May 26

Why Andy Burnham is wrong about Islam

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, claims Salman Abedi is not a Muslim.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, claims Salman Abedi is not a Muslim.

Just after the Manchester Arena bombing, the Mayor of Manchester, Labour’s Andy Burnham, spoke on LBC Radio.

Andy Burnham: Abedi ‘not a Muslim’

Accrding to LBC, Mr Burnham said: “The message that I would want to get over – and this is how the vast majority of people feel – this man was a terrorist, not a Muslim.

“He does not represent the Muslim community. We’ve got to keep that distinction in mind all the time. This was an unspeakable act. The worst thing that can happen is that people use this to blame an entire community, the Muslim community.

“In my view, the man who committed this atrocity no more represents the Muslim community than the individual who murdered my friend Jo Cox represents the white, Christian community.”

Now of course that is propaganda.  It is even more than Mr Burnham’s personal opinion.  It is the constant mantra of the political class and the mainstream media.  And it is merely their hope, not a polled fact, that ‘this is how the vast majority of people feel’.

Writing in the Independent, respected journalist Patrick Cockburn said: ‘Downplaying the religious motivation and saying the killers “have nothing to do with real Islam” may have benign intentions, but has the disadvantage of being glaringly untrue.’

In an earlier post I said Mr Burnham ‘devalues political discourse by claiming bomber Abedi was ‘a terrorist not a Muslim’.  If he was not a Muslim, what was he?  A Buddhist?  If they can’t face the truth, how will our leaders ever protect the public?’

Jeremy Corbyn says foreign wars have put us at risk.

Jeremy Corbyn says foreign wars have put us at risk.

Foreign wars have put us at risk

Today, Jeremy Corbyn said British military adventures in the Middle East have put us all at greater risk than we would have been without them.  On Newsnight last night, Charles Clarke, not a Corbyn fan, said it all started long ago.  He specifically mentioned the 7/11 attack.  Indeed, that was the most dramatic example of a festering grievance between Islam and the West.

Both Mr Corbyn and Mr Clarke are clearly right.  The attacks put us at risk firstly by fueling hatred of ‘crusaders’ or infidels trampling over Muslim land such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Secondly our politicians have endangered us by destabilising the entire Middle East.  Jeremy Corbyn was one of only thirteen MPs who voted against bombing Libya on 21st March 2011.  Those ‘Noes’ have been proved right.  Andy Burnham voted in favour.

Ben Wallace, the Conservative security minister, said the timing of the comments was ‘crass.’ No, the timing is just embarrassing for those supposed to be keeping the people secure.  And it highlights the urgent need for politicians such as Messrs Corbyn, Clarke and Wallace actually to tell us what they are going to do – starting from the uncomfortable place we are in.

‘Tell a tree by its fruit’ is from a Christian world-view

Salman Abedi - devout, and, actually, Muslim

Salman Abedi – devout, and, actually, Muslim

But let us return to Mr Burnham.  Firstly because his comment about Thomas Mair is truly crass.  There is no evidence that Jo Cox’s murderer was or is a Christian. Not one report about his murky associations with US white supremacists mentions the possibility that he ever darkened the doors of a church, let alone gave his life to Christ. So leave us Christians, whatever colour we are, out of discussions about the murder of Jo Cox, will you, Mr Burnham?

Secondly, Mr Burnham’s musing that Salman Abedi’s terrorism somehow disqualifies him from being regarded as a Muslim is based, paradoxically, on a Christian world-view.  In that view, you can tell a tree by its fruit.  Christians are supposed to do good works.  They are not allowed by their religion to sin.  So if you see a unrepentant rapist or a thief or a murderer that person is not a Christian.  Is Islam like that?

‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’

The stabbing at Leytonstone led to the 'You're no Muslim, bruv' meme.

The stabbing at Leytonstone led to the ‘You’re no Muslim, bruv’ meme.

The same sentiment behind Andy Burnham’s comment was voiced by the man who shouted at a suspected terrorist during a stabbing at Leytonstone tube station in December 2015, ‘You ain’t no Muslim, bruv’.

The man, a security guard called ‘John’, said he was upset by generalisations linking Muslims to extremism.   He said: “People look at Muslims, and look at Isis, and think they’re all the same. But obviously they’re not.

“Isis should be wiped out, because they’re not Muslims, because Muslims don’t do that. For people to be like that, they’ve obviously got stone hearts, they don’t care about society. They don’t care about anyone. They’re evil, pure evil.”

‘John’ of course is not a Muslim.  Nor does he actually know what a Muslim is.  No Muslim would ever say what ‘John’ said.  In fact, local Muslim leaders condemned the actions, but did not once claim the perpetrator, Muhaydin Mire, was not a Muslim.  All one of them managed was the ‘he had no links to the local mosque’.

Security Guard ‘John’ was making the same mistake as Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.  He too believes the commission of deeds which he thinks are evil stop the perpetrator from enjoying, if that is the right expression, the designation ‘Muslim’.

How to become a Muslim

But in Islam it doesn’t work like that.  Every Islamic website says the same.  Here is ‘IslamReligion.com’:  ‘

‘Becoming a Muslim is a simple and easy process.  All that a person has to do is to say a sentence called the Testimony of Faith (Shahada).’

The same website goes on:  ‘To be a Muslim, one should also believe that the Holy Quran is the literal word of God, revealed by Him and that the Judgment Day (Resurrection Day) is true and will come.  Believe in the prophets that God sent and the books He revealed, and in His angels, accept Islam as his/her religion.’   Finally, ‘Not worship anything nor anyone except God.’

It concludes:  ‘It is that easy! ‘

Five – or six – pillars of Islam

Muslims at prayer - in the street

Muslims at prayer – in the street

Indeed it is.  You become a Muslim just like that.  Having become a Muslim, the convert must observe the five pillars of Islam.  These are obligatory for Muslims and regarded as the core of pious Islamic life.

The Five Pillars are the Shahada, the five daily prayers (Salat), fasting during Ramadan (Sawm), giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor (Zakat) and doing a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).

The sixth pillar of ‘jihad’ is often added.  Jihad can be either an inner conflict to live a better life of the external conflict with the kaffir (unbelievers).  Studying the Quran is pretty much obligatory as well.

Whenever Muslims are discussing whether someone is a good Muslim of not, these are the things they mention.  It follows one can be a drug-dealer, or run a prostitution ring or an election fraud and still be a good, observant Muslim.  Muslim gangs in prisons are not repenting, they are radicalising.

Repentance in Islam

None of Islam is based on repentance.  Muslims believe that when someone becomes a Muslim, all his past bad deeds are forgiven.  But there is no act of repentance as there would be prior to a Christian baptism.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Repentance only applies to life as a Muslim.  In future, when the believer does something contrary to Islam, ‘he/she can always repent to God who forgives the sins of those who repent to Him sincerely’.

But equally, good deeds can cancel out bad deeds in Islam, unlike in Christianity.  No saviour is necessary. So to think that Islam is even a bit like Christianity is severely to misunderstand it.  And the Andy Burnham’s of this world do not understand it, how can they defend us against it?  (Or do they just trot out the ‘religion of peace’ stuff for the masses and think and speak differently in their Cobra meetings and conferences with the police?)

The Pitcher Plant - once inside, there is no escape

The Pitcher Plant – once inside, there is no escape

The Pitcher Plant of religions

It is important to note that although Muslims are expected by their faith to do good works as we should uSnderstand them, these are not obligatory works of Islam in the say way as the daily prayers, for example.  Moreover, some Muslims, jihadists, might regard blowing up 22 infidels as a good deed.

There is actually nothing which anyone can do which will stop him being a Muslim.  You can be expelled from a mosque, but you can never be expelled from Islam.  In fact, leaving Islam is apostasy, which is punishable by death.

Not only can no-one be ex-communicated from Islam, no-one is ever even allowed to leave.

Islam is the Pitcher Plant of religions.  Once someone is enticed in (or born in), there is no escape.

Proverbs 14:12 (& 16:25) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

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  1. Mark Jones

    I would not be the first to compare our friend Mr Burnham, with his prominent eyebrows, to “The Hood” of TV’s “Thunderbirds”, the former’s full head of hair notwithstanding.

  2. JohnAllman.UK


    That might help somebody understand better. I hope so.

    I think you may be ahead of me, or at least to have caught up with me. But, just in case, I offer you the following four memes, for thought:

    1. The famous “no true Scotsman” invalid argument.

    2. “A terrorist not a Muslim”.

    3. The LGBT internet apologist who took the line, “I’m talking about gay PEOPLE, not straight people who participate in homosexual behaviour, for example in prison”. (To which I replied, “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.”)

    4. The church gossip, “That pastor of ours might not be a REAL Christian, you know, BORN AGAIN”.

    The Christian doctrine of regeneration talks of people who have become as different inside from each another as chalk and cheese. (Sheep and goats, old and new natures, passing from death to life, “one shall be taken and the other left” to the vultures, and so on.)

    My LGBT apologist did not want to admit that his LGBT doctrine mimicked our holy doctrine. He didn’t see his doctrine of “gay people” as a “doctrine” at all, but as a “simple fact”, that nobody could deny.

    I offer to you, to read, one of my blog posts, entitled, “Nice curry, shame about the hate”, which kicks off with a video of David Cameron making a speech at a Tory conference, explaining then his doctrine whereby terrorists weren’t Muslims. I analysed Cameron’s argument, including pointing out the influence of the Christian doctrine of the new birth upon his thinking. I implied that he was mimicking Christian doctrine with his terrorists cannot be muslims doctrine.

    I think you might enjoy the piece. Clearly, you have started thinking along the same lines as I was. Possibly you always have, and I’ve never noticed it before.

    Nice curry, shame about the hate

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