I first read today's Guardian front page piece "British Muslims unite in fury at ISIS murder of Alan Henning" as welcome news in an otherwise horrendous news item. British Muslims - I thought - are finally denouncing the Islamic State for the barbarous band of mercenaries it really is. That is, until I read further.
"Film-maker Bilal Abdul Kareem, who helped in the negotiations when he was first captured, also accused Cameron of not doing enough to help. He added that Isis knew the strength of opposition to the murder, but chose to "spit in the Muslims' eye to show them who is boss"."
You see, it's not the beheading of an innocent father which is really galling in the world of moderate Islam. Not the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, force slavery of young girls, filming murders of any journalist daring enough to shed light on their atrocities. No, the real spit in the eye is to have timed this with Eid.
Eid is the celebration of the attempt of a father to slaughter his son because he heard voices in his head. His devotion to God is rewarded with the replacement of sonny with a goat and long life for the would-be psychotic murderer.
On no account would you want to sully the festival of Eid which commemorates this parable with a murder.
Let's tell it like it is. The Muslim Council of Britain has come out so strongly against ISIS because the latter has scuppered its chances of glossing over the horrors of what is happening in Iraq. Unlike Al-Qaeda, ISIS will trample any truce, any festival, anything in the interests of military jihad. No holds barred. THIS and only this, is what is souring Britain's moderate Muslims. They don't object to ISIS itself and its actions until the sanctity of their own festival has been compromised.
If I've often wondered why the Muslim Council of Britain hasn't done more to distance itself from violent radicals, this statement sure clears that up. Combating extremism and violence just isn't their priority. It's not the establishment of a murderous caliphate that's the problem in the eyes of Britain's biggest Muslim organisation, it's that those dratted ISIS fighters won't even interrupt their violence for a few days so moderates can have a nice meal without ugly headlines.
Religion of peace? Not half. Am I the only one bothered by the Guardian's piece?