You ain't no Muslim

« previous post | next post »

You ain't no Muslim, bruv! The phrase already gets more than 650,000 hits on Google in the UK, and the hashtag #YouAintNoMuslimBruv gets about 1,670,000. It is becoming a mantra, a talismanic incantation for conjuring up goodwill in a world where more and more attempts are being made to foment hatred between Muslims and everyone else.

Palestinians stab random Israelis in what is becoming known as the Stabbing Intifada; a highly organized attack in Paris kills 130 people; a married couple use semiautomatic rifles to murder 14 people at a Christmas party at the husband's place of employment in San Bernardino; and inspired by all this, a lone madman in London yelling "This is for Syria" pulls out a cheap three-inch knife and tries to kill a man in the ticket hall of the Leytonstone underground station.

The perpetrator was attacked twice by David Pethers, an unarmed hero from among the watching public (most of whom just stood there filming the attack with their smartphones), and was finally taken down by police with four taser shots. A Muslim who witnessed the arrest yelled at the perpetrator, in classic London working-class nonstandard English: "You ain't no Muslim, bruv! You ain't no Muslim!"

The reminder that Islam explicitly forbids random acts of murderous violence against arbitrary strangers was timely, and the slogan has been taken up worldwide. Londoners are proud of the way their city responds to such horrors: not by launching revenge attacks against peaceful Muslims but by reminding the lone crazy guy that he is not following the dictates of the religion he claims to belong to.

I hope the reminder is valid. Certainly, many experts on Islam insist that it defines murdering a human being as an offense against all humanity. Could it be that some people are nonetheless so deluded that they read "Slay them wherever you find them" in the Kor'an (2:191) and interpret it to entail "Go therefore unto the Leytonstone tube station ticket hall and there cut the throat of any random commuter who seems likely to be an unbeliever"? Ignoring the previous line, which explicitly says "do not attack them first" because "God does not love aggressors"? I hope not. Because there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and the 21st century is going to be very ugly if any significant proportion of them should come to believe that their holy book is instructing them to commit random acts of homicide.

Comments are closed.