The ‘Christian’ spokesman for the Islamic charity responsible for the ‘Glory be to Allah’ advertisements coming to London buses has admitted he has not read the Quran, and claimed Islam is an entirely peaceful because of Muslims he “has met”.
Martin Cottingham, the head of communications for Islamic Relief UK, was challenged on BBC Radio three counties yesterday by Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League and an organiser of PEGIDA UK.
Mr. Robinson described Mr. Cottingham as a “useful idiot” for effectively acting as an apologist for Islam and defending the charity, which offers aid almost exclusively in Islamic nations.
“[The ad will say] ‘gather the rewards of Ramadan Subhan Allah, donate now’”, explained Mr. Cottingham, claiming the ad is, “just like Christian charities putting out adverts at Christmas”.
He said that it is, “not a charity by Muslims for Muslim” and claimed the ‘Praise Allah’ ad was somehow not a religious ad like the banned Lord’s prayer one.
“I am a Christian working for an Islamic charity, and I find so much of the values of my faith reflected in what Islamic relief does”, he said.
Responding, Mr. Robinson said: “I think Islam is completely shoved in our faces everyday, and I don’t think it should be… I don’t wanna hear ‘Allah hu Akbar’ screamed again, because every time I hear the word ‘Allah’, it’s to do with terrorism, rape, murder or torture.”
Mr. Cottingham replied by saying Mr. Robinson was, “picking a fight with an entire religion”, said his charity was against terrorism and that “one of the scriptures we are particularly inspired by at Islamic Relief is one that says: ‘If you have taken the life of one person, it’s as if you have taken the life of all mankind’”.
Hitting back with his own knowledge of Islamic scripture, Tommy Robinson exclaimed: “How dare you, as a Christian, come on the radio and use the verse 5:32… Why not put it in context and read out the very next verse, which says: unless they have caused mischief in the land, then they can be executed, have their hands and feet cut off”.
Explaining: “And top scholars and imams in Saudi Arabia declare ‘mischief’ as simply being non-Muslim, like you are Martin”.
Back-peddling, Mr. Cottingham dodged the riposte: “Tommy, I’m not going to get into a detail discussion with you about every verse in the Quran”. He added: “I believe profoundly from the Muslims that I have met and that I work with that Islam is a religion of peace.”
“Stop lying to the public, tell the truth”, urged Mr. Robinson, asking later: “Martin, have you read the Quran?”
“I’ve not read the Quran in it’s entirety, no” he replied.
“What are you doing? You’re on here furthering and defending Islam and you know nothing about it” said Tommy.