Maajid Nawaz: Stop Saying Violence Has Nothing To Do With Islam

4 June 2017, 14:07 | Updated: 4 June 2017, 18:40

This caller, Muhammad, phoned Maajid Nawaz to say Islam has nothing to do with violence. Maajid disagrees.

Following last night's London terror attack, Maajid Nawaz wants people to stop disassociating terrorism and religion - because they are undeniably linked.

London Bridge Attack: What You Need To Know

Muhammad phoned into Maajid Nawaz's LBC show to ask people to say "Islam is not the problem". 

The caller said:"Islam has nothing to do with violence. How can somebody say that Islam has anything to do with violence?"

Maajid replied: "Well it has something to do with it, doesn't it Muhammad? Not everything, not everything, but something."

"When the prophet Mohammed said: 'I have been ordered to fight the people until they declare there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger', That's clearly got something to do with violence doesn't it?" Maajid suggested.

Muhammad said he would need to know the context of the sentence before he could fully agree.

"Ok, So let's agree that context is important," Maajid said. "Interpretation is important, but let's not pretend it's got nothing to do with violence because making the argument that we need context acknowledges that we're having a discussion about violence and placing violence in its context within Islam. That's different to saying violence has got nothing to do with Islam."

Muhammad said that for vast majority of Muslims in the UK, violence played no part in the their lives. They were working and raising families as normal. Maajid pointed out that while that may be the case, three attacks have happened in the UK this year with the attackers religious belief playing a part. A link must be acknowledged.

"It's as unhelpful as to say it is everything to do with Islam, because it is Islam. I think let's be realistic and acknowledge that there is a connection, it's something to do with Islam. Not nothing, not everything, but something."

Maajid explained why the link must be first acknowledged and then understood.

"Why this is so important is because when listeners hear Muslims like yourself say it's got nothing to do with it, they think that you're trying to shirk responsibility and sidestep the very important task that faces all of us to challenge extremism within our mosques and our communities.

"Of course, that may not be what you intended, but it sounds like that to listeners who are not Muslims, it sounds like you're making excuses so as to not go about doing the work that all of us have to do, which is to challenge extremism."