This week seven Islamists refused to follow court procedure by standing up when the judge entered court. The seven were accused of shouting abuse at soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment during a home coming parade on the regiment's return from Iraq last March. The abuse included:
"British solders, murderers," "British solders, baby killers.," "British solders go to hell," British soldiers burn in hell," "Baby killers and rapists all of you" and "British solders, you will pay."
Appearing in court this week the seven refused to stand as the judge entered the court room, claiming that their religion only allowed them to stand up for Allah.
Now I have read the entire Qur’an, large parts of the vast number of Hadith, as well as Islamic commentaries and so forth and I have to confess that I have never come across that one. Nor, I suspect, have the vast majority of ordinary British Muslims, most of whom come from cultural backgrounds that place a far greater emphasis on honour and respect than is common elsewhere in Britain - and there is much in that respect that some of the less polite members of British society could learn from them!
Now, the reason why so few people have ever come across this claim is that one of the fundamental beliefs of Islamism is, to simplify things just slightly, that you can make up the rules yourself about what is and isn’t ‘Islamic’.
Classical Islam fixed the interpretations (ijtihad) of the Qur’an in medieval times and most Islamic theological schools are based on rote learning of those interpretations. However, Islamists, whether in Afghanistan or in the UK, claim the right to reopen the door of Qur’anic interpretation (ijtihad) and come up with their own interpretations. In theological terms this is the essence of Islamism.
Now to be fair, Islamic liberals have also reopened the door of interpretation (ijtihad), although they do so in order to make Islam compatible with western liberal values such as freedom of speech and religion. Islamists however, create their own interpretations of the Qur’an as a means of achieving their ultimate political goal. That goal is to impose Islamic government and law (sharia) on Muslim and non Muslim alike in all areas of the world that are not currently subject to it.
So, when these seven Islamists refused to stand and respect the judge, they were not basing their actions on some widely practised, deeply rooted Islamic belief. Rather, they were essentially creating new rules to suit their own agenda. That agenda appears to involve creating a legal precedent that Muslims do not have to stand for judges sitting in British courts, a legal system Islamists reject as ‘man made law’. Moreover, their now highly publicised claim that to do so is ‘unislamic’, will they hope, put pressure on other Muslims to follow suit, thereby furthering their agenda of Islamising British society.
Unfortunately by allowing these Islamists to avoid standing when she enters court the judge would appear to have given into that agenda hook, line and sinker.
Unless and until the government and judiciary realise that making up your own rules about what is and isn't 'Islamic' is a fundamental tenet of Islamism, they will continue to appease Islamists such as these.