanism. Is that something you recognize at this time? Well, I think theorists should debate David Cameron, and Theresa May on their muscular liberalism, and the fact that they can't tolerate people who don't believe in or British values, whatever that means, including adopting a whole host of policies, and even wanting new laws to silence dissent. And you want to pick on this on just England, I can go to France, which was another old, one of the first three liberal democracies, and they're not so tolerant to their minorities,
either, very specifically, but it's minorities. And it's not the first time this has happened. But just to really talk about the issue of modernity, what is modernity mean, really just means the status quo. And the status quo is predominantly dominated by, you know, secular liberalism, if you want to talk about what is just more recent, I could argue that democracy is 1000 years older than Islam. So democracy is 2500 years old. So Islam is actually more modern than democracy. So if you want to modernize we should not throw away democracy and obviously adopt adopt Islam is would they agree to that? Or probably not? And, of course, one could argue is the West, even democratic, the
Greeks of Athens wouldn't agree. But that's a different discussion altogether. So there's these issues, but I would also point out what was mentioned about adopting pluralism, multiculturalism? Well, please tell me once once the West actually adopts that, because already that the politicians are saying, multiculturalism has failed. If you just mentioned, Sherry, arbitration courts, everyone goes goes crazy. Okay, I have to bring you in, because you're actually looking outwards, and we are supposed to be looking at does Islam need reformation? You know, that's the question. So we can't Well, I want to, I want to link to the issue of of jizya and and how non Muslims are treated under
Islam. And and because that was issues that we that's why that's widening it out. I'm gonna, I'm gonna bring you back to back to this moment. So we've looked at muscular secular liberalism, perhaps not being as free and friendly as as Theo proposed. What is the answer them? Well, it's the two, the two the two parallels living together. I think, as pointed out there, maybe there's something the West could learn from us. So in for 1300 years, Muslims had a type of multiculturalism, which allowed Jews and Christians to have their own law system. And even in some cases, their own police forces administering, you know, their own semi autonomous areas. That was true multiculturalism, we
didn't say to them, you must adopt, you know, calorific values or ultimate values to otherwise you don't belong here. We didn't say that. To our minorities, and the Jews. It was a form of citizenship, according to Rousseau. everyone pays jizya to the British government. You're all contract citizens. That's what GCM means. So, so we all
have the British government. And that's what the GC is, is. I'm gonna take another question. There's a lady who has been waiting very patiently in row to.
microphone, thank you.
Thank you. This the The question was, does Islam need a reformation and I don't think it's really more addressed to Muslims, it's addressed to people who think Islam needs, needs a reformation. And it suggests to me that they really mean they want to redact bits of the Quran, the bits of the Quran that they don't like. So this question is addressed to the people who think people in the panel would think
Islam needs reformation and I'd like to ask them which verses of the Quran they would like redacted.
So let's let's summarize that Tom, what are the difficult tracks or the difficult understandings, which would you find inappropriate for a modernist secular liberal society? In just just in the Quran or in the Hadith, so
Okay, well, I think I think I think the the, the juicy verse is as good as any
I mean, I I do not recognize this happy multicultural paradise that Abdullah has been painting, it was very explicit that Jews and Christians had to be humiliated in the process of paying this tax. And that understanding brought with it a whole array of restrictions that was imposed on Jews and Christians. In the early Caliphate, these these these restrictions were attributed to Umar, and they passed right the way through into the Ottoman period. And I think that, in
speaking Personally, I prefer an order in which everyone is given the same rights and people are not discriminated against on the basis of their religion. And that seems to me something that Muslims in this country should be able to buy into,
to touch a couple of our problematic verses for the question. The issue of you know, beating your wife. Now, chapter four, verse 34. Now the traditional commentary in translation is yes, Muslim men have the right to beat the woman. But if you analyze that, the minute takes the the commentary, the syntax, the grammar and so forth, it talks about separating, not beating up your wife. Okay, so there's clearly a way we need to, to relook at the Quran. Another verse, of course, is the whole issue of
jihad or the context of jihad. jihad is using Quran some single eye but about 45 times is a huge distinction between Jihad and capital. One is internal struggle, the other is fighting, and yet Muslims tend to conflate the two, as if they're one in the same, they conflate the two because it comes from the Hadith. In the Hadith, we have over 200 Hadees that talks about Jihad meaning fighting and Ganesha belligerency. So yes, we need not to reject the Quran, we need to revisit the original and see the Quran in a
in a holistic, internal coherency instead of cherry picking one Wednesday and another Wednesday and stop and stop trying to fit the Quran into the Hadith. There that way the problem is coming from we tried to fit the Quran or the Hadith, written 300 years or so after the death of Mohammed. And we now have these sort of manmade sayings that masquerades as the authentic Divine Word of the Prophet Mohammed. And there was no video recorded, and there was no
in any form of authentic recording of you saying, and yet, and yet,
up to you, you don't hold your finger up to me, I'm the Chair. Thank you.
So let's move on, because I think we're getting a bit muddied. Here, I'm actually going to go to a question, a specific question about how change happens
in interface within a different society within a different time period. cadet cadet ashmit. Can they have met? Question? Yes, please. Would you like to ask your question?
Hello, even in the question is to see your Hobson as a liberal Christian theologian, how legitimate is the comparison between the Christian reformation of the 16th century and the situation in the Muslim world today?
Thank you. for that question. It's, it's a it's a very good question.
Because so much was happening at this reformation time in the 16th century. And in fact, I would say the 17th century as well, because it's it's a slow process, this Protestant Reformation. And it, it begins, as, as you know, with Luther going back to the Bible, and so on. And
of course, that has echoes of going back to the sources back to the Quran, attachments and so on. In a sense, any religion, when it reforms is always going back to the original and trying to be more true to it and more pristine and so on. But in the Protestant Reformation, something else happened to.
And it's a surprising thing that happens. What happens is that they develop a new form of politics,
a whole new vision of political order. In a sense, it happens by mistake it First of all, they're talking about how to be true to the Bible, and what St. Paul really meant by faith and so on. But something else emerges over about 50 years or more. And that is the idea that you can have a political order in which religious institutions are not in charge, and you can have a new sort of political order
in which different sorts of religion is possible someone could you can disagree with each other. Of course, they didn't all move in this direction, some of them moved in the other direction and became more tyrannical and Calvinist and so on. But gradually, there was a minority that did move in this totally new direction, which said that God wants you to be free to choose how you do religion and the state that exists to protect your freedom to do religion as you want. totally new idea. No one had ever done that before. Let me just ask you something. totally new idea who decided God said that they should change some of the politicians and theologians It was a minority. When you decide God,
God says, We all decide you'd argue for it. And that argument prevailed. But yes, okay. Sorry.
On the on the point, some of the points raised about that were, you know, potentially wanting to be redacted, and one of them was the the jizya. And I just want to clarify something and point out that often when, when we don't understand something, we think we need to get rid of it. And just to explain some things about what the jizya actually was, it was actually a waiver so that non Muslims wouldn't have to serve militarily. So it removed the obligation on them to serve military duty it was in order to have actual protection, and not actually fight in the way that the Muslims had to. Not only that, but it wasn't obligatory on women or children, or on the poor. And if you were poor,
your pain ages, you're tall, and you actually entitled to funds from the state. So it was merely an exemption that was instituted for people because they were not expected to serve up their lives in order to protect the state. They were considered people who the state themselves had to protect. And by way of example, when the Muslims took over the land of Egypt from the Byzantium Romans, it actually reduced the tax that people paid by 90%. So you know, it's not that they were, you know, extorted like a racket or like some kind of mafia or anything like that. And just to sort of an end within, you know, something of Prophet peace be upon him and prophet of Islam peace be upon him
said, Whoever oppresses a non Muslim or the meet the state that the word was mentioned before, or imposes upon him more than he can afford, and humiliates him or takes anything from him without his consent. I will challenge him on the date on the Day of Judgment, this is the status that was given to minorities.
Back on that and then we're gonna have a question and then I think this is a whitewashing of what happened. The institution the the JCR was was clearly lifted from Roman taxation policy towards the Jews. There was a reason that Jews did not serve in the military, they were banned from serving in the military. Okay, okay. Okay, but let me just let me just I will read from one Muslim jurist. According to Eben nebras, the dhimmi is struck on the neck with the hand when the tribute is collected from him, but does not sound to me tremendously progressive. So that's back then we got a question from the audience. Gentleman with a yellow tie. Can we have the
Forgive me, this is a bit of a throwing a spanner in the works. But in terms of
coming to terms with modernity.
My question is, if the Mardi or the gaian had already appeared about 170 years ago in southern Persia, how would that affect today's theme?
I'm not sure we want to go into to the metti. Do Abdullah, can you? Can you bring it back up to up to to the modern time? I mean, let's talk about
well, I will just really want to have a response to what was what was just said, If you actually look at the Prophet Mohammed sauce on the treatment of the enemies, there was no strike in the back of the neck. There was no humiliation. And in fact, there was one Christian tribe in Syria, who said that we don't want to pay Jews yet, but we will send our armed men to fight as part of Muslim army and then Jesus was exempted from them, because they joined the Muslims who were all Muslim. The orcas have to be reservists in the army. So what you're saying is, is not really that the whole story. And the argument you're putting forth for the pact of Omar today is that she historians
actually are divided on the matter because that the original pact of Omar was actually the most permissive of Christian didn't say that they have to have all these impositions upon them or humiliations upon them. There's only there's a much later recension which came at a much different time during wars between the Byzantine Empire, which led to those things. So we have to go back to the original No, no, I'm really sorry. Forgive me, right to the heart of the debate on that
The fact that Abdullah needs to claim that the jizya is in synchronicity with Western notions of human rights demonstrates the degree to which Islam has been that that is clearly what you are saying. It is evident that the function of the jizya in pre 18th century Islamic world was to he was to subordinate the Jews and Christians. The fact that you are unwilling to accept that demonstrates the degree to which you want to accept that Islam is compatible with Western universal human, Abdullah Abdullah.
Only not giving you this moment just because I think that the the audience deserves for us to be talking about the 21st century and they may, you know, to be continually unpicking a piece of history is not fair on them. Okay, so yes, a gentleman with his hand up.
For Thank you, good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to praise to raise the question. Hirsi Ali has already proposed five amendments in terms of reforming Islam. And I'd like to remind the panel that they are already prescribed good doctor already hit on one. The fifth one was reading the idea of jihad. And she also labels in terms of an amendment a key amend would be changing the attitude towards that how do you think the Quran in the consideration is clearly made by human hands? The second one is a consideration and value of life after death, to invert that to consider and to excel more life before death. The third one was to diminish and to
remove Sharia law as a demand for Muslim citizens who don't live in a Sharia Law Society.
And the other one was a principle of diminishing or removing that which is commanded to be right and forbidding which is wrong. So again, the fifth one was reading the idea of jihad. Those are the five principles that she's proposed. And I'd like to propose that the panel and as the chairwoman has actually said, these contemporaneous issues for reforming Islam with the panel like to address as the good doctors really started any one of those five. Thank you very much for questions.
I mean, I think I in history alleys project is, in our own words is she would like a mass exodus of people of Muslims from Islam, that is actually her agenda. But what she was settled for, if there isn't a mass exodus is some kind of gutten filleting Islam and rate and saying that there are some problematic ideas like the ones you alleged problematic ideas are the ones you raise jihad, these needs to be. If we change them, then we have a palatable Islam. Now that is the question and that is the debate tonight. That is does Islam need to be gotten filleted in the way I and Hirsi Ali is proposing? And I submit to you that it doesn't. And there are at least two arguments I can give. And
I know we haven't got time, but I want to just state the arguments and then hopefully I can unpack it later on. One reason why Islam stays modern doesn't have to conform to modernity doesn't have to Islam doesn't have to fit a modality away things are the status quo. Islam doesn't have to fit that only has to be updated. It only has to be modern. Now what how does Islam remain modern? Here are two arguments, the argument from human fulfillment, what that means it just very quickly, I'm gonna give you two syllogisms. Whatever addresses human needs is thoroughly modern Islamic law. Islam comprehensively addresses human needs. How? Because it addresses personal social realities,
behavioral psychological realities, economic realities, political legal realities, etc, etc. Therefore, Islam is thoroughly modern. The second argument, you could call it the argument from extendibility, or internal adaptability. The argument goes something like this, whatever system has internal mechanisms
to deal with adaptability and extendibility doesn't need reforming. Islam has sufficient internal mechanisms to enable it to adapt, and to extend for all times, therefore, Islam does not need reforming now, what are these internal mechanisms that allow Islam to be extendable for all ages? The Quran and the Hadith? I know, some of the panelists don't accept Hadees. But those that are authentic, they have they have they enable
countless rulings to be derived from a finite set of data, are you the language and the dynamism of these references allow Muslim spear to deduce many, many, many, many laws for all times. Another way that Islam remains adaptable and extensible in every age, is the fact that Islam, you know, doesn't care where technology or industry comes from, you know, it could come from the east west, the north or the South. As long as it's a technology that benefits human beings. It's not linked to a civilization
So Islam doesn't mind where technology comes from. So that's not a hindrance. A third issue is a third matter very quickly a third matter that allows Islam to be extendable for all times, is this idea of each jihad. Now each jihad is not critical thinking is jihad is not anyone's own interpretive endeavor each D had is going to the Islamic references going to the Islamic sources and extracting a solution for a new issue. So these are two arguments to show how Islam remains fresh.
Anyone who's qualified to do HD had the door is fully open for you, male or female. I just
thought it was good. He had he didn't she had no.
One second, I just want to clarify for the non Muslims in the audience, that that what we seem to be talking about here is that the the gates of understanding and interpretation already there, so nothing beans needs to be changed. It needs to be understood in a modern context. Some jurists did. They did state that the we have now we've got a total body of law, I what possible new scenarios could emerge, that that Islamic law or the jurists haven't already addressed good.
Or when reality wasn't closed. Thank you, sir. Anybody? Yes.
And I quite like a soul to think about that in the audience. Please. Are there any moments or
Yes, any incidences? What that Islam does, is unable to address in a modern context, maybe somebody might like to ask that. Question is,
does Islam need to avoid stagnation? So for example, in sort of tobacker, chapter two, verse two, like two, it talks about how get a man as a witness, but if you can't then use two women. So one may remind the other if she says, Now, in modern times, I can't really see how that's an issue because most people in society can read and write, they can recognize their own signature on a piece of paper, and there's nothing actually for the for them to remember. Now, my question is, the four main schools of jurisprudence,
the founders, the Maliki chef, Shafi, hanbali, and aefi. All say that if someone openly admits that they no longer are a Muslim, they should be killed. Now, in a modern Caliphate, would that be an acceptable position? Has that position already be reformed? Or does Islam need reforming? Okay, thank you very much. I'm just going to summarize that for you come back. Sorry, sir. I think we want to keep it here. Rather than in the UK, I just want these last few few questions to remain about life in the UK, rather than in a fantasy Caliphate, if that's okay with everybody safty wants to talk about that stagnate when we close the when when he had was was, you know, was removed, because
he had is one way in keeping Islam fresh, as I mentioned, in my argument is one of the tools by which Islam always remains fresh. But this idea that
certain parts of Islam that may not be palatable to sort of a liberal outlook,
you know, needs to be changed in order for Islam to be reformed. Well, Islam, in his golden age still had these precepts and these ideas of, you know, related to apostasy and some of the allegedly problematic stuff that was raised by the panelists yet, you know, Islam had its golden age. So what we can see from that is that being advanced is not premised on removing or changing these precepts. And these ideas, because if it was, if it was the case, then in order for us to progress again, you know, what we're saying is that if more of us to progress, we have to remove these issues related to apostasy related to the rights and so on. Whereas Islam had its golden age, even when it was still
upholding these precepts and these ideas so the two don't go together.
I think basically boils down to the fact should Muslims be free to apostatize without penalty? What is you know, I? I might be interested to know what the opinion of the Muslims on this panel was on that should Muslims be free to politicize without pain without suffering, undoubtedly without any ifs and buts because the Quran allows you to disagree. There is no compulsion in religion. And if God will, he would make all people believe so yes, I have a right to know tonight. If I wish to leave Islam and nothing should happen to me. That is my inalienable human rights. That is a Quranic
Right, thank you. So I think I think actually putting it in the context about the reformation of Islam. If we live in living in Britain, do the rules about apostasy apply and do they need changing so that people can become sexual secular liberalist, or live a life different now, Abdullah, please,
that the old chestnut of Apostasy was brought up. And I've always said the same thing. And I'll say again, which is the there is no law that that creates an inquisition court in a caliphate or in the UK, that will check everyone's beliefs and see if they've left Islam or not. All right. However, however, the the laws that do exist are not really bad, not really translated as apostasy, or to dodge to renege or being a renegade basically is a law against sedition and treason, not against just someone who just changed their mind in their own head. And that's it, and no one's going to no one's going to no one's going to base investigate, we'll find out who's left or what have you. So
that's the case doesn't there's another point that I think needs to be mentioned is the West experienced 600 years of technological progression before the first secular liberal democracy from the 12th century, up until, let's say, what the 18th century, when they were colonizing our lands, women didn't have the right to own property after marriage. So when the West was coming to civilize us, in the West, women didn't have the right to own property, there was certainly no LGBT rights as a whole. But basically, the West you see today is really the creation about what 2030 maybe 50 years ago, very recent, but Western superior Western superiority and technology has nothing to do with no,
no, no, no, we're talking about we're talking about progression. We're talking about progression. progression has nothing, no link to these particular laws. Just look at China try
to bring it back. Yeah. You know, we're talking about apostasy. is it relevant in the United Kingdom to have these tracks?
There is no way. There's no law that can be translated into English as apostasy laws in Islam. That's what my point. No, no, you had a question? No, you have a question? I don't think he is. I don't think he is. I have asked him twice. I will take another question. Thank you.
Thank you. I mean, it is a very interesting discussion we're having. But I think
on the panel, I can see there's no honest understanding of secularism. And there's no honest understanding of what's happening to Muslims around the world.
I agree with you that probably most Muslims when they see secularism, they, they see it as a threat. I know many secular humanists, who would like to see Muslims treated as an equal part of the society.
That is not a dominant view in the West at the moment, the dominant view of secularism is that it is like the state religion, which should be imposed on anyone. And if question for the panel, do the panel agree with me?
in modern Britain, right,
a Muslim that is born here, and over his life, or her life, looks at various ways of life and chooses Islam voluntarily, and embraces it wholeheartedly. can expect to be treated as a second class citizen, with a parallel system of justice, where if you commit a crime, you're prosecuted under one set of laws that non Muslims are not. When you express your religion in school, you are treated as an extremist. And there is a whole government policy funded with 10s of millions of pounds to try and force Muslims not to express their thoughts. I think we'll take your point. Thank you very much.
Yeah, I think it's a difficult question that we're trying to address tonight. It's very difficult question. It's very important question.
I think I'm afraid to say i think it's it's been evaded, pretty much so far, because a lot of people prefer, understandably prefer to talk about grievances, to say, oh, what about these things the West's done wrong. That's another discussion. I'd say. It's an important discussion. I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to discuss that stuff. But I'm saying it's getting in the way of this question. We were invited to talk about this question. Does Islam need a reformation? A very, very difficult question for a lot of people here tonight. For anybody.
I would say that
what one perspective we haven't really talked about is when Muslims live in a majority non Muslim country I hear, for example,
things are a bit different from traditional Islam where it's assumed that the nation is Muslim. The vast majority or totally, it's a Muslim nation. It's a different ballgame in a sense when Muslims are in a non Muslim country, isn't it? And in a sense,
all Muslims in Britain are sort of reformed, they are sort of accepting of the nation. In as far as they live here and don't emigrate. They are accepting that there is something valid about our let's call it secular humanist order. If they thought it was absolutely wrong, they'd be off to Syria or somewhere else, Saudi Arabia, or if you like, or Iran, or you name the country, Indonesia, whatever, that'd be off to a country which was majority Muslim. So by living here,
you are accepting that there is validity in this order. And there's a difficult tension there. I'm hearing from you. But that's in a sense, the reality. Thank you, CEO. I take your point. Can I come over? I'm going to come to Zahra. So the fact the fact that we that Muslims are here in numbers, they're staying here, they're not automatically going to Saudi Arabia or Syria as people tell me on Twitter, I should, should do because I wear a headscarf does it though, mean seriously, and automatic acceptance, that there's good here and therefore we are naturally adapting? Well, I'll face inherent in this statement that you know, if you disagreed with the system, you wouldn't be
here is a command that you have to agree with the system in order to live here. Which is like it is dictating conformance to a structure where you are not allowed to have differences of opinion on it, you're not allowed to have criticism of what is what is the governing of the equivalent ideology, the basic ethos of the nation, do you think it should be overturned and something else? No, no, I didn't say the basic ethos. But But you've said in your statement, basically, that if you disagreed, you wouldn't, you wouldn't be here. But that's that's saying you're not allowed to disagree. If you live here, it is exactly the same as so you're allowed. This is the problem with this is one of the
problems with how, you know secular liberalism manages minorities, by demanding them to conform to something rather than having you know, in Islam, Muslims are commanded to be good citizens of wherever you're living, either improve it, or just leave it the same, it doesn't ask that you do anything more or less than that. So this is something that, you know, Muslims can live anywhere, you can be a good citizen, anywhere, this is not something that, you know, you have to leave and go off somewhere. And where would we go? By the way? I was born here, and many of us, you know, many of the young Muslims who were born here. I mean, it is, it is I think that there is a shocking trajectory
to what you've just said, demonizing what I said, I didn't say once you go anywhere.
And if you don't go, you're saying that if you if you disagreed, you wouldn't be here, which hasn't been here to some extent, you're accepting where you are. I mean, you can accept where you are, without wanting to, you know, without wanting to or you know, you don't have to overthrow a system. If you if you disagree with it, you can be somewhere that you disagree. Okay. Very nice. Time for another question. Middle.
Middle aside, yes. Hi, This question is for you and the other panelists as well. Just not to mention that the Christian reformation started off with a minority of Christians seems that it was an inherently Christian thing. So the question if, if Islam needs a reformation, who gets to decide who is the arbiter between deciding whether Islam needs a reformation on? How do you decide? Is it a majority of Muslims like what you said, in the realm of ideas, the best arguments eventually win because the majority of Christians have accepted it. So if the majority of Muslims do not accept that we need a reformation, will you then accept that Islam doesn't need the Reformation? Okay,
good. So I'm gonna pass that over to Tom, if you will. This question reflects the can of worms that happens when you as a person of faith, decide that you need a reformation and you assume that it is self evident? What primal Christianity or primal Islam should be. That is what Luther assumed he assumed that if you got rid of the cladding of Catholic tradition, then the manifest evidence of what original primary Christianity was, would shine forth. It did not because there was no definitive answer to that. And so within a few years, you started getting Calvin and Anna Baptists and all kinds of people. The same thing is clearly happening with Islam now. So you have
ISIS shot through with totalitarian nations in Denmark and in tarjous mosques you have women leading prayers, both cast themselves as responses to this question of what was primal Islam? What did Mohammed do? What does God want? There is no definitive answer. And that's part of the dislocating sense of excitement and also alarming process of what I think is happening in Islam and why it is so exciting to study, but also why it's so terrifying and in many, many cases violent, because there is no certain answer to that.
I'm going to go to Abdullah Abdullah, is ISIS a reformation movement or an aberration and Islam, this terrifying vision that that Tom has? Well, they're
forming movements that they're needed. They just carry on the practices of their father, Saddam Hussein and every other dictator in the region. Everyone uses religious discourse to rubber stamp, anything they want to do in the Middle East. Everyone does it. So I'm in St. Paul, on the flags that he was said he used sort of the chronic gas Kurds and his children are doing who started out being secular, my dad are now doing it as well. And it's no surprise that when you know Gaddafi got fired from his his role of suppressing a holistic Islam, and his followers rebelled, and now they've joining a new ISIS branch in Libya, and it's no, it's no coincidence. So in the Middle East,
basically, all these rulers all that their followers and so on, so forth. The pragmatists that they believe in ends justifies the means. And Islam is held hostage by them and only relegated to a rubber stamp of whatever justification that they want, and there has no links, just to give you a very small example of how it doesn't fit with Islam with the most fundamental texts and understandings of Islam. So for example, the killing of Alan herring, which under Islamic law would be a protected person most damning, beating and torturing prisoners of war. Show me which opinion in Islam throughout classical period or any period, any period has said that you can do that in Islam,
executing a prisoner of war is a weak opinion. But executing people who who convert to Islam, who are prisoners of war is absolutely prohibited and slaving and raping civilians is absolutely prohibited, especially people who are from the peoples of the form that the Dyneema like the Yazidi is and all and Christians and others, burning them. Sorry, you see these both well they live 1800 years on the three different Caliphate dynasties you're saying that they only they didn't means they never been Demi's Come on, come on, come on. People.
point they have
the fact that they will the Jews Christians in the West Germans were not people the book yet they will given them the status.
Insufficient. Well, I got a good point here. Hang on a second. People who people who are not in the Quran has protected status, people have managed to live under Islamic rule for more than 1000 years. That means that there was an adjustment not that we have Heidi from the Prophet Mohammed Hassan that said that treat Zoroastrians as you would treat the people the book, which expanded that notion to everybody basically, including, including, including Hindus, just genetically just to continue just to come. Well, I actually know because we have quite a lot of discourse regarding the westerns from different headings for the Prophet Mohammed. When did Islam originate? Islam didn't pop out from
aliens introduced in 1000.
century history. Okay, I know you'd like to find flights of fantasy when in terms of the origins of Islam, and maybe maybe we can look forward to a book said that salopian vampire hunter the new untold story, but, but
Okay, that's an abuse.
Warning. Okay. No, no.
No, I made no comment about I'm just, I'm only making about your arguments. Don't make them about yourself. Okay. All right. Which one point?
I don't think. Okay, Tom, I know, the chair has addressed that we're going to move on.
Just one point point. For example, one very pernicious point was ISIS burnt one of their prisoners alive, which, as every Muslim knows, and there's no difference of opinion, no matter, you can't burn anyone, because that's meant to be the punishment reserved, forgotten. There's many studies that attest to that. So ISIS don't care about how do they call themselves an Islamic State before they even controlled one town. Remember, they've been there for a couple years in Iraq since 2010. They don't care about what Islam says. All they care about is power and recreating some kind of Baathist
regime or something like this after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
I mean, this idea that ISIS doesn't reflect Islam, I'm sorry to tell you guys they do. That's what they say, for example, in issue of jihad is exactly the same as the Saudis. And the wahabis itself is the issue of women, discrimination, subjugation, exactly the same as Saudis, wahabis, and so forth. The issue of interfaith relations not to have any dealings with them, and the list goes on and on and on. We have to, we have to be honest, and say these people are doing this stuff in the name of a perverted, toxic Islam derived from the terrible to the Hadith, the Sharia. And the fact was, Why can we say that and admit that?
The British and America just stopped supporting them. Thank you, Rob. Of course. Yeah, the whole lot. So which we have to be equal? countries? Okay. Sorry. Which Muslim countries? Okay, maybe Malaysia, maybe? Morocco. Thank you. We take the point. Let's, that's, that's very interesting. We did ask about is ISIS a reformation movement or not? You've had the discussion on ISIS, I really want to spend the last few moments in the United Kingdom. So only questions about Muslims and Islam in the United Kingdom, please.
The front here.
Apologize first, because this isn't exactly about the United Kingdom, but it's about Europe. So as Muslims spread across the world, surely localization of Islam is inevitable. So take, for example, Muslims in Sweden, when we take a basic practice of fasting, which pretty much every Muslim Muslim does during Ramadan.
So, this year,
fasting will happen during the summer, when the sun never sets in the north of Sweden. So surely, Muslims in that part of the world will be adapting that practice for where they live in, they want they're not gonna it's not like they're not going to eat for a whole month, right? So they will be adapting to that part of the world. So if they can adapt fasting, why can't they adapt certain of the practices? Question? It's a good question. So sorry, do you want to and I think I don't want to expand on that. But I would just say that mindset is fasting started out in the month of Ramadan, which was the hottest month originally. So it's not really an adaptation.
But here, the Jewish,
the Jewish have addressed extremities, extremities, the jurists have have had, if you looked at the manuals of Islamic law, you would see, there are a plethora of opinions as to what to do then in these particular extremities. So you can take the neighboring time or the neighboring region, if you can't fast, you don't fast. I mean, that's that's expand, expand this point. But your question about adaptability. And that's what I wanted to just talk about being in Europe.
Talking about British system earlier, or French Islam, that's what I was trying to say. So if you can adapt a very fundamental practice of Islam, which is fasting, depending on where you live in, why can't you localize other practices as well.
One more minute, I will come back to you.
One second. What do you what do you what do you want to see adapted? Then do you have Do you have a list of things that I don't? I don't it's just when we made a point earlier about localization of Islamic questions. Thank you very much. Okay. Question here on the left.
And then, yes, gentleman in the blue hat. Sorry, your arms been up a long time.
Hi, there. My question is to Tom. And it's essentially because how much do you think that the problems were discussing about Islam in the UK? It's because we believe that Islam claims a monopoly on truth. And that combined with the fact that it has doctrines born from seventh century Arabia provides a situation with a at loggerheads with sort of Western civilization. Because like, you know, I'm a Hindu, for example. And as a Hindu, you believe that God is one that by his revealed in many, many different ways in many different traditions, but it's exclusive. His truth claim, I think, is what's contributing to this idea of, you know, apostasy, which was neatly dodged and this
idea of the jizya as well as it how much you think it's something to do with that. I think the reason that traditionally the house of Islam and Christendom have have have the relations have been so combustible is that both of them, to a degree unique among civilizations claim a universalism for their values and their ideals.
claims to be the ultimate revelation, claims of absolute truth it is given to be given to Mohammed by God and the power that is invested in that is of a literally divine order. And therefore, ultimately, I would imagine that for most Muslims, maybe even today, but certainly in the classical period,
The conviction that it is for the good of the entire world to submit to Islam as absolutely normative. Christians, of course, had the same conviction. And although Christians today in the West are probably less self confident about that, I think that the belief that European values, Western values are universal in their application similarly remain as strong. So that I think is why there is a unique tension between mainstream Western society and Muslims more than, say, Hindus or Sikhs or even Jews.
I kind of agree with Abdullah, on this, that there is an incredible tension between the claims of Western liberalism, which essentially claims for itself the right to contain within itself, every other belief system, including Islam. So in a sense, the jizya that Muslims have to pay to live within a secular democracy is to accept the primacy of those Western secular liberal values over that of Islam, then they are able maybe except that then they are allowed to practice Islam and say what they like. So assimilation then not not multiculturalism, I don't think it's necessarily assimilation. I think but but but it but just as Christians, if they were to live in the Ottoman
Empire, they have acid Empire. Yes. But yeah, of course, of course. I mean, that's a different issue. But but but, but but but but just as Christians in the Basset Empire, or the Ottoman Empire, you know, they were allowed to practice their religion. But if they started getting uppity, if they started putting up, you know, if they started defending the laws of the Ottoman state, then they could expect the full force of Ottoman law to come down on them. So likewise, Muslims are perfectly allowed to say what they want to believe what they want to do what they want, until such time as it starts to infringe the laws of the British state. That's a great point to go to the audience with.
Thank you, Tom. That was brilliantly summarized. I think of the situation now, Abdullah, I mean, in other words, Muslims are allowed to be in the secular secular liberal states, as long as they don't transcend liberal boundaries, which is a liberal, or is it? Well, it depends what the what the laws are. I mean, every country says, Sure, you can live here and do what you want, as long as you don't cross over those laws. But the question is, what are those laws and, and in Britain, recently, the discourse has become very worryingly about a particular set of British values as defined by the ruling party, which now and Muslims are categorized into extreme or non oppressive. Well, the idea
of Britain the idea of British values and the impression Okay, I'll give you one example. So David Cameron said, in essence, that everyone who believed in the idea of the summit concept of Caliphate is an extremist. And then he later on said that we should have a war against we're at war with those who believe in extremism. So this is not declaring Muslims to be the modern day heretics, and we that we shouldn't somehow have to be dealt with in some manner, through fair means or foul, including but not limited to, you know, harassment from security services or hope, prevent agenda, banning of certain Muslim speakers coming into the country or speaking at universities, control
orders, Charity Commission enforcement powers disproportionately playing the victim. Okay.
Well, I'll take your points. And I also take the point that, are we now talking about Muslims being forced to change rather than Islam itself being questioned as a reformation in the modern age? Maybe we've gone slightly off topic there. Both of you had to had valid points. I'm going to come back to you in a second. We actually know there was there was a gentleman in a blue hat. It's been so patient, please,
actually did talk about the fire machine going on there and nobody mentioning that which law part of Islam they want reform.
I say Islam says the Justice should prevail all the time.
It does not allow that you've citizen of the country. You can't get the justice. If you are not citizen of the country, you can end up and goes away. These are the things sometimes known as the Justice all the time, equality of outcome somebody mentioned about the about the women the the witnesses is not true only one place mentioned the brother mentioned the word was was influenced of traveling going on the other place had mentioned Koran that men and women equal witness. In the same way I mentioned people be mentioning here Jihad jihad, Jihad actually Arabic word with me struggle. I don't know what people have got difficulty use that what is struggle is struggle against evil. Who
can deny that you should not be like that? He doesn't allow that to kill anyone you said person politely. Is there a question? Another thing is that equal rights to anybody? Even you
You're not Muslim, you can live by all laws. Okay, thank you very much for that point.
Yes, middle middle center.
We've only got time for two or three more questions, and then we're going to have a little summary.
So I'll take two more questions only.
There's been a lot of obscuring and obscurantism on the part of a particularly Abdullah andalusi when it comes to the motto of Apostasy. And I think I should do everyone here a favor by elucidating some of the Islamic proofs for setting because you said a few challenges in you. You said bring an example for example, torture, or and so I'll do that for you, for example, the prophet verbatim said men but the Latina who forgot to do those are words particularly attributed to him. There are other examples as well, in terms of why Why are you bringing these examples? What because because, because for some reason, there's there's been a lot of talk and no actual substance. So I'm here to
show okay. So for example,
in terms of the jizya, again, there was no elaboration on the actual ideas that the cheesier the particular treaty of oma that Tom Holland mentioned. But there's another question. That's a comment. Don't Please listen, we tried to keep it relevant. Yes. Now, that's why
it makes sense. Good question. I see. I see. There isn't really a question I just wanted to do today.
Yes, back. Thank you. Yes. Thank you, Jeff glasses back here.
Thank you. I think the whole discussion being framed in terms of Muslims in this country have certain values and their odds with the values around them. And I speak to Christians and Catholics every day, and they to feel as though the Secretary's imposition on their lives. So it's not just about Muslims thinking that we have certain values and that this whole British values discourse is impinging upon a lot of our lives. It's actually other people, Christians and Catholics and others in society, who feel as though the society around them is redefining what it means to be British. Okay, thank you. Um, I'm actually going to stop questions there in order that we get 30 seconds, it
doesn't make any sense to even leave in my mouth saying 30 seconds. But can you please just give us a tiny summary of your standpoint now, at the end, to do with British values, and Muslims fitting in and Islam being a system that works in the West? And I will begin with sir, would you want to answer all those points?
To summarize where you where you are now, in terms of parting thought, really a parting thought, I think, you know, in terms of British Islam, we need to be very, very cautious. Perhaps the cautionary cautionary position will be to take a disassociative stance from the idea of British being attached to Islam, especially because it's, you know, it's vague.
But more so because it's, it's couched in ideational axiological terms, ie to do with concepts and values. In other words, British Islam, as I see it, is a way of Muslims being Muslims in this country, not determined from their own references and their own sources, but top down from from politicians. So I think, a disassociative stance from British Islam, I know some people appropriate it in a meaningful way. But I think,
looking at a more nuanced way. It's something that's been, you know, hatched by politicians and incubated down the street. But just on the point of reformation,
there's lots of things that I think we didn't get, we didn't get a chance to unpack. But you know, especially concepts like hdwd, renew ideas, like Islam, which is not reformation, actually, which is translated as reformation, but it's not. But it's bringing something back to its original pristine and sound state, that would have been good to unpack because that would have been a good parameter in which to have, and thank you for that parting thought parting thoughts here?
I think I think I'd say that this sort of discussion is a sign of the reformation of Islam. I think people hear it's happening, just the fact of us discussing us taking for granted human rights, the rights of women, and so on and so on. It's happening in these very discussions. It's difficult, it's awkward, there's a tension between the tradition and now, but the fact that we're having this discussion, that's, that's my parting shot. That's a good sign. And so, and I'll be honest, I'm not really interested in a British version of Islam because Islam naturally in in all the ways that it doesn't really theologically matter adapts to whichever culture it is in with the theology generally
remaining the same, and I'm particularly not interested in being force fed. any set of values be the British values of money.
values that I don't have a say in what those values actually mean, I'm just expected to sort of accept what someone else is telling me what they mean, with regards to reformation itself. And I just want to have, you know, a very simple message. And I think it was mentioned very early on in the discussion. And that is in, you know, in the Muslim world, it's in need of revival. And it's not in need of reformation. The Muslim world is an example of what happens when you try to change Islam and mix it with secular liberal values Pakistan, for example, if you want to see whether it's a good idea to reform it in that way, just look to the to the Muslim world today. And the Muslim world
needs to revert to its classical understanding. And Muslims who are not in the in the Muslim world, as individuals, as all members of society need to consciously be, you know, aware of what they're doing and just generally, you know, reformed themselves, but it's nothing to do with a religion.
parting thought, I think it's important that we become self critical and introspective, and I think I'm for a British Islam, not the mfe variety. And I'm thinking about Islam that is Quran centric, not paying lip service or heating the Hadith, Sharia, and the fatwa, all man made stuff. And I expect this, Islam, British Islam to be gender equal, I expect it to be non sectarian, I expect it to be intercultural, not multicultural, and expected to be independent, we need to cut the umbilical cord that ties us to Saudi Arabia, to the wahabis, the Salah fees, and all other extremists there. We want Islamic, open and liberal and inclusive, that pluralistic that belongs here. And now.
I think that we live through the past 50 years through an incredibly interesting period of British history. On the one hand, we have gone through an ethical and moral revolution of speed, and totality, I think without precedent in our history, you just have to look at the transformation in attitudes, say to homosexuality, to illustrate that simultaneously with that there has been a recrudescence of debate and interest in religion that I think is sort of almost unprecedented since the 1650s. So and this imposes a particular burden I think on on the Muslims of Britain and I will finish with two quotations, one ahaadeeth every innovation is heresy. Every heresy is error. And
every Hara leads to hell. The next one is from Al ghazali. As strange as it may seem, accepted practices of today are the taboos of a day gone by and the taboos of today are the accepted practices of a day yet to come. Thank you very much, Tom. And Abdullah.
I don't believe Islam changes depending on where you are on the Earth's crust. And I think that truth doesn't change either. Depending on which part of the world you're in. I would say that there's a fundamental mistake here. The majority sect of Christianity never actually reformed Catholicism, they successfully visit it and they still rebel against liberalism To this day, our Catholic brothers. So that's, they would probably join us on this panel. And I'll print similar things in some ways. I would say that, if you're going to ask it to reform Islam, you need to ask what you want to reform it to. And the reason why we mentioned secular liberalism today is if you
just look at secular liberalism, the wealth inequality that creates 62 people in this planet, controlling 40 or 50% of the the wealth of this world of content Oxfam report is quite shocking, as well as the the simultaneous epidemics of obesity, and famines happening at the same time. These are issues that I think Islam should be addressing, including climate change, and my ad that also has been affected by
capitalism's overproduction. But what I will just finish off by saying is that laws are actually linked to progress. So China, not secular liberal country. But look, it's now catching up with us might surpass it, the West had 600 years of progress without secular liberalism, and Islam did could do the same. My final parting shot would be that the Muslim world does have a problem, a very big problem. But the problem is that Muslims need to be reformed, but Islam only needs to be revived. And that's it.
Thank you. You've been an amazing audience. You've been full of great questions. You've been enthusiastic. You've been polite, and to the panel, they will come a long way. They've worked hard on preparing their argumentation and their thoughts. Thanks very much to all of you. Thanks very much to each of you and I can't get the thought of Salahuddin the the jacket out of my mind. If you were to write to I'd read it. We didn't mean to be rude.
any mistakes you've made forgive us and I hope you take away some little knowledge and some offer. Thank you very much