stressed that Islam at its core is a religion of peace and moderation.
“I am afraid that if I talk about peace like last year, people will be saying what peace are you talking about, but mercy and peace are inside Islam, and not outside of it...
“A lot of people think that Islam is the source of problems happening in the Muslim world, the biggest problem we have is identifying what gave birth to these conditions. A central point some people raise is that religion is the problem, however it’s not religion but the craft of religiosity and how it is applied. When it is not understood this can become corrupting, and so it can go from mercy to war.”One might venture that what gave birth to them is the supremacism and jihad embedded in Islam's core texts and teachings, but I'm pretty sure the Shaikh would see that analysis as "flawed."
Another participant, Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, thinks he has a handle on how to control the extremists. After all, says the imam,
“It is certain that the Quran insists against murder, the Quran equalises the injustice on one soul to the whole of humanity. Islam prohibits the intimidation of others, even in a joking manner. A Muslim relationship with others is one of friendship and companionship.”Good to know, Grand Imam. But then how do you account for the following?
- Re no murder allowed: Quran (2:191-193) - "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)"
- Re equalizing injustice on one soul: yeah, that one doesn't really hold up, either.