World leaders must grasp Islamic heart of al-Shabaab’s terrorism

Barnabas Fund logoWell, that’s what Patrick Sookhdeo of the right-wing evangelical Christian Barnabas Fund says.

Condemning David Cameron’s statement that the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab “don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world”, in an editorial on the Barnabas Fund website, Sookhdeo objects that this was as bad as Cameron’s claim after the murder of Lee Rigby that “there is nothing in Islam that justified this dreadful act”.

“While world leaders continue to fail to understand, or perhaps accept, the ideological basis within Islam for acts of violence,” Sookhdeo asserts, “they will never get to grips with the likes of al-Shabaab. To say that ‘they don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world’ is flagrantly untrue.”

According to the Sookhdeo, such groups are in fact “striving to observe and impose the teachings of the Quran and the hadith (the traditions about Muhammad) in their most absolute sense”.

This is the sort of rhetoric that you would associate with the English Defence League, the British National Party and other organisations on the Islamophobic far right.

Yet when the Barnabas Fund was the subject of a complaint to the Charity Commission in 2011, on the grounds that it incited hatred against Muslims and was in breach of its charitable status, the complaint was rejected. Perhaps it’s time for the Charity Commission to have look at this again.