Response to the Norwegian Journalist

 

Recently, a journalist working for a Norwegian newspaper (called Aftenposten) contacted Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam wanting clarification on some of the articles on this website. He mentioned that his newspaper were publishing a series of articles regarding Islam in Norway, and since Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam was a regular visitor to Norway in recent years, he wanted clarification about these ‘controversial’ articles and quotes attributed to him.

Below is the response Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam sent to the journalist.

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Dear Andreas,

I trust you are well,

Thank you for your email. Indeed I have been visiting your beautiful country since 2007, and have visited around 9 times! I must say it is one of the best countries I have visited in terms of natural beauty and politeness of the people. It is always a pleasure to visit Norway.

I am also glad you are publishing articles on Islam in Norway, and hope you will be balanced and well-informed concerning what you write. My experience of journalists here in the UK is that many are sensationalists and sadly like to take things out of context and make small stories into big ones. I have had some negative experiences with them. I hope you will be more balanced and accurate in what you write and publish.

Regarding my quotes, the first one about Jihad, that is not my article or writing. I have never written on the topic of Jihad until now. The answer you have linked was actually presented to me a few times in the last 2/3 years here in the UK, but it seems someone has deliberately or mistakenly put my name to it. It is not on my website or facebook page; rather, it was published on some random amateur public forum where someone posted it and put my name on it! I don’t know why someone would do that? Nevertheless, I have categorically nothing to do with that article.

As for the other links, yes they are mine. The last one on “helping a Muslim flee Shariah punishment for committing adultery" was written by me, but I had it removed around two years ago from our website because it was causing a lot of misunderstandings.

And this is in fact what I want you to understand. All the articles and answers on our website, which I have been writing since 2004, have a particular context. When I started writing these answers, I only had a ‘specific Muslim community’ in mind who understood the context. I never thought that after many years they would be read by non Muslims and journalists.

I have had the same problem here in the UK. The small Muslim audience I was writing for understood what I meant. For example, they knew the context of “women should not go out unnecessarily”. They understood that it meant loitering outside in the middle of the night or wondering in the Bazars and city centers exposing their bodies and displaying their beauty, where they can be harmed by corrupt men, which Islam does not allow. However, if there is a need (which includes shopping, work, dropping and picking children from school, visiting family and friends, socializing, going out to eat, amongst many other things), then it is of course fine.

But I would not expect you and other non Muslims to understand what was meant, so I am not blaming you. But since journalists and some non-Muslims have been picking up on some of my answers, which includes the ones you linked and also some others, I have been thinking of editing the answers for the past year or so, but could just not find time.

However, your email prompted me to and thus today I spent 4/5 hours editing around 19 answers, which includes the ones you linked. You can now see they have been edited.

One final point: The answers and articles are not there to force anyone or put pressure on them. I did not go out of my way to preach to them what they should or should not do. They themselves came to me to ask me about the position of Islam on such matters. I, as an Islamic scholar, expressed the Islamic ruling on these matters, and left it to them. Whether they agree or want to act upon my answer or not, that is totally up to them. I have nothing to do with that.

I hope this clarifies things up for you. I would urge you to never take my opinions except from my official website www.daruliftaa.com or my facebook page. Any other article attributed to me on other websites cannot be authentically attributed to me, and I take no responsibility of them.

Regards,

Muhammad ibn Adam

Darul Iftaa (UK)

10/11/2014