EU Parliament charter asks Muslims to reject extremism

Groups purporting to represent Muslims were encouraged to sign the charter to affirm that they reject violence, discrimination against non-Muslims.

British Muslim 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
British Muslim 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
A new initiative that challenges Muslim communities living in the West on their attitudes to integration in the face of fundamentalism and extremism in their communities was launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday. The Muslim Charter, written by Islam and Shari'a law expert Sam Solomon and sponsored by London member of the European Parliament Gerard Batten, is designed to enable Muslims from all strands of belief to openly state that they reject extremist interpretations of religious texts that promote, or excuse violence, and bring Islam into conflict with the modern world. Groups purporting to represent Muslims were encouraged to sign the charter to affirm that they reject violence and discrimination against non-Muslims, and that they value the freedoms of the West and want to live as law-abiding citizens. The 10 article charter calls on the Muslim community to issue a fatwa prohibiting the use of violence or threats to their followers. It also asks that Moslems promote understanding of the precedence of national laws over Shari'a law. The charter requires Islamic institutions to revise and issue new interpretations of Koranic verses that call for jihad and violence against non-Muslims. Solomon said: "We call on all organizations representing the Islamic faith to endorse and sign this charter as an example to all European Muslims. By doing so they will make it clear that Islam really is a religion of peace and that acts of terrorism carried out in its name are acts of misguided individuals who have misunderstood and misinterpreted its teaching." Batten, who has written a foreword to the charter, said: "The views of so-called fundamentalists who believe in Islamic theocracy are simply incompatible with Western liberal democracy and we have seen how dangerous they are. But the vast majority of Muslims that non-Muslims meet every day are hardworking, decent and law abiding and we must offer them support while standing firm against extremists. This charter is a great step forward in that process." Solomon, a human rights activist was born in the Middle East, became a renowned Islamic scholar and went on to become a leading iman and emir with the authority to issue fatwas. He is an advisor to various governmental departments on issues relating to Islam and acts as a legal advisor to Christians suffering persecution in Islamic countries.