There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham. – Anna Sewell who was born on this day in 1820.
Muslim Imams and religious leaders condemn the Manchester and London terror atrocities and urge fellow Imams to refuse to perform Islamic funeral prayers for the terrorists
“We, as Muslim Imams and religious leaders, condemn the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London in the strongest terms possible. Coming from a range of backgrounds, and from across the UK; feeling the pain the rest of the nation feels, we have come together to express our shock and utter disgust at these cold-blooded murders.
We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions. We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.
Though at no time is it acceptable, that such ruthless violence was perpetrated during the season of Ramadan, in which Muslims worldwide focus on pious devotion, prayer, charity and the cultivation of good character, demonstrates how utterly misguided and distant the terrorists are from our faith and the contempt which they hold for its values.
Alongside our friends and neighbours, we mourn this attack on our home, society and people, and feel pain for the suffering of the victims and their families. We pray to God that the perpetrators be judged in accordance with the gravity of their crimes in the hereafter. Their acts and wilful dismissal of our religious principles alienates them from any association with our community for whom the inviolability of every human life is the founding principle (Q.5:32).
Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam.
These vile murderers seek to divide our society and instil fear; we will ensure they fail. We implore everyone to unite: we are one community. In the face of such dastardly cowardice, unlike the terrorists, we must uphold love and compassion.
Such criminals defile the name of our religion and of our Prophet, who was sent to be a mercy to all creation.
We commend our police and emergency services – with whom we stand shoulder to shoulder – for their rapid response, arriving at the scenes while risking their own lives to protect the victims and public. Their response exemplifies the courage, humanity and honour we must exhibit in such difficult times.
We pray for peace and unity, and for all the victims of terror both at home and across the globe, who are targeted, irrespective of their faith.”
This is a an unprescedented, and welcome, move.
I don’t pretend to know, or understand, much about Islam.
But terrorist attacks and the people who perpetrate them in the name of the faith are as abhorrent to the few Muslims I know as they are to people of other faiths and no faith at all.
[Of the parralels between the railways and the church] both had their heyday in the mid-nineteenth century; both own a great deal of Gothic-style architecture which is expensive to maintain; both are regularly assailed by critics; and both are firmly convinced that they are the best means of getting man to his ultimate destination. – Rev. Wilbert Awdry who was born on this day in 1911.
Prayer without desire is like a bird without wings; it cannot rise – Bramwell Booth who was born on this day in 1856.
. . . Taken as a group, the writings in the Bible represent human beings struggling to work out this strange notion of right and wrong, and which is which.
That is where, I think, God resides, and also where humanity lies: in our need to work out right from wrong. The fact of our flawed state as human beings means we do not get it right, and also our perceptions of God will always be similarly flawed.
This is why, in turn, I do not trust certainty in either religion or in atheism. It is often said that the proselyting atheists of the Richard Dawkins mould are just fundamentalists of a different kind, and I think this is true, in a way which goes beyond the obvious levels.
But to deal with the obvious first: there is a missionary zeal, certainly, Dawkins et al share with the more foam-flecked fundamentalists.
But mostly, both actually serve to deny humanity. In the case of the crusading atheists, they seem to be trying to extirpate something which has been uniquely human, which is this development of religious belief down the millennia.
In the case of fundamentalists, of any stripe, the restrictions they prescribe for human behaviour is a similar denial of basic humanity and to the central mystery of our existence. . . Rob’s Blockhead Blog
I think his thoughts on fundamentalists apply to politics as well as religion.
. . . I’ve never disliked religion. I think it has some purpose in our evolution. I don’t have much truck with the ‘religion is the cause of most of our wars’ school of thought, because in fact that’s manifestly done by mad, manipulative and power hungry men who cloak their ambition in God. – Terry Pratchett
Hat tip: Rob Hosking
Cartoonists across the world have respounded in solidarity with these killed in Paris:
Cartoonists around the world have put pencil to paper in solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo artists slaughtered in Paris, admitting their own fear of being targeted but vowing they will not be silenced.
In the small world of political satire, many cartoonists knew the journalists at the French weekly magazine who were among 12 killed by suspected Islamists on Wednesday. They expressed their anguish and deep anger at the killings in the way they know best. . .
They are showing the pen is mightier than the sword or gun.
The gunmen showed the weakness of their beliefs by responding to words and pictures with guns.
They couldn’t counter the message so shot the messengers.