A Youth Voices writer looks at religion.
None of us can claim to have an insight into why radicalised young people are joining Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS. That’s because most of us don’t have an understanding of political Islam or extremism. However, antifeminist radical blogger Claire Khaw just might be able to have a go at some tentative speculation.
To be clear, she isn’t an ISIS supporter nor does she condone violence. But there are broad ideological similarities between ISIS’ Islamism and Khaw’s Secular Koranism, a one-party Islam-based political and legal system which she apparently invented and hopes to eventually see implemented in Britain.This theocracy would involve abolishing welfare and the NHS and the reintroduction of slavery, public executions and public whippings of “Slut Single Mums”. (I previously interviewed Khaw and her views are also summarised here. She also runs a political blog.) Claire reportedly counts many prominent politicians as Facebook friends and was previously a BNP member. Secular Koranism is a state run on Koranic principles and laws- just like the ‘Islamic State’- but without belief in a deity. This secularist aspect, and (relative to ISIS) lack of violence appear to be the only differences between the ideology of Secular Koranism and that of the ‘Islamic State’. Both ISIS and Khaw, unlike Islam-based theocracies such as Saudi Arabia, openly state a wish for the UK and other countries to adopt their systems.
The decision of the Malaysian office of fast food giant McDonald’s to ban non-halal cakes inside its premises has been criticized for allegedly promoting an intolerant and extreme version of Islam.
Malaysia has a predominantly Malay Muslim population, although the state advocates the unity of diverse races and ethnic groups.
Halal certification in Malaysia means that a food product has been endorsed by an accredited religious authority as meeting Islamic standards.
How did a perfectly normal British teenager end up fighting in Somalia as a recruit for the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Al Shabaab?
Peter Beard’s documentary “My Son the Jihadi” follows the life of traumatized mother Sally as she struggles to come to terms with her estranged son’s transformation from a ‘normal teenage lad’ to Abdul Hakim, the violent Islamic extremist. Through this lens, we see a mother who is torn between the love for her child and a disgust at his actions in a faraway land. She admits, “I’m ashamed of him, but he’s still my son”.