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Monday, 11 October 2010

Is Christianity its own worst enemy?

“The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31

Even lapsed Christians tend to think in these terms and assume that others think likewise. The Equality and Human Rights Commission Triennial Review 2010 says that “Democracy is predicated on the idea that every individual, no matter what their background or personal circumstances, should have an equal opportunity to have a say in decisions about the country’s future.” The problem facing Christians and other religions is that Islam does not believe in democracy and denies people their basic human rights. Under Article 18 “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” The penalty for converting from Islam is death. How do ‘honour killings’ square with Article 16 on the freedom to marry? There have been calls to allow Sharia law to operate in this country yet it is alien to our culture putting power into the hands of people who would deny others their human rights.

To question such anomalies is met with cries of Islamophobia, racism and bigotry. Political correctness based on Christian values of tolerance (love thy neighbour) encourages well meaning people of other faiths and of no faith to question the motives of those simply seeking the truth by asking questions. The English Defence League is getting a bad press with the usual PC labels attached to them. Most ‘causes’ become infiltrated causing negative effects but one thing is clear, most non-Muslims don’t have the faintest idea of what Islam is about. We tend to think of the Koran as their version of the Bible and we are led to believe that like Christianity it is a religion of peace but that peace is under Islam, not as we know it.

The vast majority of Muslims go about their daily lives peacefully and deplore extremism. The problem for Christians and those of other religions arises when they become the minority. Then the ‘infidels’ are treated as the second class citizens Muslims believe them to be unless they convert. Hence the Christian exodus from the Middle East which is the subject of the Vatican Synod now in progress. Immigration and high birth rates have seen Islamic communities growing in Non-Muslim countries. This leads to demands for Muslim schools and mosques which build communities within communities instead of integration. The proposed ‘Ground Zero’ mosque development has highlighted the issue causing much controversy. If people have legitimate concerns they should be allowed to express their fears without being accused of racism and bigotry. To understand what is happening we need to educate ourselves to take a balanced view of what our greatest war-time leader Churchill, warned us of, that "the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome".

The documentary What the West Needs to Know, explains "everything you've always wanted to know about Islam but were afraid to ask. The feature documentary discovers the basis of Muslim violence in the Koran and the life of Muhammad: jihad terror Muhammad Koran Quran Fitna." If you are not willing to devote an hour and a half to the fuller explanation you can get a shorter but incomplete message here.

These videos raise legitimate concerns for Christians putting documented events of discrimination and killings into context which raises the question, Who is my neighbour? or, more pertinently, What is my neighbour's attitude to me? That must be a legitimate question in a (currently) free society.

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