I have a young Muslim friend of Punjabi origin. He was not brought up to be particularly pious but in his twenties he was persuaded to study Islam and became convinced that he should practise the faith of his forefathers. Having been as secular in outlook as most young Britons of Pakistani extraction (as conscientious, decent and law-abiding too), he now regards the practice of Islam as central to his life. How faithful he is to the letter of law, the famous Five Pillars, I have no way of judging. Nonetheless, he seems to me to be an admirable chap and a worthy role model for other young men of whatever background. He also seems to be an extremely fun-loving individual, childishly delighted with the outdoors, particularly after a heavy fall of snow. I know that he will be a good father. He doesn’t appear to take himself at all seriously. But he does take Islam seriously. So, he gives the lie to the idea that all Muslims are joyless fanatics (an idea which is encouraged by some high profile Muslims in Britain).
He and I are agreed that 9/11 was an abomination. Moreover, we are also agreed that the systematic slaughter of unborn children for the crime of being inconvenient is an abomination on a far greater scale than 9/11.
The way I see it is that for eleven joyless fanatics to choose to take the lives of 3000 human lives in one mad act of hatred was pretty bad. It was inexcusable. It was monstrous; it was evil. It was a perversion of religion. If that was bad – and it surely was (no matter how you define bad) – then how much worse is it that we condone, sanction and pay for more than 3500 abortions every week in England and Wales alone (2006 figures)? Our hearts are empty of hatred; we are not mad. We simply don’t think about it most of the time. We hardly ever debate it. But it is monstrous; it is evil. It is a perversion of humanity! Our collective soul must be dead.
Muslims believe (and long may they continue to believe) that Morality is absolute. They believe that the Creator has imbued all men with consciences. They believe too that the Prophets have revealed that the Creator loves justice and hates injustice. So do Christians. And nothing is more unjust than killing the innocent. The Koran is unequivocal about this. So is the Bible.
Muslims and Christians should be making common cause against the evils in the society we share. There is much that divides us. But there is much that unites us. Muslims see more clearly the faults of our post Christian culture than most Christians do. Muslims are critical of Christianity itself. Christians are critical of Islam itself. If these statements were not true, then Muslims would be Christians and vice-versa. I may hope for the conversion of the House of Islam to Christianity. My friend above certainly hopes for my conversion to Islam.
To be critical is not to be disrespectful. I personally wonder why it is that nearly all modern Islamic states are to some extent tyrannical; but that does not mean that I won’t join my voice with Muslims who denounce evil in my society.