Tuesday, 7 February 2017


For people who are finding life difficult and uncertain (I’m sure there were some in the audience), Fadel Soliman’s presentation at the Leeds Grand Mosque might have resonated with enough force to convince a few of them to convert to Islam. It’s comforting to imagine a merciful God who will look after us, and maybe intercede on our behalf by answering our prayers. Unfortunately Mr Soliman’s depiction of God was rather at odds with the God of the Koran.

It is stated, on almost every page of the holy book, that God is “forgiving and merciful”. Without this bizarre character reference, the casual reader might come to a rather different conclusion: that the god of the Koran is violent, vengeful, sadistic, coercive, didactic, petty, pedantic, insecure, narcissistic, demanding, arrogant, dogmatic, authoritarian, capricious, insatiably needy, tyrannical, obsessive, paranoid and dictatorial. He rules through fear, threats and promises, and is unforgiving of dissent. Oh, and he demands to be praised… continuously.

From the moment he switched on his microphone to the moment he answered the last question in the Q and A session, Mr Soliman was propagating a life built on illusion. He offered the audience a watered-down version of Islam, and dealt with the problematic areas of the religion by ignoring them altogether. The audience was very polite - no hecklers - and no one asked the most obvious question: Is there even a shred of evidence that anything you have said this evening is true?…

No comments:

Post a Comment