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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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On the way to Eurabia?

Bat Yeor, a Jewish writer brought up in Egypt, once commented that Europe is now in the early stages of a cultural confrontation between unreformed Islam and the modern nation-state. That is, it has the clash of civilizations taking place within its society. Throughout history, adherents to Islamic culture have devoted themselves to making their religion and way of life the dominant culture in every land they entered. And it is becoming so in Europe. The signs of European society surrendering to Islamic demands are many: a Swedish company withdraws a textbook on religion because it contains illustrations of Mohammed; a medieval Christian Spanish King (Ferdinand III) who was responsible for the defeat of Islamic Spain six hundred years ago is removed as the patron saint of an annual Spanish fiesta; the Dutch Language Union decrees that the word Christ must now be spelled with a lowercase c; crosses begin to disappear from some European hospitals; a British government office bans piggy banks and other images of pigs because they are offensive to Muslims. All of this is not sensitivity to certain cultures (as is claimed) but because of pure fear and intimidation. The issue becomes the point at which a free, tolerant and primarily secular society is prepared to find the courage to stand up to those determined to tear it down.

 

During the Age of Islamic Spain a thousand years ago the Moors demanded dhimmitude. Dhimmi is an Arabic word meaning a ‘protected people. In essence it means that non Muslims (primarily Christians and Jews) accept the requirement of their Islamic rulers that they be treated as second-class citizens in accordance with the Quran. Jews and Christians were tolerated under Islam provided that they paid a jizya (or head tax) and accepted Islamic dominance. Church steeples were prohibited from overshadowing mosques. Non-Muslims had no right whatsoever to an independent existence and they could live under Islamic rule only so long as they kept to the rules that Islam had promulgated for them. Islam was and is more than a religious system. Then as now, it is a way of life with no separation of politics from religion or the spiritual from the temporal. Should the Muslim population continue to grow in Western Europe at its current rate, it is conceivable that, well before the end of this century, Islam will become the dominant religious and political force on the continent.

 

In Britain we see stark evidence of the surrender to Islamic demands. Bishop Nazir Ali of Rochester who raised the question about the Islamification of parts of Britain and its consequences has received death threats telling him he will not live long if he continues to criticise Islam. A new enormous mosque has been built in Oxford and wants to have the call to prayer amplified 3 times a day. The Bishop of Oxford Rev John Pritchard says those opposed to the plan should relax and enjoy community diversity.

 

Dr Barham Salih from Baghdad has said that mosques he visited in Blackburn were so extreme that they would be closed down in Iraq. He says he is not surprised Britain has so many problems with extremists after hearing what is preached there. Meanwhile Gordon Brown has said that he intends to make London the Islamic financial capital of the world. The BBC has spent £250,000 on a court battle to block publication of a report into its alleged bias when covering the Middle East.

 

Now the Archbishop of Canterbury has said we should accept some aspects of sharia law. He argued for an accommodation between English law and Islamic law so that either law system could be used for dispute resolution and for marriage, divorce, inheritance and other matters. Commenting on this Patrick Sookdheo has written:

 

“His view of Sharia is utopian and naïve. He has claimed that Sharia is not the monolithic system of detailed rules which most Muslims consider it to be, but rather an expression of universal principles being implemented flexibly according to context by means of ijtihad (individual effort at interpretation). While this expresses what liberal Muslim reformists would like to see happen, the reality is that for the vast majority of Muslims Sharia is still viewed as God`s immutable divine law regulating all areas of life. Furthermore, it discriminates against women (for example, in divorce and inheritance) and against non-Muslims. It lays down a multitude of penalties, including imprisonment, beating, annulment of marriage, disinheritance and death, for Muslims who leave their faith. The array of punishments for leaving Islam include not only death, but also matters of family law, the very part of Sharia which the Archbishop wants to see applied in the UK, such as annulment of marriage, loss of access to children, and loss of inheritance.”

 

“The process of setting up a system of Sharia courts recognised by the state and its civil law will help those Muslims in Britain who appear to be working to develop a network of loosely-knit Islamic autonomous regions, a de facto non-territorial Islamic state. Seemingly innocent and gracious concessions to such demands on Sharia contribute to building up an Islamisation trend which could become unstoppable. Many Muslims also hope that ultimately Britain will grant Islam, its scriptures and founder, a privileged and protected position immune from criticism, a position not granted to other religions. Yielding to such demands will gradually erode the hard won freedoms and rights which are at present part of British society. It will open the door to a totalitarian and discriminatory system that denies individual rights and seeks to control both the public and the private spheres in ways typical of Muslim states. The increasing application of Sharia will profoundly change the character of British society in ways which hitherto would have been considered completely unacceptable.”

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