ONE OF THE QUEEN’S CHAPLAINS has spoken out about the violent sections of the Qu’ran. Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden wrote of Islam’s lack of a ‘mechanism of restraint’ to violence compared to that of Jews and Christians in an article in The Times on 21 March. He explained Muslim scholars’ practice of accepting later verses – which are the more violent ones – over the earlier, more conciliatory verses in the Qu’ran.
He wrote, “The Western media talks of ‘radical’ or ‘extreme’ Islam. But this misunderstands the Islamic dilemma. Islam and the Qu’ran have two faces, one benign and one violent. The violence that IS inflicts on non-Muslims is Qu’ranic, not radical. This was why “conciliatory voices in the Islamic community are often drowned out by the call to arms.”
Dr Ashenden pointed out that Judaism’s mechanism of restraint is to limit revenge to “an eye for an eye” and for Christians it is Jesus’s commandment to love one’s enemy. He quoted President al-Sisi’s New Year’s Day statement, in which the Egyptian president had asked how belief in Islam could make Muslim nations “a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction?”