Posted: Jun 08, 2017 3:26 pm
by Matthew Shute
Unfortunately, the murderous paradise hunters can simply change tactics if this fatwa gains wide acceptance. Many jihadis already eschew suicide bombing - with gun, knife, and vehicle attacks becoming increasingly common instead. This hasn't changed because they worry that suicide bombing might be haram. No, they've just found that the latter tactics are less likely to be thwarted, while being just as horrific and destructive. IS's verminous preachers can always say that a knife attacker isn't "committing suicide" as such, even when he's planning to roam around murdering people until the police shoot him dead.

Until Quranic literalism and salafism are utterly discredited and irrelevant, the religious interpretations of people like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are going to be with us (thank fuck there're relatively few who follow him, although he still has an estimated 47,600–257,900 direct followers, and who knows how many sympathisers). Muslim reformers who challenge Quranic literalism run into resistance at the outset - if they say that a single line in the Quran isn't Allah's divine word, they're already doing something haram, even unthinkable. Sadly, this hard line, that the Quran is Allah's direct and final message to humanity, is nothing like a fringe view yet.

I recently read that there have been more than 30,000 Islamist terror attacks across 67 countries since 9/11 alone. It's sobering to reflect that this scourge could get significantly worse before it gets better.

I've no idea if Islam will undergo major reform to become less toxic. When it comes to theological debates over how many martyrs can dance on the head of a pin, it's not possible to predict how long, or which direction, they'll take. If anything I pin more hopes on Muslims themselves noticing that all this heartache is needless, since Islam is awful and false. Leaving Islam, openly, is not always possible. But for more and more ex-Muslims, it has become a viable option; and claims that Islam is growing like Topsy should be taken with a pinch of salt.