Islam: rethinking our strategy

14 June 2017


Islam: rethinking our strategy

James Fergusson is right to conclude that rethinking our entire counter-extremism strategy must include combating the underlying theology of “extremist Islamism” (“The tangled roots of a culture of fear”, 10 June). It cannot be ignored.

The difficulty for Muslim communities is that the extremists are indeed Muslims by their own confession of faith and recognised as such by the tradition of Islam. They offer a serious but poisonous interpretation of Islam which can easily insert itself into more beneficent ones, for all the reasons Fergusson lists.

The early transmission of the Islamic tradition has had little critical analysis. In this it is unlike the transmission of the Jewish and Christian traditions. The Bible over the past three centuries has become the most analysed text in the world.

Until this critical analysis of the Qur’an and the Hadiths happens, ordinary Sunni Muslims will have no way of distancing themselves from poisonous readings of their tradition.

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