As someone who grew up in fundamentalist Muslim countries, the continuing spread in the West of apologists for sharia law is, to say the least, intriguing. It is, of course, good-hearted to wish people from other cultures to feel welcome. Many of these apologists, however, have no first-hand experience of how it feels actually to live in that part of the world or to be a victim of day-by-day radical Islam. What is painful is that although many of these apologists have never lived under Islamist rules, they often act as if they had.
First, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan correctly said, “There is no moderate Islam; Islam is Islam.”
Islam, however, can be interpreted. Even Erdogan has said — although it is not clear what he meant by it — that, “Islam must be updated.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, also expressed similar views:
“We must revolutionize our religion… We must take a long, hard look at the current situation… It is inconceivable that the ideology we sanctify should make our entire nation a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction all over the world. It is inconceivable that this ideology… I am referring not to ‘religion,’ but to ‘ideology’ — the body of ideas and texts that we have sanctified in the course of centuries, to the point that challenging them has become very difficult… It has reached the point that [this ideology] is hostile to the entire world…”