Mehdi Hasan is annoyed with Roshonara Choudhry. She doesn’t get it – she doesn’t understand that Islam doesn’t approve of her going to her MP’s surgery for the purpose of stabbing him to death, nor of her actually sticking a knife in his stomach.

She is, for example, ignorant of the specific Quranic verses that she claims inspired her horrific and cowardly attack on Timms – “the main chapters about it are chapter . . . chapter eight and chapter nine, I think,” she says, pathetically. In fact, there are no verses in the Quran which justify such brutal, vigilante attacks on innocent civilians. Suicide bombings for example, are un-Islamic.

Oh tut – isn’t that awful. But if there were such verses in the Quran, would that justify such brutal, vigilante attacks on innocent civilians? If suicide bombings were Islamic, would that make them a good thing?

Mehdi Hasan doesn’t address that question; it doesn’t seem to occur to him. It ought to. It doesn’t matter whether stabbing civilians is in the Quran or not; it matters whether it’s bad or not. Focus.

Those who claim that our mosques are breeding grounds for terrorists and extremists should note the two names Choudhry cites as her influencers: Anwar al-Awlaki and Abdullah Azzam. She discovered both on the internet (on YouTube!), not at her local Islamic centre. Both, I hasten to add, lack the credentials and qualifications of mainstream Islamic scholarship; al-Awlaki has a PhD in human resource development (!) from George Washington University. Why on earth did she think such a person had the “Islamic” or moral authority to instruct her to carry out a murder, one of the greatest sins in Islam?

But why on earth is Hasan so concerned about who has the “Islamic” authority to instruct people to murder? Why is he so worried about credentials and qualifications and mainstream Islamic scholarship? Is he shocked by what Choudhry did, or is he shocked by the association of Islam with brainless brutal violence?

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