Earlier this year it was reported that the BBC had replaced one Muslim with another, Fatima Salaria, in charge of religious television shows making her responsible for all the BBC’s religious content including Songs of Praise, now a pale reflection of what it used to be. Ms Salaria has previously commissioned Muslims Like Us, a reality style show and produced Britain’s Jihadi Brides.
It is right that we all should seek to understand faith in the widest context and the practices of others but it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the portrayal of Islam as the religion of peace is at variance with experience.
Most Muslims believe it is their religious duty to try to convert others to the Islamic faith. According to the Pew Research Center, in every country where the question was asked, a large majority of Muslims say all or most of their close friends share their faith. The survey found that even in countries with substantial non-Muslim populations, a large majority of Muslims say most, if not all, of their close friends share their faith.
Multiculturalism in Great Britain has resulted in the creation of Islamic areas. Some have been described as no-go areas for non-Muslims. Relatively few Muslims find the idea of inter-marriage acceptable but in Egypt, Muslims abduct Egyptian Christians, forcing them into marriages and conversions to Islam – "a fourfold atrocity" that is reaching "epic proportions". In some countries apostasy is met with a death sentence
It has been suggested that Parish churches could host multi-faith worship in their battle to stay open, using them as "social hubs for people of all ages, spaces to offer hospitality and vital services to the vulnerable". Churches are already being used to provide accommodation for the homeless over Christmas and many more are involved providing food banks for the needy but using churches to provide Muslims with more space to pray is a serious error of judgement as explained here. Once a place has been used for Muslim worship it is ipso facto a mosque.
Some Christian leaders are so keen to outdo each other in demonstrating brotherly love that they have effectively proclaimed to the world that Mohammed is greater than Jesus. Prince Charles declared his wish many years ago to be Defender of Faith to reflect Britain's multicultural society. It is a one way traffic. As Christian symbols are removed to avoid upsetting Muslims, non-Muslims are expected to observe Muslim customs by removing shoes while women are expected cover their heads in deference implying that only Islam is worthy of respect.
In my previous entry I referred to the Christmas message from the Archbishop of Wales and his use of the word 'love' which has become a password for progressives. In an interview for Christian Today he was asked "You were a key speaker recently at a Muslim Council of Wales event: how important is inter-faith dialogue?"
The Archbishop replied: "Very important. Again if you look at the caricatures, what a lot of people appear to believe about Islam is profoundly misguided. If you look at Islam, Christianity, Judaism, here you have religions and creeds that seek at the most fundamental level human flourishing and the good of mankind. It is very easy to interpret tiny bits of scriptures as wishing harm on others, when that is not representative."
Churchill was not so misguided. He warned of appeasement. He also warned of the perils of the Mahommedan religion:
"Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness."
Church can remove pews to attract local Muslims, court rules
St Thomas Werneth in Oldham has been allowed to remove its pews in order to cater for local Muslims. It has been given permission to remove the pews to allow it to hold more events with the wider community which is 88 per cent non-white British and "broadly Muslim". St Thomas C of E Primary School in Werneth was earlier this year reported to have only Muslim pupils.