Saturday, 30 July 2005

weekend reading

Three related items:
Christopher Howse in the Telegraph asks Who are the ummah?
Oliver McTernan in the Guardian discusses The textual analysis of terrorism
And from Fulcrum Graham Kings writes London Bombings:Warnings and Support

In The Times Geoffrey Rowell writes that The truth of Christian faith prevails in even our most faltering words

Also in The Times, an article by Nick Wyke on the Cammino di San Francesco (the URL within the article is wrongly spelled)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 30 July 2005 at 7:24am BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Opinion
Comments

Graham Kings does a decent overview of the issues but some of his references are from an earlier generation (Cragg, Warren) when issues were far less polarized, and he needs to say a lot more about the problematic character of being a Muslim in the UK today - think of the crazy jilbab affair involving that schoolgirl or the way in which the city centers of much of the UK have become Muslim ghettoes. Some of these cities will be Muslim majority places by 2025, by current birth rates. There is an excellent piece on this in The Spectator by Patrick Sookhdeo who I understand is an Anglican priest in England. Maybe Thinking Anglicans can link this? There was also a piece in The Times Online back in Feb 2005 about Muslim converts to Christianity being persecuted in England and the failure of the police to deal with these hate crimes.

, and it would be god to hear more about

Posted by: Colin Turner on Saturday, 30 July 2005 at 12:07pm BST

Here's the link to the Patrick Sookhdeo article, 'The Myth of Moderate Islam';

http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php?id=6421

Posted by: Colin Turner on Saturday, 30 July 2005 at 1:01pm BST

Any article in the Spectator has to be immediately suspect, and this one is no different to any other. An Anglican priest as author is no automatic recommendation.

Now, which cities are we talking about? Birmingham has a high Muslim population , certainly, as does London, but then, London is a cosmopolitan city all round. Bradford also has a high Muslim population.

Newcastle, Norwich, Liverpool, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Leicester, Leeds, Nottingham - all have Muslim people living there, but none overwhelmingly Muslim, or even likely to be.

As for the jilbab issue, we have a choice - to take the French path, which is to keep religion to the private sphere, have a secular state, and get religion out of education completely, or accept the reality of a religiously plural society where public interference of religion in the public sphere is accepted (ie RC and CofE schools, bishops in the House of Lords, blasphemy legislation, and so on)

So many seem to want their particular rel;igion treated as 'mainstream' and all others as dangerous 'fringe' beliefs. Personally, I think Christian and Muslim conservatives have a lot in common.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 30 July 2005 at 10:36pm BST

Don't know what the problem with The Spectator is or why it's suspect - isn't it one of England's oldest and most respected political journals? Here's the money quote from the piece:
"The Muslim community now inhabits principally the urban centres of England as well as some parts of Scotland and Wales. It forms a spine running down the centre of England from Bradford to London, with ribs extending east and west. It is said that within 10 to 15 years most British cities in these areas will have Muslim-majority populations, and will be under local Islamic political control, with the Muslim community living under Sharia."
Actually, I don't think sharia will find its way that easy, but who can tell? Hasn't Britain recently banned public criticism of Islam? Seems to me the British Labor Party - Prime minister Blair, Mayor Livingstone - does a lot of sucking up to Muslims, like that PLO man Qaradawi. All I know is that demography is against the white indigenous population, whose fertility rate in Europe is about 1.2, against a much higher minority birth rate. Currently one in three births in France is Muslim - which means of course that in 2025 one in three 'new' adults there will be Muslim (or Muslim heritage). The Islamization of Europe, which began only 40 years or so ago, will be deeply ensconced by the time of our grandchildren - assuming we have any. And does an aging, non-reproducing Europe really think it can keep out the Turks and Moroccans? Makes you think there's a kind of cultural death wish going on - as Benedict XVI seems to be saying. A prescient man. Some writers now talk about 'Eurabia'.
As for Rev Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, a quick google shows he has worked for years to help persecuted Christians in (mainly) Muslim dominated parts of the world. Looks like he'll have plenty of work to do in Britain.

Posted by: Colin Turner on Sunday, 31 July 2005 at 7:48am BST

'Oldest' - yes.
'Respected' - if you agree with its right-wing politics, perhaps.

But I don't. Neither do I have any time for the likes of Sookhdeo. As for Christians being persecuted in Britain - hilarious!

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 31 July 2005 at 4:53pm BST

Mersymike, here's an article from the Times Online, Feb 5 2005 on what's happening to Muslim apostates in England, including converts to Christianity - sounds like a religious hate crime to me. Do you think the UK government will act to stop this?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1470584,00.html

Have you met Dr Sookhdeo? I don't understand your comment about this scholar.

Posted by: Colin Turner on Sunday, 31 July 2005 at 8:17pm BST

So the considerable number of non-observant Muslims in the UK are all being killed by fundamentalists now, are they??

Sometimes, people believe what they want to believe. I don't happen to agree with any sort of religious fundamentalist - the Christian and Muslim kind have a lot in common!

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 31 July 2005 at 10:49pm BST
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