There is, in his view, no such thing as Islamic terrorism.
"Terrorists are terrorists, they may use religion but we shouldn't say Muslim terrorists, it stigmatises the whole community. We never called the IRA Catholic terrorists."
The MCB was criticised for boycotting Holocaust Day but he says he did not mean to offend Jewish people: "It should be inclusive, commemorating all massacres."
His passion is to integrate Muslim and British cultures - he says integration must go both ways.
"Everybody can learn from everyone. Some of the Muslim principles can help social cohesion - family, marriage, raising children with boundaries, giving to the poor, not being too greedy."
British people could, in his view, benefit from arranged marriages. "I prefer to call them assisted marriages," he says.
"Alcohol is the worst drug long-term," he says, and adds that the Government should consider banning drinking in public places, as it has done with smoking.
Abortion should also be made more difficult. "By the time a foetus is 12 weeks old our religion says that the child has got a spirit." Homosexuality is "unacceptable from the religious point of view".
Is stoning ever justified? "It depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances," he replies.
There should be more modesty too. "You shouldn't be revealing your body so much that it can be tempting to other people. I hope my daughter wouldn't wear a bikini but I also hope she wouldn't wear a burka."
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The Daily Telegraph interviews Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the leader of the Muslim Council of Britain. I'm pulling a few quotes that caught my eye. I recommend reading the whole article.
at 1:59 PM