Torygraph promotes Islamic reform

“There are signs that a reform movement may emerge among this country’s two million Muslims, aimed at developing an interpretation of Islam that is compatible with liberal democracy. At present the chief spokesmen for Islam are quick to assume the mantle of victimhood and inclined to condemn all criticism as Islamophobia, a pseudo-psychiatric term implying fear and irrational hostility. But a younger generation is emerging, confident that their faith is a guide to a good life but aware that mainstream Islam embodied in Sharia law needs reform.

“The inequality of women under the law will never be acceptable in the West. The freedom to criticise religious beliefs and to join and leave faith traditions as individual conscience dictates is simply not consistent with the Muslim habit of threatening apostates with death. The view that the Koran must be binding for all time is not compatible with our commitment to learning from each other through free inquiry and the clash of opinion. The year 2008 could see the beginnings of a liberal British Islam willing to embrace equality under the law, freedom of religion, and freedom of interpretation.”

David Green of right-wing think-tank Civitas in the Sunday Telegraph, 30 December 2007

Note the sleight of hand here. Green applauds the development of “an interpretation of Islam that is compatible with liberal democracy” (so you can’t accuse him of being an anti-Muslim bigot, can you?) while simultaneously asserting that mainstream Islam in the UK – which he identifies with the oppression of women, death threats against apostates and a literalist intepretation of the Qur’an – is incompatible with liberal democracy.

But Civitas specialises in this sort of double-talk on Islam. See for example here.