Friday, November 25, 2005

Gay Muslim peer slams Islam.

UK: The most interesting reaction is from the unnamed Labour politician. Looks to me like a chicken-bleep response.

NEW LABOUR PEER Waheed Alli has attacked Islam claiming the Quran is riddled with contradictions and the religion dominated by rituals. In remarks which will infuriate Muslim leaders the openly-gay Lord Alli accused clerics of being “intellectually lazy” and called for a “radical democratisation of Islam.” One Muslim figure who witnessed Lord Alli’s speech reacted: “I’m angry, I think he’s got it wrong”. The normally low profile peer waded into the religion in a lecture called ‘Islam the Third Way’ at the Canadian Embassy on Monday night. Lord Alli – who has previously never spoken out on Islam - attacked “Muslim reluctance to tackle the contradictions in Islam.” Referring to the community’s response to the London terror attacks, Lord Alli issued a stark warning. “Verbal condemnation is not enough. We can no longer be intellectually lazy”. ....“In a Muslim country, I as a gay man, should be able to go to Sharia law for protection, Sharia law should be a source of protection not oppression” He called Muslims to follow “the third way” which he said was the democratisation of Islam. “We have to take individual responsibility for action, collective responsibility for our religion. “We are today at a crossroads – modern values in Islam against orthodox values in Islam, this century will be defined by this conflict – conflict of values” Green Party MEP Jean Lambert found his speech a useful contribution and called for Alli to speak on campuses where many tensions lie. “I think he was good, and he should go and speak to the younger people at the universities”. However there was some scepticism from the Muslims in the audience. A young hijab-wearing student lambasted Alli for misreading the Quran and argued that Islam guaranteed rights for women. A Labour politician said privately before the event, “I have great respect for his work in every other area, but I don’t understand why he has chosen to get involved in this debate”.

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