The author of the ‘counter terrorism curriculum’ advocates murder for blasphemy

Anybody who peddles the concept of 'true Islam' inadvertently gives credence to the likes of ISIS


After the UK’s youngest suicide bomber, 17-year-old Talha Asmal blew himself up while waging the jihad of ‘Islamic State’ (IS), also known as ISIS, David Cameron urged Muslim communities to do more to fight Islamist terrorism.

Accordingly Minhaj-ul Quran International (MQI), ostensibly a counter-extremism organisation, announced the launch of the first Islamic ‘counter-terrorism curriculum’.

The curriculum was launched in London on Tuesday.

The ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace and Counter Terrorism’ was designed by a Pakistani cleric and politician, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, renowned in the West for his edict against terrorism.

The curriculum itself addresses all the alarming parts of Islamic scriptures: the rules for setting up an ‘Islamic state’, armed Muslim rebellions, the doctrine of jihad, the violent verses in the Quran that promote killing and the authenticity of controversial hadiths.

However, the answer provided is one that we’ve heard on multiple platforms, in a plethora of instances, especially since 9/11: following the ‘real’ teachings of Islamic scriptures, the Quran and the hadiths.

While the rhetoric in the apparent counter-terrorism solution for British Muslims is self-defeating, the biggest question mark is over the man designing the curriculum himself.

In addition to promoting fascism through his politics in Pakistan, Qadri is renowned for giving contradictory statements with regards to the very laws and ideas that he’s presently challenging in London through the recently launched curriculum.

Just like his ‘Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings’ claimed that  “Terrorism… has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it,” the MQI’s ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace and Counter Terrorism’ condemns violent jihad, and antediluvian Islamic laws as being ‘un-Islamic’.

However, back home in Pakistan, Qadri proudly takes ownership of formulating Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been abused to suffocate and intimidate religious minorities through blatant mob violence.

When addressing western audiences, Qadri claims that the blasphemy law does not apply to non-Muslims. Back home in Pakistan he has advocated ‘killing blasphemers… like dogs’.

This video highlights his contradictory stance on the blasphemy law, and showcases his claim that he incorporated section 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code which sanctions the death punishment for defiling Islamic scriptures or insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Qadri is renowned for saying whatever sells, whether it’s anti-government fascism through his politics and a bigoted version of Islam back home, or apologism in the garb of Islamic ‘moderation’ in the West.

With Islamist terrorism reverberating all over the world and over 700 British citizens having fled to fight along with ISIS, the need for reform among Muslims around the globe is evident.

However, ideological salesmen who change their ideas to suit the audience’s demands can never be reformists.

Reformers need to challenge the acceptable. In countries like Pakistan where bigotry is etched in the Constitution, reform would entail challenging the accepted existence of religious laws and propagating secularism.

In secular societies like the UK, where open debate on Islam (hopefully) can be held, reform would mean an honest reflection on Islamic scriptures and their role in fueling the propaganda that compels a University of Westminster graduate like ‘Jihadi John’ to leave his IT job and join ISIS.

The ‘Islamic Curriculum on Peace and Counter Terrorism’ can basically be summarised as the now ubiquitous apologia that ISIS ‘has nothing to do with Islam’, which is the laziest counter-terrorism argument that one can come up with.

To call it a reformist effort would be to reduce the long impending Islamic reformation to a couple of hours’ worth of Google search, during which one can find countless articles using ‘context’ and ‘misinterpretation’ to excommunicate Islamist terrorists.

Ironically this replicates radical Islamists’ favourite vocation: apostatising anyone with a different take on Islamic scriptures.

The reforms that we Muslims need is to accept that ISIS’ Islam is just as authentic a version of Islam as any other.

For literalism is another of the ‘multiple interpretations’ of Islam that we like to expound. Islamic reformation, thence, would mean revisiting our approach to the infallibility of Islamic scriptures, without conjuring apologia for ‘true Islam’, and accepting the idea that a Muslim can unapologetically condemn Islamic doctrines.

Anyone who peddles the concept of ‘true Islam’ – just like any other religion – no matter how peaceful and tolerant their version of Islam might be, inadvertently gives credence to the likes of ISIS.

For if there is a ‘true’ version, what’s stopping the radicals from believing that theirs is the one?

The monopoly of truth of any version of Islam needs to be replaced with the spread of plurality in Islam and the Muslim world, and accepting humanist, sceptic and revisionist Muslim identities, with varying stance on scriptural adherence.

Instead of excommunicating the radicals, and scrutinising the legitimacy of their actions through religious scriptures, true reform would mean giving humanistic ideals preference over any and every interpretation of Islam.

This in turn would ensure that the only acceptable version of Islam would be the one that is pluralistic and tolerant anyway.

If one believes that ‘true Islam’ actually is peaceful, tolerant and endorses pluralism, then there’s no better way to propagate it than challenging the very idea itself.

Just like with other religious communities, reform among Muslims will be brought about only by scrutinising religious scriptures, not by shielding them from criticism.

Kunwar Khuldune Shahid is a Friday Times journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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21 Responses to “The author of the ‘counter terrorism curriculum’ advocates murder for blasphemy”

  1. swat

    There is something fundamentally wrong with Islam, and its about time Muslims worldwide admitted it.

  2. Joseph Flannagan

    These guys painted themselves into a corner 1400 years ago. Since then they have killed and enslaved hundreds of millions of people to enforce their doctrine and impose their tenets on nation after nation. In the process they have destroyed churches , synagogues , temples , shrines ,graves , historic monuments , libraries and priceless artefacts but yet continue to call themselves ” peaceful “. They are stuck with ideas and doctrines that go back to the 7th century and have NO relevance in a modern society. But instead of admitting this and introducing some reforms or updating their texts, they continue to bury their heads in the sand – maybe that is why islam has thrived in desert regions ? – and resort to barbarity , ignorance , backwardness and illiteracy to enforce their beliefs. There are tens of millions of muslims who have NEVER read the koran because they are illiterate. There are tens of millions more who can recite the koran by heart BUT don’t understand a single word as they do not speak Arabic.

  3. Jim Fox

    “UK, where open debate on Islam (hopefully) can be held”

    OF COURSE!- where sharia’a was accepted by the Law Society, where Paul Weston was arrested for quoting Churchill, where Choudary is feted and advocates beheading….
    You mean THAT “free society”?????

  4. Jim Fox

    “fundamentally wrong with Islam”

    NOT if you’re a Muslim [slave of Allah] and follower of al-Insan al-Kamil, the perfect example of Islamic behaviour.

  5. Mike Stallard

    Isn’t it obvious that before the hejira, the revelations were very different to after it? Before they could, frankly, be accepted almost as Christian. If the Prophet had been murdered and had not swapped cloaks on the night before his flight, then he might well have gone down in Christian literature as Saint Makarios.
    It was, surely, after the hejira to Yathrib that Islam turned from a Christian movement into a new religion or, if you like, sect, and all the stuff which the Salafists regard as the true faith was revealed. This, of course, included warfare, polygamy, and the separation from Judaism and Christianity.
    Perhaps this is why Muslims are the only immigrants to UK who deliberately set out to separate themselves from mainstream society. And that, of course, is very dangerous both for them and for us.

  6. Mike Stallard

    Actually, our local Catholic church is constantly pleading for a dialogue with Muslims. It rarely happens though. They do not want it. I wonder if it was something we said…

  7. Jim Fox

    Dialogue? You have more success trying ‘dialogue’ with a hungry crocodile.

  8. Jon MC

    And if you do get it you don’t get dialogue, you get Daw’ah – proslytisation dressed up as dialogue.
    Perhaps the fact you are Catholic and thus notoriously difficult to convert to another faith is why they don’t bother with you.
    If you were a bunch of wishy-washy Anglicans however – of the sort that leap to be the first to say “…this has nothing to do with Islam” and “Islam is the religion of peace and love” whenever pious Muslims murder the latest batch of Kafirs then they’d be delighted to dialogue with you, their work’s half done already often by the Church itself

  9. Viking.

    I do believe that Mohammed said that there is no middle way. There is only Islam and all of its laws apply to every Muslim. So if Mohammed says kill then every Muslim has to kill, apostates, blasphemers, homosexuals, adulterers, non-Muslims. Islam is very much about murder and mutilation.

  10. knowTheEnemy

    The reforms that we Muslims need is to accept that ISIS’ Islam is just as authentic a version of Islam as any other.

    In other words you are still a Muslim, even after you have realized and learnt of all the evil that Muhammad perpetuated! Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, is there a shortage of good persons in the world who you can follow?

    What version of Islam do you follow, Kunwar? Where can I read about it?

  11. CGR

    That’s the ‘Religion of Peace’ for you.

  12. Alana

    Dialogue? There have been many recent attempts at dialogue. Tommy Robinson is one of the few people prepared to be executed for speaking out against Islam, and has been permanently injured as a result. Actually, Muslims really like to debate with him, and are delighted to organise these events. However, each time, the fascists of the UAF ring the venue with threats, so the owner cancels. Have I got legal proof? Well no, except that they do boast about it and state it as policy.

    The last time – for a debate with Robinson and Anne Marie Waters against two Muslim speakers, the venue changed THREE times, before finally ending up far from central London, in Croydon. The culmination logistical problems caused by those repeated changes succeeded in destroying the event. I feel sorry for both the Muslim and non-Muslim speakers, as I warm to anyone who values and enjoys the medium of debate.

    If the Mafia were to threaten and close down venues and events, I think the police would get involved. But if Tommy Robinson is involved, perhaps they’d rather let the fascist UAF have their way.

    We have entered the post-dialogue world. When Alinsky spawned his Rules for Radicals, perhaps he didn’t realise that, although gaming the system allows you to win it at the beginning, in the end people just give up on the dialogue. And we all know what comes after that.

  13. Freedom for All

    These are the facts we must spread as far and wide as possible. Most people are ENTIRELY ignorant of Islam or it’s history. Education will be the solution to pushing Islam out of civilized countries.

  14. H_Marius40

    Until muslims are willing to acknowledge that there are problematic aspects of Islam, which they need to address, muslim extremists will keep on rising. Fact is Islam, Quran and Muhammad, all are/were not perfect.

    There is no such thing as infallible books or perfect human beings. Time muslims learnt this, or else they got no one but themselves to blame for their regression.

  15. lancastrian1

    “The monopoly of truth of any version of Islam needs to be replaced with the spread of plurality in Islam and the Muslim world, and accepting humanist, sceptic and revisionist Muslim identities, with varying stance on scriptural adherence.”

    In essence, either Islamic ideology is a closed loop with all answers to be found in the quran or it is open with outside ideas and standards allowed. To achieve the latter, Muslims must lose the idea that all answers are to be found in the quran and Islamic texts and that requires a change in teaching. This passage is indicative of the mindset that needs to change when a moderate says that he can’t call for a total repudiation of things like stoning people to death because the punishments are “on the whole Islamic” then there is a problem.

    ” So when Ramadan called for a moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty in the Islamic world in 2005, some non-Muslims criticised him for not going further. Why didn’t he say the hudud laws should just be discarded or repealed?

    He explained this by pointing out that most of the authorities “are of the opinion that these penalties are on the whole Islamic [because of textual references] but that the conditions under which they should be implemented are nearly impossible to re-establish”

    Equally when a senior Islamic cleric admits that Islam wouldn’t exist without the apostasy laws then there is a problem. Any entity that has to enforce membership by threatening death if you leave has a problem. That can be seen from the outside but will it ever be seen within Islam?

  16. StevenMPagan


  17. Dajjal

    Islam was never Christian, it was always and remains pagan. Allah is an alias for Sin, Baal & Moloch; a moon deity. The Islamic version of Jesus is Allah’s slave, not his son, was not crucified, did not die, was not resurrected and will return to kill us all.

    While Moe was weak, without an army, he preached tolerance and forbearance. While buinding an army, he preached defense and retaliation. When he had enough men to do his wet work, he preached conquest.

  18. Just_me_and_God

    Mohammad was an illiterate who used oral accounts from the some of the Apocryphal books, and teachings of heretical ‘christian’ and ‘jewish’ sects to flesh out his koran.
    1. The koran was revealed to Mohammed, who was, as Moslems insist, illiterate and, therefore, unable to verify the accuracy of the scripts written for him by some volunteering scribes of no high standard. Trusting Mohammed with the koran is a greater blunder than trusting an illiterate person to edit New York Times. With a document as important as the koran, it would not be enough just to assume that the scribes were honest and trustworthy, especially that at least one of them, Abdulla Ibn Abi Al Sarh, admitted that he regularly made changes to the text of the koran without Mohammed even noticing! [1] [1. Ali Dashti, 23 years, a study of “Prophetic” career of Mohammed.]

    2. Moslems claim that the koran was completely written during Mohammed’s life time, but there is no acceptable evidence to support such a claim. It is logical to believe that the koran was not properly written in the first thirteen years of Islam, while Mohammed was still in Mecca because he simply didn’t have the resources to do it. One would expect that writing down the koran might have been Mohammed’s first priority after he assumed power in Medina, but he was too busy in wars to think of it.

    The third caliph, Uthman, became famous, or rather infamous, for Quran burning. Distressing reports had filtered to him from battlefield generals who were fighting against the Armenians and other nations on the edge of his burgeoning Islamic empire: different versions of the Quran were overheard being recited.

    Caliph Uthman had a bold idea. He created a new edition of the Quran and demanded that all other editions be surrendered and burnt. Not everyone liked this. After all, Uthman was not one of the four people Prophet Muhammad had said Muslims could trust to issue the Quran. Ibn Mas’ud, on the other hand, was. He refused point-blank to surrender his collection of the Quran, which he claimed he got directly from Muhammad.

    Ali, the one who was “Prophet” Mohammed’s son-in-law and the soon-to-be fourth caliph, at first refused to surrender his Quran to the flames. He finally gave in under pressure, but he was not at all pleased.
    The QURAN BURNING – Hadith Includes an Account of a Revered Muslim Caliph Burning the Quran

    Koran Burning and Islam’s “Rightly Guided” Caliph Uthman

    Caliph Uthman The Koran Burner and the Not-So-Great-Koran-Conflagration-Kerfluffle

  19. Mike Stallard

    OK I admit that this comes from a good source (Bukhari?), but the answer seems pretty conclusive too.
    2. If Mohammed had not been able to record his poem, then how did Omar’s sister manage to recite it? In a society where memorising was an everyday thing, this holds no worries for me at any rate.
    3. Everyone would accept the work of Caliph Uthman.

    I am not a Muslim. When my father was in prison camp in Formosa under the Japanese, a wonderful poem was revealed to him. He managed to get scraps of paper and write it down. This he told me himself and at the time he utterly believed every single word of the poem too. It was only when he arrived back home that he researched the poem and found that he learned it at school. He never told me what the poem was though.
    We can rest assured that the Prophet Mohammed travelled widely as a young man working the camel routes. While there, he must have picked up some Christian and Jewish folk tales and – this is a guess – had the Bible read to him.
    In the cave and afterwards too, snatches of what this uneducated man came back to him. The work itself seems very like most other uneducated people’s ramblings actually I am reminded of another man in the Landsberg prison…

  20. Just_me_and_God

    Before most people learned to read, memorization came much easier, people could hear a story one time and repeat it word for word, years later.
    In Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots the Mandinka Sharman tells Haley the entire history of the tribe, but he would not have been able to start anywhere at all, but at the very beginning. Starting somewhere in the middle would have been impossible for him.

    I truly understand about your dad. I too have thought that I originated several short poems and sayings, only to find out that I must have heard them many years prior.

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