Middleman Not Required

Runa Khan: 'All Muslim women should be how I am'

BBC, December 12 2014

A mother-of-six has been jailed for five years and three months for promoting terrorism on Facebook.

Runa Khan, 35, of Maple Road West, Luton, had admitted inciting terrorism in Syria by posting a picture of a suicide vest and messaging details of a route into the country on Facebook.

Before her sentencing, reporter Rani Singh met Khan on several occasions and on Sunday interviewed her for BBC Newsnight.

Singh: "Runa Khan, 35, was born in Bangladesh but has lived most of her life in Luton … in the past three years she has intensely explored religious teachings and became radicalized. She found similar minded people online and began promoting jihad. Arrested by counter-terrorism police … she remains unapologetic in her extremist views.

Khan: Personally, I don't know how many women like me there are but, as far as I am concerned, all the Muslim women should be how I am. I started reading the Koran in English and to understand the deeper meaning of the Koran you look at little books, like, there called the hadiths, they will tell you how to pray.

The Koran is a short book by holy book standards, three hundred pages of mostly clear, precise unambiguous instructions, give or take a page depending on the font and the translation.

The sayings and example of the Prophet, the so-called hadiths, in the Sunny Cannon outnumber the verses of the Koran by more than two-to-one. This is one reason why they tend to be grouped by category i.e. Khan's "little books".

Hadiths about how to pray abound, but also hadiths about warfare, a staple of Islam since its inception.

Singh: So, if you were not getting any instruction from the house [?] or from your background how did you then go further with it.

Khan: I don't need any instructions from anyone because it is there right in front of me, the book is there, the hadiths are there.

Khan ends her interview with an observation that is not germane to the topic, but worth pondering nonetheless.

Khan: If we could (referring to her six children, sister and her mother) we wouldn't live in Britain, but my passport has been taken away. Britain is the last place I would want to live in and I am sure that the majority of people with my mindset are actually behind bars because they don't want to stay in Britain.

People don't get radicalized out of thin air, although you may be tempted to think so after reading or listening in the Canadian media about the murderous exploit of our latest so-called self-radicalized murderers Bibeau and Rouleau.

Thank goodness for self-radicalized honest believers like Runa Khan who are not afraid to tell it like it is.

In another part of the interview, Khan, when asked about killing innocent people replies that "I don't mean killing innocent people, I am talking about people who are a threat to our religion."

Perhaps, even more worrisome than the radicalized believer is the moderate who may be called upon to kill in defense of his religion, as Khan believe she it doing, and who will do so because they feel it is their duty as believers. For many, I suspect, there will be no need for encouragements, for it will be a conditioned response.

Following are the three overriding conditions under which believers may be asked to engage in jihad; the most worrisome and intimidating for the Western World is the third prerequisite, for it is about making war here.

1. To defend your community or nation from aggressors.

2. To liberate people living under oppressive regimes.

3. To remove any government that will not allow the free practice of Islam within its borders.

A respected cleric or a community leader will usually be called upon to make a determination that at least one of the above conditions has been met before the bloodletting can begin.

Bernard Payeur

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