A BBC program just aired tonight called 'When Tommy met Mo', it featured the leader of the far-right group, the English Defense League (EDL), Tommy Robinson, and his meetings with Mohammed Ansar, a Muslim community activist.
Mohammed Ansar tried his best to make Tommy Robinson change his mind about Islam, and dump his misconceptions and negative image about it. However, Tommy was insistent that Mohammed Ansar was not representing Islam, and that Islam's original '7th century form' was still believed and practiced by the Muslim community at large. Tommy had, from the beginning always insisted that the EDL's purpose was to 'pressure' the Muslim community to change Islam, and 'reform' it, to 'get rid' of its 'old laws', and 'problem' verses in the Quran. However, Mohammed Ansar argued that the problems were only a matter of interpretation, not a problem with verses.
Tommy was unmoved by this, and continued his work in the EDL, until...
Tommy was then taken with Mohammed Ansar, to meet two 'experts' on Islam, the Atheist skeptic historian Tom Holland, and a member of the UK government funded 'anti-Islamist' Quilliam Foundation's Usama Hasan. The purpose of the meeting was to put Tommy's misunderstandings of Islam as a so-called 'violent barbaric' religion to the test, and have his concerns answered by these 'experts'. But to Tommy's DELIGHT they AGREED with him - you should've seen the expression of joy on his face! To his credit Mohammed Ansar looked dejected at this turn of events - he had been spending a lot of time convincing Tommy that that wasn't the way Islam was.
Tommy then wanted to know what should happen now, and Tom Holland suggested that the way forward was that Muslims should 'historise' the Quran, and leave its laws in the 7th century, only taking forward the [secular compliant] 'universal' spiritual values which all religions have anyways - a reformation. Usama Hasan agreed with Tom Holland [Quelle Surprise], leaving Mohammed Ansar to protest in vain, that Islam shouldn't be reformed, only Muslims. His protests fell on deaf ears...
Tommy then was introduced to Maajid Nawaz, Khola Hasan and others, who all seemed to have similar views. Tommy was convinced, THESE were the Muslims he'd been waiting for, a glimpse into the future he had always wanted for Muslims to be like - believing in the same beliefs he did - 'British Values' (aka Liberalism).
I don't know about you, but it doesn't surprise me to see a modernist, Usama Hasan, agreeing with the leader of a right-wing organisation, and an Atheist skeptic about changing Islam. But I'm glad that they admitted it in public, and this was evident for all to see.
I have no further comments to make beyond the ones I said in an earlier article I wrote, when I first heard of Tommy Robinson leaving the EDL to work with Quilliam. [http://wp.me/p1yZme-oj]. As Tommy said, Quilliam introduced him to 'Muslims' who would change their own religion to fit into the Western Liberal world - now his new [old] direction would be to make sure the rest of the Muslim community in the UK did the same...he left the EDL, and found a better group of people to work with, which he believed would better help him achieve his goal.
Mohammed Ansar, was left rejected by Tommy, as he dumped him for Maajid Nawaz, head of the Quilliam Foundation. Thus concludes the tale of when Tommy met Maajid...
P.S. Maajid Nawaz grilled Mohammed Ansar on whether or not he affirmed the Quranic punishment for theft was right or not. Maajid said that even if there were an Islamic state, and all the sharia conditions were fulfilled for the punishment to be done, it was still wrong! I'd be lying if I'd say I was surprised, but I was shocked at how publicly he grilled Mohammed Ansar, as if to force him to recant his Islamic beliefs into the Quran's wisdom. Sad.
The video of the program can be watched on youtube
Article originally from Abdullah Al-Andalusi's blog: