Date :Saturday, March 5th, 2016 | Time : 02:24 |ID: 29771 | Print

Tariq Ramadhan: It’s time for EURO-ISLAM

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).

Two of the continent’s leading lights have urged European Muslims to abandon cultural practices from the Middle East and promote an updated version of their religion to prevent Islamophobia and extremism.

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.

Their plea comes after shocking scenes in the German city of Cologne, when a gang of 1,000 men, predominantly refugees and migrants, raped and robbed women out celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema

Former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema co-wrote the article

Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan is a leading Swiss scholar and philosopher

In the article, published on the Euractiv website, they wrote: “We must all fight this political, cultural and social battle together. Paradoxically, Muslim extremists and European Islamophobes share the same idea that Islam equals violence.

“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.”

ISIS fighters

The pair say people need to stop taking the Koran literally to defeat ISIS’ ideology

Men kneel for prayers at a London mosque

Instead, they say a new brand of ‘European Islam’ could make a great contribution to the continent

We need an Islam inspired by minds that are open to change and the challenges of the modern era
Massimo D’Alema and Tariq Ramadan
They added: “It would also be a powerful antidote to the religious fanaticism that exists in all religions and, at the same time, constitute a response to the rigid, ultra-conservative Islam, occasionally proclaimed by some terrorist groups.

“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.

“It would be a little like venturing to suggest that Stalinism was not communism.

“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.”

European leaders have been grappling with the issue of Islamist extremism ever since the horrific Paris attacks last November, in which ISIS gunmen slaughtered 130 people at bars and a theatre.

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.

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