‘Crude stereotyping’ – Osama Saeed replies to Muriel Gray

Muriel Gray doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good rant against Islam and Muslims (Comment, September 24). The 7/7 bombers were not all, in fact, from devout Muslim families. Jamal Lindsay, for one, was a convert, as indeed was Richard Reid, the previous shoebomber.

But the main point is yet again we see Gray adopt the most extreme formulation of Islam to advance her argument, and then paint the whole Muslim community with it. Bin Laden would be proud of her. I regard myself as a pretty devout Muslim, but don’t recognise the views she ascribes to me about women, homosexuals, freedom of speech, democracy and the West.

What she is guilty of is exactly what she accuses Muslims of when it comes to the West – caricaturing and stereotyping with the “kaleidoscopic richness and beauty of the country’s (in this case “religion’s”) culture erased”.

It would be easy to debunk her argument that practising Islam leads to bombing by making a similarly stupid argument that anyone that drinks alcohol, doesn’t pray, has sex outside marriage, and indeed writes foaming-at-the-mouth articles against Muslims in newspapers, is just a stone’s throw away from waging military war on the Muslim world.

Osama Saeed
Scottish spokesman
Muslim Association of Britain

Sunday Herald, 1 October 2006