I wrote last year about my fears that theocratic killers would strike against other Muslims and ex Muslims in the UK. That we needed to challenge the theocratic justification that is disseminated to kill them.
This has come too late for Asad Shah. An Amahdi Muslim, the message he put up in his newsagents wishing Christians a Happy Easter summed up their philosophy of love for all, hatred for none. Hours later a Muslim stabbed him to death multiple times, and sat on his chest laughing.
The reports saying it was another Muslim that killed him, misses the nature of the attack. Shah was the wrong kind of Muslim. His killer plunged the blade into someone he regarded as an apostate – someone worthy of death.
To those of you that say, well it is only a theocratic state that is meant to do this under certain conditions, so this is the work of madmen. This misses the Islamic State claims such powers as a caliphate. It misses the persecution that religious minorities suffer under Islamic State constitutions – not least the Ahmadi in Pakistan. It misses the distinction between people who have no rationality, and those with a bloodlust to have their way by calculated means of terror.
Solidarity by saying “I am Ahamdi” is the counter narrative to such justifications. Muslims recognising the Ahmadi as Muslims, challenging the dehumanising of them that occurs. We all have a part to play in this.
Some were quick to call this murder islamophobic. I hope they will be equally quick to condemn the sectarianism and religious fundemantalism behind the killing. To decalre Ahamdi Muslims as part of the Umma, to be one with them as with all humanity. To call them Muslims.
Shah wished all, regardless of their faith or none, love and happiness. He ultimately died for living up to those values. There is no resurrection on the third day for him, but those values can be our salvation this Easter as Europe once again comes to terms with a Jihadist attack in Brussels.
The theocrats want to divide us, to hate, to treat differently. They must not succeed. But unless Government and civil society act and take all forms of extremism seriously, this will not be the last such murder here.
For more on tackling such extremism look at the FATE (Families Against Terrorism and Extremism) initiative.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog