Friday, July 18, 2008

Tame Islam?

BBC says, "The British government is to fund a board of Islamic theologians in an attempt to sideline violent extremists.
The move will see Oxford and Cambridge Universities host a group of scholars who will lead debate on key issues such as women and loyalty to the UK.
The plans have angered some hardline activists who accuse ministers of trying to create state-sponsored Islam.
But Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said it was government's job to support Muslim leaders on controversial issues.
Under the plans, the two universities will bring together leading thinkers, yet to be named, to debate critical issues affecting Muslims in the UK.
The Department for Communities is responsible for the government's strategy to combat violent extremism, known as "Prevent"..
The board's work will focus on examining issues relating to Islam's place in Britain and obligations as a citizen.
Ministers say the board's membership will "reflect the diversity of Islam and Muslim communities in the UK" and the work will include seminars around the country.

But Islamic groups who have clashed in the past with the government have already attacked the plans.
Taji Mustafa of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group that fought government attempts to ban it, predicted that many ordinary Muslims would be suspicious.
"The British government's interference amongst the Muslim community and matters of Islam, is unprecedented in comparison with any other religion," said Mr Mustafa.
"The government would like nothing more than to have credible figures pronounce that opposition to their foreign policy is tantamount to heretical extremism. Their problem hitherto has been to find credible figures to do their work." "

Can they bell the Muslim cat? What is authentic Islam? The liberal version happy in the West or those who want a universal caliphate, shari'a forced on all and an end to democracy?

Can we expect sponsorship of liberal churches to counteract evangelicals opposed to homosexuality?

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