Saturday, 7 October 2006

opinions this Saturday

Christopher Howse uses his Saturday Telegraph column to write about church schools in Debt of thanks to church schools. Ekklesia was less enthused about the Church of England’s recent press release as reported in Church schools policy dubbed ‘un-Christian’ as criticism grows.

Many people today are discussing what Jack Straw said about veils. The Guardian had a leader: Veiled issue. So does the Telegraph, Integration can’t be achieved behind the veil. And The Times has Veiled threat. Ruth Gledhill has a lot of background information and links here. Simon Barrow has an analysis at Good governance needs bridges not barriers in relating to Muslims.

In the Guardian’s Face to Faith column, John Coutts of the Salvation Army writes about the Caucasus.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 7 October 2006 at 5:22pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

I cringed at the veiled comments last week. I contemplated the tragedy that wearing clothes to respect one's faith risks being attacked by others. In part because I saw an orthodox family walking home from a synagogue on Yom Kippur and thought how sad it was that many Jews do not wear their custom clothes for this very reason.

I remember after 9-11 the grateful half smile on Muslim women's faces when you smiled at them in those first few weeks (wearing the big celtic cross and at least one Christian wasn't attacking them).

Plus the clothes do not make the man (or woman), changing the outward appearances does not change whether there is love or hate in the heart. As we should know from predatory camouflagers, the most dangerous people will deliberately dress to "blend in". Look at pedophilic child care workers, or suicide bombers who wear back packs and not big yellow signs pointing to the bomb.

And if souls such as Jack Straw want to insist on dressing so we don't inflame people, maybe there should be a decency standard on young women's nightclub clothing? Or maybe we should set up a national uniform for both men and women and all dress accordingly? Perhaps we should ban art and advertising as well, as the images are often designed to provoke a response?

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 7 October 2006 at 10:20pm BST

I'm just bemused by the sheer number and frequency of stories about Muslims. Is this really the major issue of concern in contemporary society?

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 7 October 2006 at 11:28pm BST


Considering Muslims make up a fifth (?) of the world's population, quantity is not an issue. I think you meant to refer to the tone of the articles? Or how they seem to receive the brunt of "the world would be perfect if it weren't for you" accusations (competing with Eve/women for top position on "who else can we blame" to avoid our own responsibility)?

Jesus' exhoratation to remove the log from our own eye comes to mind. The world is not going to be healed by "the other" becoming perfect and taking all the blame. The world is going to be healed by us all acknowledging our own inadequacies and that we really shouldn't throw stones at other peoples' glasshouses because we keep leaving dirty big holes in our own.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Sunday, 8 October 2006 at 5:13pm BST

Would Cheryl like to give an example of any present-day crime committed by Christians in the USA or Britain, which equal in their enormity, 9/11 or 7/7/? In addition, would she be happy with the introduction of Sharia law as part of British culture, i.e. is she in favour of, for instance, the amputation of limbs for burglary.

I have taught and engaged with Muslims for a great deal of my adult life, as well as having written scholarly articles on aspects of Muslim culture.

I can therefore assure Cheryl that the views endorsing Sharia law are espoused by a great many Muslims in Great Britain, the vast majority that I have met.

We are talking about Muslim theology here not British guilt regarding their colonialist past.

Posted by: Dr. Irene Lancaster FRSA on Sunday, 15 October 2006 at 8:39am BST
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