An Islamic prison chaplain who challenges the views of terrorists in British prisons says a new version of the Qur’an is needed to tackle extremism.
According to The Sunday Times, Mamadou Bobouc said all verses related to jihad, war, Jews and Christians need to be accompanied by a footnote.
For example, a verse in the Qur’an that says Jews and Christians are not allies of Muslims and urges Muslims to kill them, should be accompanied by a footnote that that refers to another verse: “God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes.” He added that the scripture means innocent people should not be attacked.
Bobouc told The Sunday Times that he has taught interpretation of scripture to at least 10 of Britain’s most extreme terrorists.
He condemned the act of saying terrorists are “non-Muslim”. He said the label ignores the fact that extremists twist the scripture to justify their atrocities.
He told The Sunday Times: “I am not asking for a new Qur’an, I am asking for interpretations, mainly regarding those verses that can be difficult and have a different meaning when taken out of context”.
The Islamic scholar added that imprisoned terrorists use the Qur’an to justify their opposition to British foreign policy about freedom of region, human rights and equality.
Bobouc explained that Muslims needed to be proactive, not reactive when dealing with terrorism.
He told The Sunday Times: “Let’s have a committee of a variety of Muslim scholars in the West, not any from the East, to reinterpret the scriptures.
“Christianity was born in the East but rehabilitated in the West. And so was Judaism. It’s time to rehabilitate Islam in the West.”