For last week’s “Dispatches” program on Britain’s Channel Four, a reporter with a hidden camera entered Birmingham’s prominent Green Lane mosque and other leading mosques in Britain. He found Islamic supremacism, hatred of Jews and Christians, and the subjugation of women preached in them.
The mosques, of course, are in heavy damage-control mode. A press release at the Green Lane mosque website complains that “this so-called ‘undercover’ investigation merely panders to age-old anti-Muslim prejudices by employing the time-honored tradition of cherry picking statements and presenting them in the most inflammatory manner.”
The statement doesn’t address the obvious fact that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to cherry pick statements anywhere near as inflammatory as those recorded in the Green Lane mosque from proceedings in any Jewish, Christian, Hindu or Buddhist house of worship.
Among the statements recorded in the Green Lane mosque were these about women:
- “Allah has created the woman—even if she gets a Ph.D.—deficient. Her intellect is incomplete, deficient. She may be suffering from hormones that will make her emotional. It takes two witnesses of a woman to equal the one witness of the man.”
- “By the age of 10, it becomes an obligation on us to force her to wear hijab, and if she doesn’t wear hijab, we hit her.”
- “Men are in charge of women. Wherever he goes, she should follow him and she shouldn’t be allowed leave the house without his permission.”
How extremist! And how inveterately Koranic. The Muslim holy book declares that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man: “Get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (Koran 2:282). It also says: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them” (4:34).
The same is true of the statements about Britain and the Islamic state:
- “You have to live like a state within a state until you take over.”
- “We want the laws of Islam to be practiced. We want to do away with the man-made laws.”
These ideas are an extrapolation of Koranic passages such as 9:29, which assume that Muslims will wield state power over Jews and Christians, exacting from them a poll tax (jizya) and making sure they pay it “with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” There is no concept in the Koran, Islamic tradition or Islamic law of non-Muslims living as equals with Muslims in an Islamic state: Muslims must be in a superior position.
The fact that the views expressed by the Muslims in the Channel Four documentary can easily be found in the Islamic scriptures suggests that the problem is far larger than a few mosques that were thought to be “moderate” but turn out to be “extremist.” It is a problem that is quite deeply rooted within traditional Islam and must be treated as such. Muslims who sincerely reject the idea that Islamic law must be instituted in Britain and that women and non-Muslims must be subjugated should welcome the documentary as an opportunity not only to expel “extremists” from their ranks but also to formulate a comprehensive rejection and refutation of their understanding of Islam.
But so far, the Muslim Council of Britain, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee of the United Kingdom, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, and the UK Islamic Mission have all denounced the program as “Islamophobic.” None have taken even a single step to combat the spread of the understanding of Islam depicted in the show or to mitigate the elements of Islam that incite to violence and inculcate Islamic supremacism.
And that, itself, is very telling.