I ask the question because after each atrocity carried out by Islamist fanatics – the latest one being the gruesome beheading of British aid worker David Haines – our political leaders immediately rush out statements saying the killers are not “real” Muslims.
“They are not Muslims, they are monsters,” said the Prime Minister earlier this week. Meanwhile Obama insists that the Islamic State is not really Islamic, despite the big clue in the name. Tony Blair and George W Bush said much the same thing after previous Islamist attacks.
How do they know? I suspect the head-hackers and child rapists of Isis and Boko Haram have spent more time studying the Koran than Western political leaders, and they certainly think the atrocities they carry out are not only sanctioned by their religion, but are an obligation on them imposed by Allah.
So who is right? The answer may lie in the Koran, but like many ancient and complex texts, it is sometimes ambiguous and contradictory and is open to a wide range of interpretations. Alongside the “peace verses” that promote a kind of tolerance, there are the explicitly violent “sword verses” that advocate the conquest and subjugation of all non-Muslims.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all Muslims are inherently violent. But perhaps it helps to explain why Muslim communities find it so difficult to live in harmony with their neighbours around the world – with Communist atheists in China, Copts in Egypt, Christians in Nigeria, Hindus in Kashmir, Jews in Israel and Buddhists in Thailand.
Indeed, Muslims have great difficulty living in harmony with each other; followers of the Shia and Sunni sects have been busily slaughtering each other ever since the Battle of the Camel almost 1,400 years ago, and continue doing so today in Syria and many other Muslim countries.
So why are Western political leaders so keen to distance Islam from the atrocities carried out in its name? I believe they do so in service to the great multi-cultural lie – the poisonous notion that all cultures are equal to one another.
They are not; Western societies are far from perfect but they are simply better than anything else on offer. That’s why so many people from around the world, including millions of Muslims, are desperate to live in the West.
Perhaps if our political leaders stopped peddling this nonsense and instead had the courage and conviction to promote and defend Enlightenment values they would find that moderate Muslims are more than happy to rally to the cause of individual liberty, tolerance and equality.
But we shouldn’t fool ourselves over the threats we face. Either we destroy the head hackers, or they will destroy us.
No end to abuse
For sheer brass neck Shaun Wright, until this week South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, takes some beating.
For weeks he has resisted calls from across the political spectrum for him to resign as a result of the Rotherham sex scandal in which politicians, police and social workers turned a blind eye while 1,400 children suffered over a decade of vile abuse.
This week he finally cracked and announced he was stepping down. But why now? Perhaps it was the visceral anger of members of the public, including victims of abuse and their families, which finally convinced him he couldn’t carry on.
But Wright’s departure doesn’t let Labour off the hook. As both the PCC and as head of children’s services in Rotherham, Wright was a Labour placeman.
The Labour Party led the council during the years the abuse happened and did absolutely nothing to stop it. The Party also promoted the toxic dogma of multi-culturalism that allowed the child rapists to get away with the abuse because they were Pakistani Muslims.
Before his departure Wright did reveal one disturbing piece of information – he said the sex abuse of children in Rotherham was still happening on an “industrial scale”.
Despite the robotic chants of “lessons must be learned” by those in authority, vulnerable children are still being assaulted.
How long will we allow this to go on?