I wrote this piece in January, soon after the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, and the huge rally that followed in France. I believe the writings of Jeremy Hinds give us some insight into how dialogue with Muslims could and should happen.
OVER THE PAST WEEK I’ve been reading quite a lot of back and forth in the papers and social media on the question of whether it is good to throw “fuel on the fire” (as some call it) by satirizing the Prophet Muhammad, or other religious figures for that matter.
Rather than write my own views on this, it might be more helpful to refer us all to the work of a man who was one of my greatest mentors decades ago, and whose knowledge of the Qur’an, of Islam, especially in West Africa, was widely considered unparalleled at the time I met him in 1980. His name was Jeremy Hinds. He was fluent in Hausa, knowledgeable in the Arabic of the Qur’an, and had unparalleled knowledge of the sects and movements within Islam. He worked for 28 years in northern Nigeria, and upon his return to the U.K. worked…
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