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Saturday, 13 September 2014

More on Islam – Sorry

Just been listening to Peter Hitchens and Ibrahim Mogra discussing whether Christianity or Islam is the way forward.

I am an enthusiastic admirer of PH, although I disagree with him on a number of issues. But I confess that I could not find it in me to shout, “Way to go, Peter!” while listening to this discussion. The whole affair was conducted in an entirely civilised fashion, with Justin Brierly in the chair.

Ibrahim Mogra, I regret to say, was somewhat disingenuous but Hitchens failed to take him to task. Mogra came across as very reasonable himself; but he characterised his co-religionists as being (for the most part) like himself, perfectly happy to concede that English secular law should take precedence.

I have said in the past that most British Muslims are lukewarm and that I, for one, am glad this is so. Most Muslims expend most of their energies on family and work rather than on Islam. But it is undeniable that recent generations of Muslims in Britain have contained an increasing number of what may be called ‘radicals’ or ‘fundamentalists’. Hundreds of young Muslims have gone to Iraq and Syria, prepared to sacrifice their very lives in support of the Islamic State. Their religion is political! Sharia law is its centre. When I was growing up there were far fewer Muslims in Britain and it was inconceivable that significant numbers would have been noisy radicals.

I always thought of Muslims as being more than ordinarily law abiding and assumed that the draconian Islamic strictures on theft were at least part of the reason. However, I had occasion, not so very long ago, to peruse the lists of criminal cases at the Magistrates Court in Manchester. To my surprise, the defendants with Islamic names were disproportionately numerous.

The shocking revelations about sex crimes in Rotherham and Rochdale perpetrated by young men of Pakistani origin seem to indicate that too many in the Muslim community are contemptuous of our indigenous population.

We have many serious problems in Britain: one of them is the attitudes and behaviour of too many people brought up as Muslims.

One of the glories of Britain is our system of common law, far superior, in my view, to the legal codes of Europe. Most American jurists and historians, I think, would concur and rejoice in their Anglo-Saxon heritage. Daniel Hannan is very good on this subject. The replacement of (bottom up) common law with divine Sharia would not be a smart move.

Christianity is still on the wane in Britain and has been since the end of the First World War. However, our tradition contains many elements that we should fight to maintain. The threat posed by those who would junk our tradition and replace it with Sharia seems to me to be very real. Theism, it seems plain, is hardwired. As Christianity declines, the attractions of alternatives (whether theistic or atheistic) appear to some to increase.

Christian churches in Britain are pitifully feeble in their evangelism. I cannot remember any sermon preached in any church I have attended which focussed on the imperative to grow our numbers. Any business which neglected sales and marketing to this extent would have dismal prospects.

Islam is not the only threat. Militant atheism is another. Socialist ideology is commonplace. Muslims, atheists and socialists have agendas and cadres. They know what they want. Western traditionalists are sleepwalking. The Western tradition has given us Arts, Sciences, Technology, Literature and Music unequalled outside the tradition. It has also given us Communism and Fascism. There is also the alarming politicisation of Science and the cult of Scientism. We are dozing.

I would resist to the death the imposition of Christian Theocracy – it is a blasphemous idea. It would be to sink to the depths of the opposition. Theocracy is, perhaps, the worst form of political organisation. It not only promises an earthly paradise; it claims divine authority. The results of political Islam around the world are comparable to those of Socialism. The promises are false and the consequences are deadly. However, Christians, like Peter Hitchens ought to be more anxious about the threats to Western Civilisation.

In short, brothers and sisters, these are ‘interesting times’, as in the old Chinese curse: ‘May you live in interesting times.’

Thinking people, especially thinking Christians, should wake up to the dangers of political blueprints – especially when these have religious or quasi-religious foundations. God bless lukewarm Muslims! Not all Muslims are lukewarm. Those at white heat have no difficulty justifying bad stuff by reference to Islamic texts.

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