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Dr Ali Selim – Voice of Irish Muslims?

This is a cross-post from Geoff’s Shorts

“If Allah had willed, He could have made all of you humans a single people. But, He decided to let you choose your own path after showing you the Truth, and thus test yourselves. Outdo one another in actions that serve humanity and thus grow your “Self”. To Allah is your final Destination, of all of you.” Qur’an, 5:48

The hard right of authoritarian Islam and the hard right of anti Muslim bigotry are unnatural bedfellows, yet are as one in their desire to paint Islam as monolithic. These two heads of the same monster are conjoined in a delusion that Islam’s 1.6 billion adherents throughout all cultures and societies have no diversity of thought, opinion, or desire. It is a monster that attacks those considered Muslim. It is the same monster that attacks those considered not Muslim enough.

It is for this reason that I do not welcome Dr Ali Selim’s recent contribution to the debate on Irish schooling, where he obliquely claims that diversity in Irish society can be enhanced if diversity within Irish Muslim society is eradicated.

He estimates 65,000 Muslims in Ireland, presumably a figure that includes all 49,204 self described Muslims from our 2011 census. Selim uses his self appointed position as their spokesperson to present them as monolithic on many matters. Let us examine some of his claims:

“[Islam] forbids pre- and extramarital sexual relations, whereas RSE perceives sexual relations outside wedlock as part of normal practices.”

I am of course shocked to learn that an authoritarian religious apologist frowns on relationship and sexuality education, and uses their faith and self constructed platform to oppose same. That said a favouring of marriage as an environment in which to raise children can hardly be considered the unique preserve of the Muslim faith, and I’m aquiver with anticipation for Selim’s paper showing Christians do not share this position. Perhaps he will soon be calling for the introduction of Catholic values to some of Ireland’s schools? It is hardly incoherent to favour waiting till marriage yet also wish to equip one’s children with an understanding of relationships, human sexuality, self respect and respect for one’s partner and it’s baffling how Selim can pretend no Irish Muslim holds this view.

Do read the post in full here.