Friday, July 18, 2008

Government moves towards state-sponsored Islam

Cranmer has previously written on the possibility of the Church of England being supplanted by the Mosque of England, with its own via media between Islam and the indigenous culture, placed firmly somewhere on the spectrum between Jihad and democracy.

This is not a new development. Tony Blair announced such funding during his last days in office, to ensure the propagation of an Islam of ‘moderation and modernity’

He said the voices of ‘calm’ Islam had been hijacked by extremists, and highlighted such books as The Muslim Jesus as though it should join the Hadiths of Islamic orthodoxy.

It does not, of course, mention the Trinity, for that would be offensive.

The BBC has announced that now the Government is to fund a ‘board of Islamic theologians’, with Oxford and Cambridge Universities hosting debates on ‘key issues such as women and loyalty to the UK’. Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said it was government's job ‘to support Muslim leaders on controversial issues’.

Cranmer is not so sure.

He has no doubt that there ought to be funding to assist in the education and training of imams to reduce mosques' reliance on overseas ministers (usually Pakistani) who invariably understand little of British society, repudiate democracy, and rarely speak English. But the use of tax-payers’ money to fund a conference at the élite universities on ‘women and loyalty to the UK’ is fraught with difficulties.

This will not be a Lambeth, where every Bishop (well, almost) expects an invitation and has a right (most of the time) to attend. Who will these 20 ‘leading thinkers’ be? Who will select them? It is alleged that the board’s work will be ‘free of political interference’, but this is impossible for group in receipt of state funding: it will be as compromised as the Established Church, and it will be very difficult to persuade the recusants to comply with any emerging doctrine.

It is stated that the board's membership will ‘reflect the diversity of Islam and Muslim communities in the UK’.


So Abu Hamza, Hizb ut-Tahrir and MPAC are as entitled to their places as Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain? What Islamic ‘third way’ can be found to accommodate such a diverse gathering? By what voting mechanism will such diverse individuals formulate British Islam? And how will the orthodoxy be made binding?

Yet the Sheikh perhaps gives the game away when he says: ‘This board has to be something owned by us, driven by us but supported by government. We've made it clear that it's not for government to touch our theology or touch the way we train our people.’

And suddenly, with the language of supremacy, what they 'have made clear', the ‘them and us’ distinction, with the assertion of the possessive pronoun, one detects a hint, just a hint, of the Dar al-Harb giving way to the Dar al-Islam, and the Government becomes complicit in the construction of the Dar al-amn – the house of security – which it will be obliged to support in perpetuity. And God forbid that the British Government should ever presume to interfere with ‘our theology or touch the way we train our people’.


Anonymous najistani said...

‘This board has to be something owned by us, driven by us but supported by government'

British taxpayers paying the jizya?

18 July 2008 at 12:02  
Anonymous Highlander said...

The government will surely want to apply some criteria or other eventually in order to see if it is getting value for its money. Will better Imams and a more integrated form of British Islam really be the end products? A Muslim theological forum should not be a financial black hole into which money is poured without accountability. Initial Muslim comment seems to indicate that this may not be welcomed. I would have thought that this was something the Muslim community would want to set up in any event, and that it would be more than happy to provide the funding for it, especially since the proposal of government finance has already begun to wind a good number up who are not well-disposed towards the Muslim faith or to the religious world as a whole.

18 July 2008 at 12:10  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Governments never learn the lessons of history, just look at the horlix they made of it the last time they tried to influence the direction of religion in this country. And what a mixture the Minister for Equality is attempting to interfere with, Sunni and Shi'a (not the popular 60s beat combo), hate each other with a passion an, the Sufi who both other parties also hate ably supported by the Wahhabis, and Hazel Blears the Champion of the Salford Muslim community is going to fix it at our expense.

In 2005 Blears said that the terrorism act would discriminate unfairly against the muslims, later the same year she proposed labelling all ethnic minorities such as Asian-British, Caribbean- British etc. In 2006, Blears protested against the closure of hospital departments in her own constituency while as a serving Cabinet minister supporting the government in closing 29 hospitals up and down the country. Last month she lost a PC holding secret documents which was not cleared to carry such information and that was someone else’s fault. She is MP for Salford and relies heavily on the ethnic vote however she voted very strongly for the Iraq war and juast as strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war, and this is the woman who would sheath the sword of Islam. Hardly.

18 July 2008 at 15:30  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I listened to Blears on the Today programme this morning and wonder if she did. Her story was that this body will study Islamic theology and work out what it is, but then she dictated that Islam is a religion of peace (goodness knows how many times). So, no fore-drawn conclusions then!

18 July 2008 at 18:54  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

so lets think this through a labour government with marxist intentions , decides to convene a theological muslim panel to try and tell uk islam how it should move forward ??

it is the middle east that needs a theological panel of great thinkers , it is the very home/heart of islam that faith needs enlightenment.

we do not throw up despotic leaders (although perhaps we do this time) in europe , islam has so little crtique it enables , the radical and the despot everytime.

i look at hamas and hizbollah , they are trying to do it , questioning all the innocent death that they bring , and then leader of iran opens up and i just put my head in hands.

it takes a great deal for most christians to cast off a group of people , but either the islamic radicals see the christian faith as weak , or that islam is theologically superior .

but then think you just know what they would say at a theological conference , there is no crtique from within no organisation under one peacefull theology.

if they think islam will rule the world and non believers will bow , surely god must be telling them somthing is wrong their .

in pub terms its like having your pint spilt repeatedly without offering recompence or appology

back to the drawing board ms blears , this is not somthing you create and regret. If it turns out labour are recieving money for this , god help them

18 July 2008 at 20:42  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

To my mind, all this is like debating the intricacies of taking smack with a junkie: a highly futile exercise.

18 July 2008 at 21:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is essentially an evil, violent, oppressive and repressive faith. Just the thing for an evil, violent, oppresive and repressive Labour Government to fund and encourage then. The fit between Islam and Labour is already a lot closer that the populace understand, this will simnplky cement that closeness.

19 July 2008 at 00:19  
Anonymous Blessed are the meek said...

Paying Muslim scholars to count angels on a pinhead is almost the most obscene waste of money I can imagine.

When Gordon Brown wants to appeal to conservative forces in Britain and slash spending, his first thought is to get tough on the weakest in our society, disabled people claiming benefits. Slashing immigration to Britain, to the near zero levels of Japan, would be just as appealing to the people he wants support from, but for Gordon the rights of immigrants are written in sacred texts.

19 July 2008 at 00:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The left seems to be no longer about protecting the weak, the vulnerable in our society. It seems to have become a complete slave to the interests of a strong, able and very influential minority group, namely the economic migrant.

19 July 2008 at 00:27  
Anonymous najistani said...

Islam to be given privileged status in schools

“David Conway, senior research fellow at the Civitas think-tank, said: ‘Some will see this as another sign of a creeping process of Islamisation - an insidious process which plays down the Christian basis of our culture and encourages children to learn more and more about Islam’s contribution.

‘Muslims are still a relatively small minority in Britain and, while I have nothing against children in our multi-religious society learning about each other’s faiths, for one particular faith to be privileged in mainstream schools seems to me pointless, and won’t make for greater harmony.

‘I fear it will play into the hands of the small minority who want to see the Islamisation of Europe, and believe they will triumph through sheer numbers.

Unlike religious education classes, citizenship lessons, which do not cover issues of belief, are compulsory.

19 July 2008 at 11:41  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Wake up Britain, for your childrens sake.
Take back YOUR country.

21 July 2008 at 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone in your country needs to start 'channeling' Winston Churchill before its too late.

28 July 2008 at 06:35  

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