In the aftermath of the Woolwich strike in i beg your pardon a brothers soldier to be killed, reportedly at the hand of Islamist fundamentalists, Quilliam foundation researcher Dr Usama Hasan argues that moderates have to do much more to success over Muslim youth.

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For decades in the UK and also abroad, Muslim discourse has actually been dominated by fundamentalism and also Islamism.

I invested two decades, beginning in mine teens, as an activist cultivating these narrow and superficial misinterpretations that Islam in the UK, together with thousands of rather here and also millions in Muslim-majority countries, until deeper and more comprehensive experiences of faith and life assisted me the end of this intellectual and also spiritual wastelands.

These discourses have to be defeated, and the occurring counter-narratives to these worldviews and mindsets have to be strengthened.

By fundamentalism, I average the analysis of scripture out of context with no reference to background or a holistic check out of the world.

Specific examples of literalist, fundamentalist readings that still dominate Muslim attitudes global are materialized in the resistance to progression in human rights, gender-equality and also democratic socio-political revolutionary that are too-often heard indigenous socially-conservative Muslims.

The universal verses that the Koran (eg 49:13, "O humanity! us have created you indigenous male and also female and made you nations and tribes so the you may understand each other: the most honoured of you through God space those many God-conscious: truly, God is Knowing, Wise") promote complete human equality and also leave no location for slavery, misogyny, xenophobia or racism.

However, various other Koranic verses that may seem to accommodate slavery, discrimination against non-Muslims and women and even wife-beating (eg 4:34) were plainly specific for your time and always meant as temporary measures in a process of liberation.

Islam exalted the condition of women and slaves in 7th Century Arabia. Ahistorical, fundamentalist readings law these details stages as universal and obstinately refuse any type of progress, effectively insisting top top a return to 7th Century values for all cultures at every times.

Islamism is often described as "political Islam". A more accurate summary would be "over-politicised, fundamentalist Islam", due to the fact that believers have actually every right to build their national politics on basic religious ideals such as truth, justice and also the welfare of all people.

The adhering to may be regarded as the major components of Islamism: Umma, Khilafa, Sharia and Jihad - all of which have end up being excessively politicised.


Umma (nation) translates for Islamists right into an obsession with the "Muslim people" and also its imagine suffering worldwide (the blessings are never counted, just the problems) that subsequently becomes a firmly entrenched victimhood and perpetual sense of grievance.

Conflicts including Muslims v others are continually cited - Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and also Iraq - when ignoring savage internecine Muslim conflicts, such as the Iran-Iraq battle or the current wars in Darfur and also Syria, or the appalling persecution of believer in plenty of Muslim-majority nations such as Egypt, Iran and Pakistan.

Khilafa (caliphate) for Islamists is the idea that they room duty bound to create "Islamic states" - defined by vague, theoretical, idealistic platitudes - that would then be unified in a global, pan-Islamic state or "new caliphate".

Sharia (law) for Islamists is the idea the they are duty-bound to implement and enforce medieval Islamic jurisprudence in their modern "Islamic state".

Hence the obsession v enforcing the veiling the women, discriminating versus women and non-Muslims and also implementing penal codes that incorporate amputations, floggings, beheadings and stonings to death, all viewed as a sacred, God-given duty the cannot it is in changed.

Media caption, Anjem Choudary said he encountered one of the doubt at a variety of Islamist demonstrations

Jihad (sacred struggle) because that Islamists is an obsession v violence, whether of a military, paramilitary or terror nature. Your Jihad aims to protect and also expand the Islamic state. Extremists also dream of dominating the whole civilization for Islamism by militarily beating the US, Europe, Israel, India, China and Russia.

The Koranic references to Umma include the historic aspect, such together the prophets of other faiths and their followers, a strong, interfaith and spiritual notion.

In early on Islam, Umma also referred to political areas that had Jews and also Christians, such together Medina under the Prophet Muhammad. The Ottomans abandoned the legitimate pluralism that the "millet" device (a faith-community framework) in the 19th Century and adopted a citizenship design that granted equal rights to all, regardless of whether of religion.

The founder the Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, articulated the very same vision for his brand-new Muslim-majority state with Hindu, Sikh and Christian minorities, yet these developments have to be forgotten under the avalanche of fundamentalist Islamism over the past half-century.

Narrow approaches perform not work-related in our modern-day world. The holistic strategy to Sharia well-known as Maqasid al-Sharia (universal objectives of law) posits equality, justice and also compassion together the basis of every law, and is the only way forward.

The work-related of the current or modern scholars Ibn Ashur, Nasr Abu Zayd and Ibn Bayyah are critical in this regard.

It has to be recognised that Koranic penal codes, always accompanied by exhortations come mercy and also forgiveness, were often suspended or replaced by imprisonment or financial penalties in the early centuries that Islam, due to the fact that punishment, deterrence, restorative justice and also rehabilitation to be the operative concerns.

Also, arbitrarily interpretations of Sharia were not enforced at state level in early on Islam and also most that Sharia is voluntary, relating come believers' day-to-day worship and also social transactions.

The Koranic heart of freedom, equality, justice and also compassion have to be reclaimed, with an emphasis on Sharia as principles rather 보다 rigid ritualism.

The Koranic notion of Jihad is essentially about the sacred and physical-spiritual nature the life's struggles, as summed up by "strive in God", a verse revealed in the pacifist duration of Islam before war to be permitted.


In our times, we require non-violent Jihads; social struggles against all develops of inequality and also oppression, and also for justice and liberation.

Socio-political Jihads are needed to attain the objectives of noble reasons such together the global Declaration of human being Rights, that might be seen as an extension of the themes the equality included in the Prophet Muhammad's bye sermon.

The military aspects of Jihad are covered through the values of warfare. The voluminous Geneva Conventions are in keeping with the spirit of the Koran, which also has a strong pacifist message.

Role-models because that such counter-narratives include the numerous Muslim social reformers the the past century, such as Jinnah's sisters Fatima, who is still an ideas to millions of Pakistani women, and the countless Muslim activists who added to the anti-apartheid motion in south Africa.

More recently, the youth that the Arab spring, through an instinctive Islamic, Christian or humanist love that freedom and also justice, have damaged through the impasse preserved by dictatorships and their subservient clergy.

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Such counter-extremist, reform movements must be led in ~ the grass-roots by community and intellectual activists.

Democratic government has a role, yet a healthy and balanced civil culture is best-equipped to resist tyrannical dictatorship, whether religious or secular.