Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, April 30, 2011

This guy may be barking, but he's definitely barking up the wrong tree

And very occasionally I read something educational (invariably unintentionally so) at BNI. They have a Muslim commenter called Iftikhar Ahmad from the "London School of Islamics" who turns up quite often. He posted the following quotation, of which more anon:

“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much
needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.” [G.B. Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Vol. 1, No. 81936.]

Someone else responded:

There is no such book as “The Genuine Islam” by George Bernard Shaw. The quote (or perhaps more fitting, the misquote) was likely the fabrication of some islamist in the 1930′s trying to curry political or social favor.

Well, that interested me. Of course from the reference it sounds as though "The Genuine Islam" is a periodical rather than one of Shaw's books, not that I'd expect the semi-literate cultists at BNI to realise that. A little Googling brought me to this article, which is actually rather interesting. The Shaw article exists (the periodical can be found in the New York Public Library) and is basically an interview with Shaw. However, the status of the much-quoted extract is far more complex, and in general not what the gung-ho Muslims who bandy it about would wish to hear, methinks.

Sometimes the Muslims at BNI can be as odd - and sometimes as offensive - as the cultist regulars.