Tomorrow's blog today

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The below is an article from the telegraph of a repot by the Church of England of the government's preferrential treatment to Muslims and Islam, and the fabrication and effect of multi-culturalism.

I'm thinking Helselata might disagree with this, so it would be interesting to hear her views, but I have a feeling that this is one of those `were all thinking it!` moments, but I stand to be corrected... If you feel comfortable commenting, what do you all think?

Drive For Multi-Faith Britain Deepens Rifts Says Church
Johnathan Wynn-Jones

The Church of England has launched an astonishing attack on the Government's drive to turn Britain into a multi-faith society.

In a wide-ranging condemnation of policy, it says that the attempt to make minority "faith" communities more integrated has backfired, leaving society "more separated than ever before". The criticisms are made in a confidential Church document, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, that challenges the "widespread description" of Britain as a multi-faith society and even calls for the term "multi-faith" to be reconsidered.

Mosque minaret
The Church says 'privileged attention' has been given to the Islamic faith

It claims that divisions between communities have been deepened by the Government's "schizophrenic" approach to tackling multiculturalism. While trying to encourage interfaith relations, it has actually given "privileged attention" to the Islamic faith and Muslim communities.

Written by Guy Wilkinson, the interfaith adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the paper says that the Church of England has been sidelined. Instead, "preferential" treatment has been afforded to the Muslim community despite the fact that it makes up only three per cent of the population. Britain remains overwhelmingly a Christian country at heart and moves to label it as a multi-faith society suggest a hidden agenda, it says.

The leaked report follows a week of tension in which a Muslim policeman was excused armed guard duty at the Israeli embassy in London, Asian and white youths clashed in Windsor, and Jack Straw suggested that Muslim women should not wear the full veil across the face in public.

The report lists a number of moves made by the Government since the London bombings in July last year to win favour with Muslim communities. These include "using public funds" to fly Muslim scholars to Britain, shelving legislation on forced marriage and encouraging financial arrangements to comply with Islamic requirements. These efforts have undermined its interfaith agenda and produced no "noticeable positive impact on community cohesion", the Church document says.

"Indeed, one might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim

communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the Government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community."

Insiders at the House of Bishops meeting last week, where the briefing paper was "well received", say it marks a radical departure from the Church's usually diplomatic relations with the Government on the multi-faith issue. One bishop said it was the first time the Church had launched such a defence of the country's Christian heritage.

The paper, entitled Cohesion and Integration – A briefing note for the House [of Bishops], argues that the effort invested in trying to integrate Muslims since the London bombings has had no positive impact on community relations and that Ruth Kelly's controversial Commission on Cohesion and Integration seems doomed to fail.

It can also be revealed that the archbishop met Miss Kelly, the Communities Secretary, last month to discuss how the Church of England could contribute. Bishops are dismayed that no Christian denomination is represented on the commission.

The bishops' document questions how effective it will be and says the focus for solving the problem should not be placed on one particular minority but "with the 'majority' communities and in the core culture".

"In relation to faith, there has been a divided, almost schizophrenic approach," the briefing paper says. The Government was misguided in "scapegoating the Muslim community as the source of the problem at the same time as believing that they should be uniquely responsible for solutions". It goes on: "The contribution of the Church of England in particular and of Christianity in general to the underlying culture remains very substantial."

The 2001 census showed that 72 per cent of Britons describe themselves as Christian. "It could certainly be argued that there is an agenda behind a claim that a five per cent adherence to 'other faiths' makes for a multi-faith society," says the document.

Mr Wilkinson, who was an archdeacon in Bradford during the riots of 2001, says the Government is wrong to see faith as the cause of a divided society.


  • At 9:04 AM, Anonymous helsalata said…

    I'm thinking Helselata might disagree with this, so it would be interesting to hear her views, but I have a feeling that this is one of those `were all thinking it!` moments, but I stand to be corrected... If you feel comfortable commenting, what do you all think?
    Can I just say that this kind of softly softly approach is a lot more engaging in my eyes than some of your phraseology, so thank you for that!
    I hadn't come across this so thanks for highlighting it. On first read I find it very interesting but want to ponder on it some more to establish my views so I will get back to you...

  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    If I offend you, Helen, you're perfectly welcome to email me or if you want to shout at me you know my number... I think we're a bit chalk and cheese with our opinions some times, but I'd hate to think I offend you with that.

  • At 4:41 PM, Anonymous helsalata said…

    It's never the opinion that offends but often its the way it's stated.
    Sometimes that's my issue, sometimes it's yours.
    Peace brother!

  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    karma dude


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