Muslim schools/institutions is not where to look for extremism

It has now been a while that the politicised OFSTED has been looking to combat "Islamic extremism" in schools etc. They started off being critical of schools with 90+% muslim students not offering a "christian-style prayer" in the morning, and ended up alleging that a Christian church of England school was putting its students at risk of Islamic Extremism.

An issue that is often ignored is where does this extremism come from, where does it gain strength and who does it effect.

Many non Muslims consider extermism to be when Muslims go too deep into their religion. Its an understandable view for non Muslims because non Islamic books of scripture have been corrupted and there are extreme things in them.

But Islam is different.

Moderation is a part of Islam and the Qur'an and sunnah both tell us to be moderate. (this moderate is not the same as the modern western translation of "moderate" which means watered down - drinking, ot praying, fornicating etc is not a sign of moderation) and problems occur when people move away from scripture.

Those Muslims taught in Islamic institutions or who have been kept in touch with Islam over their lives will not become extreme.

The ones that do become extreme often are those who have been given a westerners-satifying secular upbringing. they are kept away from their faith, only given small morsels of Islam that is in line with their cultural needs, but nothing too deep.

When these people inevitable have a clash of identities, and do not have the core understanding of Islam others have, they are easily swayed and will often be swayed by unsound arguments, jump into positions that are extreme and cause fitnah.

Not all of these people will fall into the traps, many will find good teachers and gain a good moderate understanding of Islam. But it only takes a handful to cause problems for the whole community and we all get tarred by the same brush once that happens.



Guardian article linked to this issue:

along with my comment in there:

This may be a paopular non-muslim idea that extremism is spread by Muslim educational institutes etc, but this is wrong.

Those that turn to extremism are almost exclusively those that have been deprived of Islamic education in their upbringing.

The Muslims who have been brought up with islam rarely join extremist groups because they have a deeper understanding of Islam while those deprived of this often when questioning their identity will be easily swayed and pushed towards extremism.

It is no great secret that Osama Bin laden was an engineer (with a multimillionaire playboy past) and not a religious scholar. Neither is his replacement Aymen al Zwahiri. (The counter argument is Baghdadi, who was instead radicalised when imprisoned after the invasion of Iraq).

Those that are brought up with islam, while not immune, are the best innoculated against extremism.

Therefore, punishing a school or other institution because they put Muslims in touch with their roots is counterproductive.

I am also surprised that no one noticed how the latest ofted inspection report details came out on the day the Tories were getting battered by UKIP in the by-election. There is a huge political element to all of this.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.

I've just found a link to where he discussed the same topic back in August. It is an interesting read.

From the Article:

In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5's behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, "far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices." The analysts concluded that "a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation", the newspaper said.

"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'" - David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. 13 May 2015.