19th July 2008
Quilliam co-director Ed Husain took part in a lively Q&A session at Lincolnshire Showgrounds alongside professor Tariq Ramadan, Yahya Birt, Sabin Malik and Ahtisham Ali on Saturday, 19th July 2008.
Questions from the 3,000 strong audience related to identifying and tackling extremism, modes of engagement with central Government, suicide bombings, and roles of so-called ‘mainstream’ Muslim organisations.
Ed argued that foreign policy and socio-economic deprivation in Britain were not only concerns of Muslims, but other people across society. So why is it that extremist Muslims commit suicide bombings, and not others? He called on Muslims to change our communal discourse, abandon a separatist mindset, stop viewing murderers as martyrs, and openly question whether these acts would result in an afterlife in paradise or hell.
At times a challenging audience, Ed declared that Western Muslim communities will not be held hostage by the Palestinian cause, but actively engage in the British political process as full citizens and not merely to further hidden agendas.
All of the panel were in agreement that suicide bombings were haram, or scripturally forbidden.
The event was an excellent first step, pioneered by the ISB, to build greater dialogue and understanding between British Muslims.