Posted on November 4, 2019

The Prophet Mohammed Had British Values

Sajda Khan, Independent, November 1, 2019

If the last Prophet of Islam, Mohammed was to return to this earth today, what would he make of those who have misconstrued his teachings? This is the question that could begin deconstructing extremism and winning people back who have been tempted into violent interpretations of their faith. Simply put, the way to combat Islamic extremism is to invest in teaching Islamic theology in British schools: teaching that proves the Prophet Mohammed would never have condoned their actions.

{snip} The teachings of the Qur’an are unambiguous on being inclusive, and treating others with justice and equality. There needn’t be a discrepancy between what is British and what is Muslim.


The remedy to the poison of warped Islamic ideology is clear, then – we must teach the realities of Islam, that it is a religion of peace and tolerance. I strongly believe that it is a simple formula, one that requires no restriction of civil liberties or demonisation of minorities: Muslim scholarship must provide a genuine counter-narrative. Only then can young people be led to understand that groups like Isis use their religion an excuse – rather than a guide – to justify their barbaric actions.

This is a golden opportunity to develop within our schools a curriculum based upon the biography of Prophet Muhammad, which clearly demonstrates and embeds what are now also considered British values. This is what will develop a strong sense of identity within our youth and dismantle the perverse understanding of Islam peddled by a few. We must be brave enough to say that being a British Muslim is not an oxymoron; it is the most natural thing in the world.

{snip} Extremism must be uprooted from our society, and Muslims are willing to work with the government. However, there is a danger that the raft of new measures proposed by the government will alienate a community that is already feeling targeted and marginalised. History teaches us what happens if we further marginalise those who are tempted towards extremism by their own isolation.

The government should instead understand that the success of Britain’s counter-extremism strategy will hinge not only on the wider engagement with the British Muslim community but also on re-discovering the legacy of Prophet Mohammed. {snip} Investing in a theological education that teaches the basic tenets of Islam is the only way we can genuinely win over those who have turned to extremism – whether we like it or not.