Friday, 26 November 2010

A worrying trend

The news that a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl has been arrested for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran (BBC report here) is deeply disturbing. Given that the Christian faith is regularly traduced and maligned by so-called 'satirists' on mainsteam, prime time television and radio, and that, to take an example, the Koran itself (outrageously, and in obedience to Muslim tradition) has to be placed on the top shelf in British public libraries, we seem to have reached a point of glaring inequality between the two faiths at least in the way in which they are treated in the media and in the public arena. There is developing a distinct inequality of respect.
This is not a racial issue; it's a matter of religion. It might even surprise some secularists that both Christianity and Islam originated in the Middle East; neither is indigenous, although one has been formative in the establishment and development of our common Western values and representative institutions, and the other has historically been regarded (perhaps with good reason) as inimical to both.

Left-Liberal secularism, enforced under the cloak of a tolerant multiculturalism, has to be one of the most cowardly ideologies ever developed by the human race. It will only confront those who will not fight back, and it cravenly submits to the blackmail of a very small and vocal minority of radicalised Muslims whose cultural and intellectual legacy of fundamentalism predisposes them to violence and the threat of using violence. 'Multiculturalism' (rather like our current crop of 'comedians') only respects what it fears.
Either there is equality in the way laws are enforced, or the law, as Mr Bumble said, is an ass.
It's time that all religions, and their more excitable adherents, learned to be more reasoned in their reaction to criticism. This is not Islamabad, Tehran or the Gaza Strip. "Vengeance is mine," says the Lord, meaning just that - it's not ours.

We don't need protection from debate and robust comment, nor even from the unfair and sometimes vile comments of the satirists of the left. If that debate and comment were to overstep the mark and lead to violence or discrimination, there were, and are, adequate legal sanctions already available. Respect, and consideration for the deepest values, beliefs and opinions of others comes (or should come) from a quality of grace and restraint in our social and cultural life which cannot be enforced by heavy-handed legisation. The law against "incitement to religious hatred" (here) is undesirable in terms of political and legal theory and (because of our modern self-hating, inverse cultural cringe) is turning out to be discriminatory in practice. It is a bad law in principle, badly drafted and inconsistently applied. It was always going to be that way, and our legislators were warned.  It is an unnecessary piece of legislation which should be removed from the statute book as soon as possible. Now surely that should be something which all true Conservatives and Liberals ought to be in agreement. No, I won't watch this space.

Of course, this particular law is another product of the cynical and manipulative New Labour years, having more to do with the preservation of Labour majorities in certain parts of the country than with the tackling of any real social problem. As we know well, this was also a period when, despite the Christian credentials of Labour's two (warring) leaders, a concerted attempt was made to drive Christianity from the public square in the name of a radically redefined 'tolerance and equality.'
What better way to achieve that, coincidentally,  than to make all religions equal but, in the unbalanced way this unnecessary law would be enforced by police and prosecutors, through fear of social unrest, racial divisions or the alienation of 'minority' communities, to make one faith seem to be more equal than the others, and that not the 'established' or historic religion of the land?  An object lesson in how to bring the law into disrepute and how to make any inter-faith understanding much more difficult into the bargain.


  1. Excellent post -- can I republish in "Forward in Christ" mag?

    Happy, late, Thanksgiving. As GKC suggested, there should be a feast to celebrate the departure of such miserable people from the 'Sceptered Isle' - too bad that so many stayed at home...

  2. LSP - yes, of course! I've only just picked up on your comment! MJG


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