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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An interesting response to Dr Bari

This letter to the Daily Telegraph (UK) by Dr Taj Hargey seems like the kind of thing we want. His suggestion seems to be that there are resources within what he calls "pristine Islam" for a more liberal practice, more readily capable of accommodating itself to pluralism and modernity. I hope that's true.

Dr Hargey signs himself as "Chairman, Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, Oxford". I have little idea of the politics within British Islam, but I notice he considers Dr Bari's organisation to be a fundamentalist "mainly Indo-Pakistani group". Presumably, there's an interesting story of cultural rivalry behind this, and a google search quickly establishes that Hargey is himself a controversial figure whom some evidently see as a sell-out to Western values and so-called "Islamophobia" ... but this opens up a lot of issues, so I won't go there.

Meanwhile, I see from the other letter on the subject, published in the Telegraph, that someone with the very Anglo-sounding name "Kirsty Thomas" is hoping that her "Muslim friends" can help Britain "regain a sense of decency". Prudes and puritans do come from all sorts of backgrounds.

1 comment:

clodhopper said...

Well, we live in hope. I don't know what he means by 'pristine' islam or how he deals with the cognitive dissonance evoked by comparing the Qu'ran to their own charter... (http://www.meco.org.uk/charter.htm)

....but maybe at least one could have a rational conversation with these people.