On the 24th November Home Secretary Theresa May announced new legislation aimed at protecting the United Kingdom against terrorism.

IMG_0357The assumption is that British jihadists who have been fighting with IS in Syria or Iraq will return to the UK and carry out similar brutal acts on the streets of London or Liverpool.


When the Syrian uprising in the spring of 2011 broke out into civil war between Government forces and the ‘rebels’, the United States, Britain an other European countries came out in support of the opposition groups in their struggle to topple President Bashar al Assad. It quickly became apparent that the ‘rebels’ were made up of disparate groups, each with its own agenda.

Post: The Importance of Hadith in Islam

The militant group that calls itself ‘Islamic State’, otherwise known as IS, is terrorising innocent people across Syria and Iraq and threatening the stability of the region.  The group professes to be following a ‘pure’ form of Islam that is founded upon the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad and the early generations of Muslims.

In a forthcoming book, Making Sense of Militant Islam, I explore the roots of this extremism starting from the early Islamic period through to today.

The following is a short excerpt from Chapter One that looks at the importance of Hadith (sayings of the Prophet).  My suggestion is that groups such as IS lift selective texts from the Qur’an to justify their brutal acts without reference to the historical context, the Hadith or a long tradition of Islamic scholarship.


Our politicians frequently speak of ‘British Values’, a phrase that has always puzzled me. What exactly are ‘British Values’ and how do these differ from those that most nations aspire to?
Two incidents have occurred in recent weeks that have prompted me to ask the question again.