Are the brutal beheadings done by ISIS fanatics connected with their religion?
Douglas Murray, writing here at the Spectator discusses the reluctance of any of the intelligentsia to discuss the reason for the barbarism of radical Muslims. Murray was on a BBC discussion program with a group of intellectuals who were debating the deteriorating situation in Iraq. Murray tried to make the point that there was a real link between the Islamic religion and violence.
I was once again struck – in a discussion in what remains a free country with a right of free speech – by the desperate efforts to not explore, indeed to shut down, discussion heading in one particular direction.
Myriam, as ever, remained insistent on the oft-repeated line that the bad guys are ‘misinterpreting’ Islam. But it was Lord Winston’s attempt to stop any linkage between the actions of groups like ISIS and the religion of Islam which struck me far more. Lord Winston is a scientist. In any other sphere he would be eager to follow a trail of thought, evidence, discovery and logic. But not here. ‘It’s not to do with Islam’ he scolded Ann Leslie and then me. ‘This is not a British problem and it’s not an Islamic problem either.’ True, it’s not only any one of those things. But it is partly those things, isn’t it?
Towards the end I made the point I keep trying to make – which is that although the radicals like the murderer of James Foley have what is obviously the worst interpretation of Islam, it is nevertheless a plausible interpretation.
Yes, yes, we all agree that the majority of Muslims are nice, kind people who don’t cut people’s heads off. However, Murray makes the point that the be-headings are warranted by Islamic Scriptures and by the example of the prophet Mohammed himself. He admits that the problem is complex, but at least part of the reason Muslim fanatics behead their enemies is because the Koran tells them to. Murray continues: