Last night, Channel 4 featured what today's London Times describes as 'the film-maker Antony Thomas bending over backwards to be fair to The Qur'an':
Nearly 30 years ago, Thomas had made Death of a Princess, which 'caused the Saudi Government to cancel trade deals with Britain'.
And Thomas didn't pull his punches when it came to the types of Islam currently espoused in Saudi Arabia. However, he did not go on to emphasise the direct line which exists between Wahhabism and the theology currenly being taught and practised by members of the Pakistani communities here in Britain, who are culturally miles apart from their Arab co-religionists, as pointed out in this Independent article:
The most astonishing parts of the programme were:
a) the revelation that thirty years ago no veils were seen on the streets of Cairo, whereas to venture out without one now would be foolhardy in the extreme
b) the discovery by a German scholar of the earliest extant manuscript of the Koran in Sana, the Yemen. This text does not contain vowels and is therefore open to many interpretations.
Unfortunately, the German scholar has received death threats, but his brave translator went on the programme to explain the significance of this find.
Frankly, anything that brings the Koran closer to Jewish interpretations of the biblical text would be a good thing in my view, as exemplified by the Chief Rabbi's recent Credo article on the truly magical role of Hebrew in Jewish biblical exegesis:
And, during a recent radio interview in Jerusalem, the new (and first) Israeli Jewish female President of the International Council of Christians and Jews was at pains to point out that actually Islam has more in common with Judaism theologically speaking than does Christianity!
This may be true, but isn't it missing the point? This article by Dean Godsen of the Policy Exchange think tank, also featuring into today's Times, discusses the 'hidden face of political Islamism':
This 'face' is embodied in the person of Professor Tarik Ramadan of Oxford University, who was interviewed for the 'Qur'an' programme, sounded wonderful, but failed to mention the exceedingly negative views he holds on Israel, for instance, which includes advocating boycotts (sound familiar?)
Melanie Phillips hits the nail on the head, as she so often does, with her no-nonsense take on things. Here's one article:
And here's another:
Finally, the left-of-centre 'Harry's Place' blog is being sued by Hamas UK:
You just have to laugh, don't you?