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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Mixed messages from No 10 on issues of faith


Photo: EPA

  Yesterday in his statement to the Commons on the Algerian crisis, the Prime Minister referred to the threat of Islamist terrorism inspired by an ideology that is an 'extreme distortion of the Islamic faith' which holds that mass murder is not only acceptable but necessary in an attempt to divide the world into a clash of civilizations. Convinced that democratic principles are the answer to Islamic ideology, previous attempts to impose Western democratic principles including the West's backing of the Arab Spring have backfired for Christians in Islamic countries. As Metropolitan Hilarion put it [see previous entry under 'Media Ignores Religious Persecution']: "In Iraq only one tenth of a million-and-a-half Christians that lived there ten years ago have survived. In Egypt we are witnessing a mass exodus of Christians. There are practically no Christians left in Libya. Ninety five percent of Christians have abandoned Homs in Syria." 

Alexandria was one of the earliest centres of Christianity. In Egypt today Christians are persecuted simply for being Christian, not by terrorists but by followers of Islam, as they are around the world. So why do politicians continue to peddle the myth that Islam is a religion of peace? Tony Blair struggled to answer when he was asked in an interview what he knew about Islam [advance to position 39.00 but preferably watch the whole video]. I suspect Dave would fall into the same trap if he were asked.  As Coptic priest Fr Zakaria Boutros explains here, it is a mistake to compare Muslims with Jews and Christians, it is what the religion is based on, or, in the case of Islam, the ideology that matters.

Bishop Nazir-Ali came to Britain from Pakistan in the 1980s because his life was in danger.  In a statement to the European Court of Human Rights last year he argued that laws originally designed to protect basic freedoms are instead being used to strip British society of its Christian foundations while upholding the rights of minorities. He said: “The Christian faith and our Judeo Christian values are the cornerstone of our freedoms, prosperity and liberty in Europe” and warned that Christianity is now under threat from a “human rights agenda” which he argued is denying Christians their rights while upholding those of others. The result of the case here.

While the 'Islamic faith' is talked up, Christianity is constantly talked down and adherents put under pressure; examples here and here. In evidence to the European Court the UK Government had argued that wearing a cross is not an essential tenet of Christianity so it was not a breach of human rights to refuse permission to wear a cross; a helpful technicality! Youth organisations are not exempt from being targeted by secularists even if the organisation was founded on Christian principles such as the Scouts and the Guides. The Air Cadets is the latest organisation to drop God from their promise leaving a spiritual vacuum which others will not hesitate to fill to their own advantage whenever the opportunity presents itself. A good example of exploitation here.

So what is the Government doing to protect our Christian heritage and values? Well they will not force churches to perform same-sex marriages, that can be left to the European courts. Currently they are rushing through legislation that has not been properly thought through to change the law of succession - but not to the satisfaction of one Labour MP who is gathering support for an amendment that will 'extend the protection' to include the eventuality that the child is gay or lesbian. If by then we are a Muslim nation the heir is, in that event, more likely to be hanging from a crane than sat on the throne.

2 comments:

  1. "So why do politicians continue to peddle the myth that Islam is a religion of peace?"
    That's a rhetorical question, surely - you have seen the latest census figures?

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    Replies
    1. Good point Father. Also, as the PM said, "This attack underlines the threat that terrorist groups pose to the countries and peoples of that region and to our citizens, our companies and our interests too." Last but not least!

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