Writing in the Sun, Rod Liddle takes issue with David Cameron’s statement that the horrific killings in Nairobi “don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world”. Liddle concedes that only a “small minority of Muslims” support such actions, but says that the perpetrators were nevertheless Muslims:
They believed that what they were doing was in accordance with the teachings of the Koran. It doesn’t matter that Muslim scholars — and our own Prime Minister — might argue that they’re wrong in this regard.
Thousands think the same way. A countless number of these imbeciles believe that people who are not Muslim — or the right kind of Muslim, or are gay, or Jewish, or have renounced their Muslim faith, or wish girls to be educated — are fit only for execution.
Hell, we’re even breeding our own contingent, right here in the UK.
So when David Cameron announces that these killings were “nothing to do with religion”, he is talking utter rot. Much the same as Tony Blair was when he was Prime Minister and said the London murders on 7/7 were “nothing to do with Islam”.
They are clearly an awful lot to do with Islam, and an awful lot to do with religion. Somewhere in the ideology of Islam these people find justification for the horrific crimes they then commit, in a way which is not true of Christians or Buddhists or Hindus or Sikhs.
If Liddle really thinks that members of other faiths don’t commit atrocities, then you can only conclude that he has led a very sheltered life. All religious beliefs are capable of being interpreted in such a way as to justify the killing of innocents.
The slaughter of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan army in 2009 during the closing stages of the civil war – as many as 70,000 may have died – was carried out by Buddhists. Indeed, the suppression of the rights of the Tamil people that led to the civil war has been conducted in the name of defending the Buddhist culture of the majority Sinhalese community. Some of the worst exponents of anti-Tamil racism in Sri Lanka have been Buddhist monks.
But I’ve yet to see an article blaming the war crimes of the Sri Lankan government on Buddhism.