SHAFAQNA- EUROPE’s top thinkers have today called on worshippers to stop taking the Koran literally and embrace a modern “European Islam” in a bid to defeat the poisonous ideology of Islamic State (ISIS).
Their rallying call comes amid heightening religious tension across Europe sparked by the ongoing migrant crisis, which has seen millions of predominantly Muslim migrants and refugees descend on the continent.
In an opinion piece published this week former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema and Swiss Muslim philosopher and scholar Tariq Ramadan said refugees must learn to accept European values.
Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema co-wrote the article
Tariq Ramadan is a leading Swiss scholar and philosopher
“This perception is not only false, but also dangerous.To escape from this unfounded ideology, we need a European Islam, an Islam of European citizens and not an Islam composed of communities influenced by their countries of origin.
“We need an Islam inspired by minds that are open to change and the challenges of the modern era, rejecting a literal reading of the Qur’an and in tune with the new historical context.
“That kind of Islam would make an important contribution to European culture in the 21st century and beyond.”
The pair say people need to stop taking the Koran literally to defeat ISIS’ ideology
Instead, they say a new brand of ‘European Islam’ could make a great contribution to the continent
“If Muslims share responsibility for the emergence of this European Islam, the EU Member States and their institutions will have to recognise that Islam is a European religion and that its contribution is necessary and important.”
The pair penned the piece to address possible European responses to attempts by ISIS jihadis to radicalise European youngsters.
Up to 6,000 Europeans have joined the twisted maniacs in Syria over the last couple of years, whilst the threat of homegrown terrorism inspired by the group has risen.
Mr D’Alema and Mr Tariq Ramadan both argue that Islam can no longer ignore the rise of ISIS or deny that it is a problem specifically linked to their religion.
They wrote: “It would be too simple to say that they have nothing to do with Islam.
“From a strictly Islamic and religious point of view, they are Muslims, although their behaviour is obviously not consistent with the principles of Islam.
“However, they oblige us morally and intellectually to take a stand on what they do.
“A religious response is needed, but not just a religious response. There is a real problem in regard to education, manipulation, internet indoctrination, drug use and political exploitation of religious matters.”
Countries have made efforts to improve intervention to stop young people travelling to Syria, but many commentators feel more needs to be done to cut off the terrorists’ supply of foreign-born fighters.