Raif Badawi flogging
Christian Persecution

No, Baroness Anelay. Freedom of belief is a fundamental right

 

Religio-political blogging is a pretty much a thankless task. You air your opinions in public in the hope that others will take note, listen and learn. If just a handful of readers come away challenged or inspired, then it’s done some good, but for every person who shares their gratitude via a supportive comment or re-tweet, there are a good deal more who would prefer it if you would just shut up and go away. Some are more than happy to tell you this, and the language is not always civilised.

At least here in the UK we don’t usually have to cope with much more than a few insults and disparaging comments. Rather that any day than the utterly appalling treatment of Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi, who earlier this month had his sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison upheld. Badawi’s ‘crime’, according to Human Rights Watch, was his “involvement in setting up a website for peaceful discussion about religion and religious figures”. The Saudi court had a significantly different opinion, finding him guilty of founding an Internet forum that “violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought”.

As this case proves once again, Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is, frankly, appalling. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the matter of Badawi’s punishment came up during questions to Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay  in the House of Lords a few days ago. Following a query from the Bishop of St Albans, she gave this curious response:

My Lords, I think we have to recognise that the actions of the Saudi Government in these respects have the support of the vast majority of the Saudi population. Against that background, we maintain our view that freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression are core rights that lead to long-term stability and good governance.

These are indeed core rights, which make it all the more difficult to understand how in any way public opinion could trump them. It’s a dangerous argument which has been used in the past to exclude various sections of society in many countries, and carry out blatant programmes of persecution. The UK is a signatory to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom.” So on what basis do we decide that governments may be allowed to play fast and loose with it in order to appease their citizens or satisfy their own autocratic need for control?

Sadly, it’s too easy to watch other countries flouting their obligations and blame it on religion or culture, rather than hold a firm line and potentially damage international and domestic multicultural relations. Sensitivities toward different groups and peoples can be important in building trust and respect international ties, but the fear of being accused of Islamophobia, shouldn’t stop leaders addressing the widespread persecution of minorities in predominantly Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran.

It’s too easy, as well, to think of this is a problem which other less enlightened countries have: “Yes, the outworkings of the hardline, ‘Wahhabi’ strain of Sunni Islam predominant in Saudi Arabia is not to our liking, but Muslims in our country are so much more tolerant and moderate..” It’s a convenient line of thinking, because it conveniently refuses to acknowledge tensions found in and between religious communities, and leads to inaction through denial. Religious illiteracy, which is widespread throughout government departments and beyond, fosters the assumption that liberal democracy as a foundation for society has all the answers, and that religious beliefs should be able integrate fully into it.

Raif Badawi,’s case is a form of apostasy. We are fully aware that in Islam it is a grave offence to leave the religion or disagree with it. In many countries the penalties for such actions are high: imprisonment or even death may be expected. But how do we deal with it in our country if such views are expressed? A 2007 poll found that 31 per cent of  UK Muslims aged 16-24 believe that if a Muslim converts to another religion they should be punished by death. To convert from Islam to another faith (or none) is still incredibly difficult in the UK. Those who leave it are highly likely to face rejection by families and communities, or become the targets of abuse and death threats.

Nissar Hussain is one such example. He is a British man who, following his conversion from Islam to Christianity in 1996, has experienced violence and intimidation in the area of Bradford where he lives. This is the letter he wrote to his MP following last month’s General Election:

Dear Naseem Shah MP,

Can I congratulate you on behalf of myself and family on your stunning victory and we can’t express our delight as our newly elected MP for the Ward of Manningham and wish you every success for the future. On a serious note can I express our utter misery and dire situation as Christian converts from a Mirpuri/Muslim* background since 1996.

We were forced out of our previous home after over several years of suffering as converts and in short my family and I endured ‘hell’ by my fellow Pakistani young men in the form of persecution which entailed assault, daily intimidation, criminal damage to property: smashing house windows and also 3 vehicles written off whilst the community looked on and even endorsed this. One of vehicles was torched outside my home. Despite witnessing another vehicle being rammed deliberately by a man who I knew, the Police did not even take a statement never mind an arrest. Finally after being threatened to be burnt out of my home these young men deliberately set the neighbours’ house (which was vacant) on fire in the hopes that our house would catch fire. When I had reported it to Police prior to this happening the Police sergeant’s response was: “Stop trying to be a crusader and move out!” In short the Police had wilfully failed us so as not to be labelled racists or seem to cause the Muslim community offence at our suffering and expense.

After being forced to move out in June 2006 we settled in St Paul’s Rd and set about rebuilding our lives, which was going well and had no issues and forged good relations with neighbours until we contributed in a Dispatches documentary called ‘Unholy War’ highlighting the plight of converts from Islam to Christianity in September 2008. Then our problems began, largely posed by the A. family who have been engaged on a campaign to drive us out our home given their bigoted attitude and thoroughly unscrupulous conduct and since last July they have embarked upon criminal damage to my vehicle to the point I have now had my vehicle windscreens smashed for the fourth occasion. The most recent incident occurred on 24 April when I had my vehicle smashed in the early hours of the morning and cannot express the financial impact also as I have to wait 3 weeks at a time for the glass to be ordered from the States as my vehicle is American. And again as in our previous experience the Pakistani community has looked on at our suffering and turned a blind eye whilst others have been openly hostile, while they enjoy freedom and liberty religious or otherwise whilst imposing their will rule and reign upon us and we are treated as second class citizens.

As a result of the latest criminal damage, and after weeks of having no car until it was repaired, I took the liberty of parking my vehicle away from outside my home for peace of mind, as given the misery over the last several years I have been diagnosed with PTSD and my wife and family also suffer stress and anxiety. When I went this morning to get my car I was mortified to discover that my car has been smashed deliberately yet again. Clearly we cannot go on living like this; … our lives have been sabotaged, we fear for our safety and suffer anxiety daily, not to mention the financial costs to all of this wanton criminal damage.

I cannot express in words the Police failure over the years which has led to our suffering and have no confidence in them whatsoever and am desperate for your help.

Kind regards,

Nissar Hussain

*Mirpur is an area of Azad Kashmir in northern Pakistan.

It’s very easy to be judgmental of the authorities in Saudi Arabia, but at the same time not apply the same standards to ourselves; to bitterly criticise injustices abroad, but allow related forms of persecution to continue here because they are too awkward to address. The alternate danger is that we excuse human rights abuses elsewhere because of cultural norms and then in turn, subconsciously or otherwise exercise a level of appeasement domestically.

None of this can be acceptable. If we are to uphold our commitment to human rights then our politicians and authorities cannot allow themselves to act in a complicit manner with those who break our laws and cause the suffering of others in this way. Freedom of belief is a fundamental moral principle that needs to be defended without compromise.  If we are not willing to stand up for it in this country, then, at one level, we are no better than the Saudi authorities who have condemned a lowly blogger to a brutal and inhumane punishment.

  • Ivan M

    Expelling trouble-making Muslims, apparently in the main from Pakistan from the UK would solve a whole host of problems. Tribal rapes for one. A better life for people like Nissar Hussain for another. Since Lord High Cameron could redefine marriage to suit his purpose, it should not be too difficult to redefine citizenship to send these scums back to Karachi where they belong. Muslims who cannot integrate should be expelled along with their Rama Ding-Ding nonsense.

  • sarky

    Unfortunately we have fostered an environment where public bodies are afraid to act out of a fear of being labeled racist. I think the scandel of Rotherham and cases such as mentioned above are starting to change things. Remember, governments only tend to act under the weight of public pressure and I believe that pressure is now starting to be applied. Many groups in the UK seem to have a sense of entitlement where they feel their rights trump others, I think this is what needs to be tackled first. If we level the playing field then I think we may all have a chance of rubbing along nicely.

    • Busy Mum

      There used to be a lovely level playing field in this country – it was based on the idea that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ ….the groups that have a sense of entitlement are those who reject this idea…

      • sarky

        Hmmm. Having read this blog for a while now, there seems to be a pretty strong sense of entitlement amongst christians.

        • The Explorer

          Can we have your definition of entitlement?

          • sarky

            Putting your beliefs and perceived rights above those of others.

          • The Explorer

            Good definition. PC does that now, and is able to enforce itself because it is more powerful than Christianity.

          • sarky

            PC in itself is not a belief system.
            However, by trying to ensure equality (which because of human nature is impossible) it
            has given a sense of empowerment to groups to push for greater rights than they otherwise deserve. Is it me or did we all get along better before we were told how we should act and think?

          • The Explorer

            I disagree. PC IS a belief system. It believes the apotheosis of society can be achieved by following certain social strategies. It has its own secular eschatology that apes ‘Revelation’.

          • Busy Mum

            I think you are right in saying that everybody used to get along much better before we were told what to think and believe. As I said earlier, it used to be a level playing field and we won’t get it back without returning to the Christian basis for equality.
            PC is a belief system; it believes humans are equally good rather than equally bad.

          • avi barzel

            PC in itself is not a belief system.

            Of course it is, it’s at least a product of one. Belief system: noun faith based on a series of beliefs but not formalized into a religion; also, afixed coherent set of beliefs prevalent in a community or society –Dictionary.com

          • sarky

            I dont agree that pc is prevalant. The majority reject it, but it is enforced by the few.

        • Busy Mum

          entitled to what?

          • sarky

            Religious education/assemblies in schools, prayers before council meetings, bishops in the lords, not to make cakes etc etc

          • The Explorer

            Citizenship in schools promotes a certain viewpoint. And it’s compulsory. If you banned religious assembly would you still have assembly? What would the content be? Whose world view? Remove bishops, or add imams, swamis, gurus, humanists etc? Agree re scrapping prayers.

          • sarky

            You don’t swap one religious viewpoint for another. You remove religion full stop.

          • CliveM

            So as an atheist you feel a sense of entitlement to ban religious assembly, ban voluntary prayers before council meetings etc.

            What you call entitlement is the natural ebb and flow of social life, give and take. Except at the moment all you want to do is take.

          • sarky

            I dont agree with a small percentage trying to enforce a supernatural belief as truth.

          • CliveM

            What belief is being enforced? Belief is simply being represented.

          • sarky

            As truth.

          • CliveM

            So no enforcement then.

            Of course Christians or others in the public sphere represent their beliefs as truth!! It doesn’t mean others have to believe it.

            You represent your beliefs as truth, which is fine.

            Really what always surprises me is how petty secularists are. Some individuals hold a voluntary prayer meeting before a Council Meeting and suddenly secularists foam at the mouth and try and ban it.

            Before you talk about Christians having a victim complex, perhaps you should look at your own lack of perspective and illiberal attitude.

          • Owl

            I would suggest that you look at Carl Jung’s definition of religion and his reflections on changing religions.
            The impossibility of “removing” religion from mankind is then quite obvious.
            By his definition, secularism and atheism are most certainly “religions”.

            Just widening your viewpoint.

          • sarky

            Never agreed with his view of atheism as a religion. Doesn’t make sense.

          • Owl

            depends, as I said, on definition.

          • The Explorer

            And you replace one world view (religious) with another world view (secular). What the new view has in common with the old one is that it is presented to the young in the hope that they will adopt it.

          • sarky

            At least one is true. (Not yours)

          • The Explorer

            I misunderstood you. I thought you were objecting to one group imposing its viewpoint on another. Now I take you to be saying it’s okay to do that, provided the viewpoint is correct. Content, not method, becomes the criterion?

          • DanJ0

            Liberalism allows for alternative lifestyles and encourages freedom of thought and expression. That’s why it is miles better than a religious hegemony of one sort or another.

          • The Explorer

            I know that it’s very difficult to guess the future, but I can think of at least two possibilities.
            1. British-style liberalism makes headway in Saudi Arabia.
            2. Saudi-Arabian style illiberalism makes headway in Britain.

          • DanJ0

            I have no aspiration to export liberalism to Saudi Arabia. However, we can limit the import of Wahabbism to the UK. We don’t need to revert to Christianity to do so either.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. I have said before on this blog that I agree with Joseph Ratzinger’s assessment that the future of Europe will be fought out between Islam and Secular Humanism.

            The current scenes at the Tunnel, and the crisis talks in Brussels about the Boat People are indicative: Europe is realising it has an escalating problem. The incoming hordes are not Wahabbist, but could be funded in that direction in due course.

          • Busy Mum

            Apart from in ‘faith schools’, I can assure you that there are no religious assemblies, certainly not of the legally required ‘broadly Christian character’. Assemblies are largely exercises in what to think and believe; one of our schools had an assembly yesterday on British values and there was no mention of the Bible or Christianity. Burka-clad policewomen and Chinese New Year celebrations within the UK were portrayed as British values rather than the results of British values…
            And citizenship is inappropriate in schools found within a monarchy….You are absolutely right; it promotes the viewpoint that all are EU citizens rather than British subjects.

          • Busy Mum

            But these things are your inheritance – or do you, like Esau, despise your birthright?

          • sarky

            All these things belonged to a different time. Apart from a few remnants we as a society have moved on. Why look backwards?

          • Busy Mum

            You said yourself earlier that everybody used to get along much better – we need to look backwards to find out what those generations had that this generation has lost…

          • sarky

            Don’t think you’ll find it in christianity.

          • Busy Mum

            How hard have you looked? I don’t think you’ll find it anywhere other than Christianity.

          • DanJ0

            Mono-culture under Christian hegemony. We’ll never go back to that if people like me have any say in it and I daresay most people like their individuality and freedom too much now

          • Thank goodness you don’t have any say in it Danj0.
            A country needs to have an identity with customs and culture, ours is Christian so get over it. We are in such a state because we are becoming a hotch potch of everything, such as when you mix too many colours on a paint pallet you always end up with a nasty brown sludge. So you end up rectifying it by mixing it black,or throwing it away. We have to throw away the multi-culti madness and support our Christian customs.

          • DanJ0

            Of course I have a say in it. We live in a liberal democracry. That means that I have a vote for government, and that I have the freedom to make arguments in public.

          • I meant that you are not an MP, minister or lord,you couldn’t introduce a private members bill or a public bill to parliament to try and get things changed.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            All the good things you enjoy, equality before the law, education, medicine, you enjoy because of the efforts of Christians down the centuries. It is only comparatively recently that freedom of religion was fully gained.

          • sarky

            Only because of ‘some’ christians. There have been more than a few atheists along the way! !

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Yet again you demonstrate your ignorance.

          • sarky

            Ditto

          • Little Black Censored

            “Why look backwards?”
            Worthy of the great Blair himself.

    • The Explorer

      Stalin had a marvellous way of levelling the playing field. The Kulaks were aspirational. He exterminated them. That levelled out the social humps of those with enterprise and ambition.

      Of course some groups have a sense of entitlement. Political correctness has given it to them by telling them that they are victims.

      • sarky

        What, like christians?

        • The Explorer

          Some Christians are certainly trying to get victim status in order to protect themselves, but Christians certainly weren’t among the victim groups envisaged by Marcuse.
          Those were as follows: women (if feminist). students, ethnic minorities, sexual minorities and criminals. Together, they constituted the new-style proletariat.

        • The Explorer

          A good Marxist dictator could kill more people in an afternoon than the Inquisition managed in its entire history. (I say that as a non-Catholic.)

          • sarky

            That argument has been done to death here, so im not going to play 🙂

          • The Explorer

            Does repetition render a fact invalid?

          • Little Black Censored

            “…I’m not going to play.”
            Thank heavens for that.

  • Anton

    What goes on in other countries is not our business. God divided us into nations for a reason. If you don’t like other countries, don’t go there, and don’t do more than trade with them – paying on the spot – if you want what they’ve got. And tell the UN not to disgrace itself further by holding human rights conferences in places like Saudi Arabia, as earlier this month – an event which should have been widely boycotted.

    What goes on in our country, by contrast, is very much our business (which is why we should quit the EU) and the treatment of Nissar Hussain is a shame and a disgrace. Our congregation’s prayer group for the persecuted church did not forget him last week.

    There is, of course, something in common between his case, Raif Badawi’s, and Saudi Arabia. Until the government is prepared to call out that common factor then things are going to continue getting worse.

  • The Explorer

    Postmodernism takes the view that truth (being relative) is what a particular community decides on. “The vast majority of the Saudi population” supports the Saudi Government. Good: that’s their truth. We maintain our view that freedom of religion is a core right. Good: that’s our truth. We like Coke, they like Pepsi. Matter of taste.

    To say that one truth is any truer than another is to undermine the basis of postmodernism. All that a postmodern culture like ours is entitled to say is that their culture does not have the same priorities as ours.

    • Anton

      Truth is universal but jurisdictions aren’t. Let the Saudis run their country the way they want and let us run ours the way we want – which means developing political parties that offer real alternatives. That’s why I voted UKIP.

      • The Explorer

        That truth is universal cuts the core out of postmodernism. Keep it up! The sooner postmodernism is relegated to the dustbin of erroneous ideas the better.

        • Anton

          Postmodernism saws off the branch it sits upon, because it makes the universal truth claim that there is no universal truth. Hardly rocket science, but too much for postmodernist “scholars”.

  • Orwell Ian

    Community
    cohesion trumps individual injustice every time. We witnessed legal
    enforcement of it in the case against pastor McConnell a few days
    ago. Keeping the peace at the price of injustice appears to be the
    norm in predominantly Muslim areas. With so many votes at stake
    politiicians
    do nothing and the Police have to behave like good little PC PC’s in
    a State sponsored climate of appeasement. The sad case in Bradford is
    entirely unsurprising. It is not always the case elsewhere and there
    have been instances where the Police have been able to help converts
    from Islam to get new identities move elsewhere and start a new life.
    Hardly the appropriate response to community intimidation but it was
    probably the best that could be done in the face of political
    cowardice.

  • The Explorer

    You can see how a particular mind set works.
    You are in possession of the truth. Therefore, you have the duty of preserving it. A challenge to the truth must be punished, lest it should catch on.. You could kill the questioner; but instead you do the humane thing. You flog him. That sends a warning to others, and also gives the apostate the opportunity to see the error of his new beliefs and to return to the old truths.

    PC has exactly this mind set. However, it doesn’t resort to flogging. Instead, it resorts to economic punishment: depriving the apostate of his/her livelihood.

    • Anton

      Just as the Book of Revelation prophesies will happen on world scale.

  • Dreadnaught

    …the fear of being accused of Islamophobia, shouldn’t stop leaders addressing the widespread persecution of minorities in predominantly Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran.

    This focus is so short-sighted.

    Mr Scott correctly quotes section 18 of the HRA which naturally, is a
    construct of the Western understanding of individual freedom and its
    application to a religious adherence of choice. But what when ‘religion’ is only
    part of the total ideology of a system of conformity such as Islam? Islam is it
    its own word a Deen: Islam is essentially political and totalitarian. Islam is
    a written set of regulations that governs life of its followers that sustains
    in reality, an hegemonic authority of theocratic ‘Strong-men’. It confers by
    divine connivance the ‘right’ to demand authority over the lives of others in
    no way associated with its mind-numbing control that cannot be amended or challenged.
    Islam is anti-Democracy; anti-freedom, and anti-reformation yet is given the same free pass as any benign ideology from Quakerism to the Hari Krishnas.

    Western Christianity and western liberalism sees Mosques as
    the equivalent of churches; they are not. Islam is not a once a week, high days
    and holidays quirky relic of bygone times, desperately clinging on to its
    ancient place in the national psyche. Islam is not the equivalent of neutered
    Christianity or isolationist Judaism: Islam essentially lends itself to the
    most basic of human need of belonging to the tribe. When reaching critical mass,
    that then becomes the dominant tribe, then a global tribe, demanding power and
    subjugation of lesser tribes. It is the law of the savage; the law of survival
    of the ‘fittest’ through domination.

    If ever there was a case of rejecting the right to follow any religion in the West it is that of the right to follow Islam.

  • preacher

    What happens in Saudi Arabia & the Western Government’s reaction to it depends on one important factor – Oil !.
    It’s difficult to use sanctions when the other country hold all the aces. The only thing that can be done is a unilateral intervention by the U.N.
    As the Muslim community in Bradford do not posses any oil & are or should respond to British Law, the action I would have thought is obvious. I f found guilty of breaking the law, deport those responsible back to their countries of origin.
    Fear of any group by those responsible for law enforcement allows the rights of those that should be protected to live in fear of their persecutors & will lead to a state of anarchy.
    Sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander. We don’t flog those whose beliefs we disagree with, but we can certainly uphold our laws in a humane but strict way.

    • sarky

      How do you deport someone who is a passport holding British citizen? You have to remember the majority of these people are 2nd or 3rd generation decendents of immigrants.

      • The Explorer

        Football hooligans had their passports seized to stop them travelling to the World Cup. So there is precedent of a sort for revoking the passports of those who have chosen to fight in Syria. They want to be there; they have been accepted; they can stay there.
        They should be given warning, of course, that this will happen. If they then choose to ignore the warning they will have effectively deported themselves.

        • sarky

          Different point.

          • The Explorer

            Related.

          • sarky

            Your talking about stopping people entering or leaving. Preacher was talking about the forced deportation of British citizens.

          • Busy Mum

            Weren’t many among the first colonists in Australia bankrupt/criminal British citizens deported by force?

          • preacher

            Wrong Sarky ! I said nothing about British Citizens. My point is that no one is immune from the law.

      • preacher

        In that case the penalties of the law apply to them & if found guilty of the crime, they are imprisoned as per the offence allows.
        If someone wrecks your car, attacks your family or smashes your property & the only reason is that they hate you Without reason, would you not expect the police to take action, or would you shrug & accept it?.

        • Busy Mum

          Exactly – and this would have even more meaning if you omitted saying ‘& the only reason is that they hate you’. Wrecking cars, attacking people and smashing others’ property should result in penalties regardless of whether the offender is motivated and fuelled by hate, alcohol, drugs, or whatever. Need to focus on the crime, not the criminal, nor the victim either.

          • preacher

            Thanks B.M I hope Sarky can see that the law exists to care & protect the public from Criminals, & persecution by them.
            It doesn’t matter if they’re citizens or not, or if the persecution is because of religious beliefs or criminal gain.

            The interpretation of the salient points of the non criminal law can be disputed, as in the so called discrimination cases.
            But criminal damage & violence will always be a crime if the perpetrator is found guilty.

        • sarky

          Absolutely the police should take action.

      • David

        If someone is forcing people to obey shariah law they should be locked up for a very long time. Sadly Christians in the UK are not doing enough to help them. I guess Naseem Shah will not help at all.

  • Owl

    We are seeing the results of “multiculti” which, surprise, surprise, doesn’t work.
    History has taught us that integration does work, just slowly. A culture (not religion) which is opposed to the dominant culture of a country cannot be accepted as the consequences are foreseeably catastrophic.
    Nissar Hussain should be receiving all the protection that our law and culture offers.
    We have to put our politicians and police forces in the spotlight and ask them why this dereliction of duty and/or common sense has happened and those responsible punished.
    Yes, it’s long time that people like Dave, Millipede, Cleggy take responsibility for what is and has been happening to our (now broken) society. As for Blair!!!
    We have gone down the wrong road. It’s bleedin’ obvious. It’s time to turn back and get on the right road again. Dave, are you listening?

    • Anton

      Re multiculturalism, “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:24).

      • Owl

        Exactly my point, Anton.

  • Arden Forester

    Funny how some are offered freedoms whilst others not. When it came to women bishops, traditional believers in the Church of England were told by Cameron “to get with the programme” and many MPs threatened to FORCE legislation through.

    Catholic adoption agencies were forced out of business by self-righteous legislators and then there’s the gay cake row. I could go on………

    • Anton

      Blair had the deciding vote in a deadlocked Cabinet about the Catholic adoption agencies farming kids out to gay couples. The rest is history.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Freedom of belief is a fundamental moral principle that needs to be defended

    As Islam rejects freedom of belief and as ‘our politicians and authorities’ are terrified of Muslims, don’t expect the defence to begin any time soon, or ever. It would take a political party as hostile to Islam as the BNP to turn the tide. It seems, though, that white Christians are thoroughly uncomfortable with a party dedicated to defending their interests at the expense of other races and religions. That being the case, goodbye freedom and, eventually, goodbye Christianity.

    • The Explorer

      If Christianity is simply an ethical system (with the self-imposed ball and chain of loving your enemy) then goodbye Christianity is absolutely right.

      If the God of Christianity exists, then Christianity will survive and Islam will eventually disappear. But probably not before it has played its part in bringing about the end of history.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ The Explorer—If the God of Christianity exists, then Christianity will survive and Islam will eventually disappear

        I don’t see the need to involve God. It was Man who brought Islam to Britain and it will be Man who reverses the process, if it is to be reversed. Relying on a God Who may or may not exist, and Who may or may not intervene, strikes me as barmy. Better by far to shoulder the responsibility ourselves.

        • The Explorer

          A Christianity that does not involve God is not a religion, but an ethical system.

          • Anton

            Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and Islam denies his divinity. So why is he letting it rise here? I can find no answer other than impending divine judgement. What sins are, like Islam’s rise here, historically unprecedented? Have a look at our family breakdown stats, which have gone hockey-stick from 2-5% to 20-50% in a few decades for divorce, single parenthood, abortion etc. It is a historical fact that every culture to go promiscuous has soon fallen. So if you want to reverse Islam here, don’t seek to alter government policy to oppose it unless you also use government policy to encourage the family; otherwise you are simply standing in the path of the steamroller of God’s judgement. Which takes us back to the subject of the preceding thread…

          • It does …. and it seems freedom of religion, and it is a human right, in combination with liberal democracy and secular atheism, or the various forms of popular paganism around nowadays, is giving man free reign to act on his sinful nature. This is shown most clearly in the sexual sphere and in economic life.
            Mass shagging and mass consumption. Is it really any wonder Islamic parents reject British culture?

          • CliveM

            If what they say is true about Rotherham, I can’t see that the mass shagging was the problem.

            I’ve also notice they seem to like their bling and expensive cars.

            Personally I think it’s about authority. The parents don’t want their children to get an independent mind. Hence the honour killings. They are about control and attempts at independence, not morality.

  • CliveM

    Ahem as today’s host is obviously feeling a bit bruised – good blog!

    • avi barzel

      I initially thought it was HG’s post, having gotten lazy to confirm the name and going by topic and tone! Perhaps together we can all free Gillan’s inner conservative and drag it out of the proverbial closet?

      • CliveM

        I actually like the contrast between him and HG. It leads to a greater breadth of to

        • avi barzel

          “…breadth of to….”?

          Must be careful about spilling your pint all over your keyboard, Clive. Sinful waste of good English ale.

          • CliveM

            Fat finger slipped onto the post it tab! I have edited the post…..!

          • avi barzel

            Can’t imagine you fat with your avatar of the svelte fellow pirouetting on the ice ever so gaily…

          • CliveM

            Watch what you’re saying, people might talk!

            I only said fat finger, the rest of me is whippet like, a lean, mean fighting machine. Ahem…………

  • Gerhard

    Christians, we have a long road back to walk on this.

    The currency to sway a politician is the currency of votes and we are naturally appealing to the currency of principle when there is none.

    Why do politicians fall over themselves to come to the aid of every gay activist with an axe to grind? It is because it is a sure vote winner!

    We may have something to learn from the gay community here with their colourful and apparently happy marches – they have managed to convince the wider public that they are colourful, happy and a force for good.

    Christians are simply not perceived like that. Perhaps much of it is due Islamic fanaticism and with a religious illiterate public lumping all religions into one category, Christians are seen as part of this group. Basically, all religions are therefore like that. For a politician to come to the aid of a persecuted Christian would be seen as aiding the bigots of society. It is therefore not conducive to winning votes.

    It is only when the wider public again sees Christians as the good in society that politicians will fall over themselves to come to the aid of brothers like Nissan Hussain and his family.

    • Mungling

      Which is interesting to me, since outside of encountering a sidewalk preacher (which I assume is as rare in the UK as it is in Canada) the only capacity most people would meet institutional Christianity is in the form of charity work. People might have bad experiences with Christians; but then an equal or greater proportion of people should be having a good experience with Christians.

      The answer, I think, might be that Christians help people who tend to be rather quiet in the public sphere. The homeless tend not to vote, participate in the public square, or influence media coverage; consequently, the good that Christians do tends to be under-emphasized while the aspects of Christianity which clash with the rest of society (e.g. same-sex marriage) tend to be over emphasized. In other words, most people are only aware of Christianity in areas where they disagree. Combine that with our sinful nature and our bad PR is suddenly very easy to understand.

      • avi barzel

        I would take this a notch further. The homeless are best helped by all levels of government, down t
        o the municipalities; we pay stupid amounts of taxes in the hope that they will alleviate the suffering of those at the bottom of society.

        As a fellow Canuckistani, you may remember when it was decided to “release into the community” the mentally ill and the explosion of homelessness and street crime. This was done with the understanding that individual charities, with the kind support of the public on top of theit rising tax contributions, would pick up the slack, freeing up funds for other pet projects, benefits, pensions and perks for public servants. Another benefit for governments in downloading the problem to community religious organizations is that it drains their chests and keeps them busy and away from serious political activism…such as helping those like Mr Shah and his family. Like many, I have done the soup kitchen and shelter volunteer routine through synagogues and eventually walked away convinced that not only are most volunteers and community organization poorly equipped to handle the problem, but that this method increases the number of mendicants who take over effectively take over the neighbourhoods, its parks, malls and streets and eventually gut the helping institution with “congregant flight.”

      • DanJ0

        It probably doesn’t help that the most visible Christians, or those who self-identify as Christian anyway, are usually the ones on the Internet who think their job is to rebuke non-Christians for their ‘sins’ in Christianity.

  • ‘My Lords, I think we have to recognise that the actions of the Saudi Government in these respects have the support of the vast majority of the Saudi population.

    Ah yes, the results of the recently-held Saudi referendum on corporal punishment. Or was it the manifesto pledge of the Government at the recent General Election?
    .
    How the blazes does Baroness Anelay (who?) have the least idea what ordinary Saudi people think about anything?
    .
    How this country needs to lessen its dependence on Saudi oil! Then it wouldn’t need to suck up to these ghastly people in the face of their barbaric, medieval activities. Get fracking, boys!

    • Coniston

      And if someone had said, in the 1930s about the introduction of concentration camps in Germany, “They have the support of the vast majority of the German population”? (I am not saying that this was necessarily true).

      • IanCad

        Only thing; It probably was true.

  • Mungling

    A few years ago I was at a talk by a Catholic priest on Secularism and Christianity. Unfortunately, like all public university discussions, the only people who attended were those who already agreed or those who had an axe grind. Some Atheists who already belonged to the ladder group had asked a questions (whose nature escapes) and in the answer the priest claimed that Christians were the most persecuted group in the world. Our friendly Atheists strenuously objected. They didn’t explain why, but by their tone and my overall impression, I think they doubted that the persecution of Christians was, at all, a thing.

    I don’t think that those individuals are at all unique. For many people, Christianity represents a privileged class: individuals who claim special rights and privileges over the rest of society. The idea that these privileged few could experience real and objectionable persecution is, I think, a concept so foreign and ridiculous to non-Christians that its laughable. As a result, no in the west will come to the aid of Christians because they believe that when a Christian cries persecution, it must either all be in their head or thoroughly deserved.

    So when the individual in question contacted the police I’m quite sure they scoffed. After all, Christians don’t get persecuted.

  • avi barzel

    Very good, your Grace; from your mouth to your government’s ears!

    It would seem Mr Marpletate below has offered the best solution: Serious grassroots-level assistance. It would involve political pressure through documentation of incidents and identification and exposure of the miscreants and the “collaborators,” (starting with the lethargic duty officers and the ultimately responsible police division chiefs), on one hand, and real grassroots support not only to this family, but to any other present and future victims. I have seen this done and it really doesn’t take much: Help in finding a new home in a friendly neighbourhood (with watchful neighbours) and with the actual move (nothing like a boisterous crowd of young volunteers and a rented truck), with modest financial assistance and informal help with settling in the new community. If properly publicised, such a strategy will enable many others to take the same options and force the authorities to take the issue seriously.

    It seems that in terms of molly-coddling aggressive Muslims by slacking off on their duties to protect, your coppers are nearly as bad as the Israeli ones, and the remedy is the same as the one recently employed by grassroots Israeli groups; documenting every event and publicly and relentlessly naming and shaming the beat cops and their chiefs, mayors and politicians by name and with their bewildered mugs on all social media at hand! Works wonders for the victims and energizes the volunteers and the community!

  • Shadrach Fire

    A good one Gillan. Could be worthy of another bottle of bubbly. But then you might prefer the money to be sent to some grass roots charity. Jesus however was content for just once to pampered by Mary when she broke the alabaster bottle and anointed our Lords feet. We should support and praise those that take time to educate people in the ways of the Gospel.

    One of the good things that Christian Concern has done is to establish safe houses for those that have converted away from Islam. A noble and practical solution for a dispicable situation.

    Is Cranmer away on holiday that you should have to post twice in a row.

  • Mike Stallard

    Indeed, now please look at Climate Change in the Universities. Dare anyone question that? Or the NHS? Or the ghastly Feminists who got the Nobel Prize winner sacked for a joke down under?
    Me, I am for freedom of speech, so long as good manners and concern for the other people’s feelings are always maintained.

    • CliveM

      Is their climate change in the Universities!!!!!!

  • Inspector General

    What a sad letter. But unfortunately so predictable from anyone leaving Islam.

    Regular followers of Cranmer will know the Inspector has done much research into race. He can tell you now that far from getting better, the behaviour of the Pakistani community in this country will inevitably get worse over time. Their numbers will build and so will their confidence. They are fully aware that white society run scared of them, including the police, for fear of being branded racists, and they make good use of this as we have seen in Rotherham.

    Does it surprise anybody that the second and third generations of young Pakistani men are as intensely Pakistani as their fathers were when they stepped off the plane and continue to be. We shouldn’t be surprised. After a couple of centuries of rule in the sub-continent, the British did not ‘go native’ and left the place in 1948 thoroughly British. Does anyone seriously expect the Pakistani community, policed by their awful all-consuming religion, to be any different?

    Mr Hussain needs to quit Bradford and move a long way to escape these people. He needs to start again, be reborn as such, and cut every tie, including family. His final betrayal will come from within his family, and he probably realises that.

    • Anton

      They didn’t come here to take over. They came here for a better life than in Pakistan. But then came the 1960s sociosexual revolution and the next generation of Muslims said “not in our community” and ceased to integrate. Who can blame them?

      • Inspector General

        Indeed Anton. From PN…

        “Police in Croydon have held a ‘family fun’ day in a park that is usually frequented by gay men looking for sex. The Beaulieu Heights park in Croydon, London, has long been used by the gay community for cruising, with men using the discreet wooded location for decades.
        However, in an attempt to change the park’s reputation police held a “family fun” day in the park on Saturday – a week before Pride in London.”

        And what did what passes for our police force have to say about it…

        “Sergeant Leah MacDonald from South Norwood Safer Neighbourhood team told the newspaper: “Since the 60s the park has been used as a gay cruising location and has developed a reputation as not being somewhere people want to go or take their children.“We wanted to encourage local people to come and use their park and not feel they have to avoid the area.”She added that the day was not intended to persecute gay people, saying:”The day was about us telling people that if they have a problem they can come and talk to us, and this refers to the gay community as well.
        “If they are on the receiving end of homophobic abuse or persecution we want them to feel they can tell us.”

        That’s good then. The gays can go about their gross indecency in a public area with the full support of the law…

        • …. and families with young children should be encouraged to use the park’s facilities?

          When did sex acts in public – on one’s own, by men, women or whatever, with whatever, cease to be a criminal act of indecency? Whomsoever offends public decency deserves a piece of one’s mind, whether they ‘feel’ it’s ‘abuse’ or not.

          • Inspector General

            Well gross indecency is no longer on the statute books. Probably ‘too homophobic’ for enlightened today, wouldn’t you say…

            One has met several policemen over a lifetime, all thoroughly good blokes, and probably still constables. To get to sergeant, you need to spout the rot the above woman came out with and keep a straight face while you’re about it, it seems…

          • Royinsouthwest

            She will probably be the next Chief Constable of Rotherham but might not have much to say on the subject of “gay rights” if she does get that job.

      • Hi

        As I was reading this I was watching the news about Calais. I don’t doubt British orthodox Muslims see things this way, but this is somewhat ironic, if not contradictory, given how liberal Britain has become that there are still thousands trying to get into the UK illegally for a better life from places like Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, north Africa and the horn.

  • Inspector General

    There will be calls for expulsions of the worst of these people on this site. There are going to be no expulsions. How could there be? They have FULL British citizenship.

    In retrospect, it would have been wise to have initially granted alien immigrants temporary citizenship, on a see how it goes basis. That would have guaranteed Mr Hassan peace, but only until his persecutors citizenship became permanent. But temporary citizenship was never on the cards.

    It was Labour policy to import vast numbers of foreigners. It was designed to break the Little Englander small c conservativeness found in the indigenous. It seemed a smart plan at the time. Make us realise we are really citizens of the world, and the world rubbing together through co-operation would make us all socialists. Socialists who would elect a Labour government in perpetuity. We can’t do much about it now, apart from never ever contemplating to vote Labour. It is all that is left to us.

    • avi barzel

      Temporary, provisional citizenship; a good idea, Inspector. Although, with automatic citizenship at birth, things start going south in nine months or sooner, if some folks got ahead of everyone on the romantic boat trip or as enthusiastic members of the mile-high club….

    • bluedog

      Inspector, the import of alien hordes as factory fodder may not have been a merely socialist ploy to win a new constituency. Remember that dark period in the 1970s when Communist infiltration of the trade unions had rendered the workforce totally Bolshy, and Britain became almost ungovernable?

      There would have been more than a few Captains of Industry dreaming of a servile and compliant labour force. Settling grateful peasants from the Punjab as a source of process workers would have seemed an eminently sensible idea. The risks of importing yet another ideologically tainted and largely useless proletariat would have never occurred to business leaders, despite the Warnings of Enoch. In short, Muslim settlement was a project that appealed to both sides of the British political establishment.

      • Inspector General

        There is merit in what you say, bluedog. One remembers the time well. It would explain the deafening silence of the right but for dear old Enoch…

  • Inspector General

    Right then chaps. What’s our future strategy now that Islam is very much a part of the British scene. All suggestions welcome. But please, no more futile talk of expulsions.

    The Inspector’s thoughts on how it’s going to be in the coming decades is one of mutually agreed apartheid. If we leave them alone to get on with whatever it takes to be a muslim first and a citizen second, we must make it clear that they are to respect us back, and that means staying away from us. Should be easy for them, as they are brought up to think of us as unbelieving filth. (Hmmm ‘respect’ seems to be the wrong word).

    What is deadly serious is the threat of typical Islamic behaviour in the form of bombing. We should start now to actively dissuade them from going down this route. But we need to be careful and not overplay our hand. Give them the minimum and slowly with it, otherwise they’ll want everything and now.

    • The Explorer

      Did you see that documentary series on immigration a couple of years back? Four programmes, one of them about Leicester. Leicester was shown to have a Muslim zone, a Hindu zone, other immigrant (mainly Somali) and ‘The Alamo’: the indigenous white zone under siege.

      The future pattern for Britain as a whole? The difference from apartheid being that it is a solution chosen by the various tribal groups for themselves, rather than a policy imposed by the Government?

      • Inspector General

        ‘The Alamo’. Oh Lord!

        • The “goodies” did win that one- depending on one’s point of view.
          Of course, the Texians were the immigrant population with different cultural values to the Mexicans, and the Texas Revolution was an uprising against a centralising Mexican nation state.

          • avi barzel

            Manifest Destiny, dear Jack, Manifest Destiny. The lately maligned expansionist ideal of a young and once virile America.

          • Yeah, the Americans can do no wrong. They stole half a continent off Britain (with French assistance), then land grabbed Texas.

          • avi barzel

            Neither Britain, Spain not France could claim ownership of these vast territories without involvement, investment and the ability to defend them by just striking agreements and drawing borders. British Canada hung on because it was settled, cleared and defended by its settlers and the Colonial administration. It turned ok, though, didn’t it? Twice the Yanks pulled your chestnuts out of thi fire. Wouldn’t have happpened if the Spaniards had grabbed half of the continent all the way up to Alaska, with old Juan De Fuca nosing around Vancouver Island.

          • We put the flag in the soil … it was ruled by Britain until the Yanks got uppity.

          • avi barzel

            Well the Yanks had a short and fast solution…they yanked that flag right out.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Only after waiting until we had defeated the French so that they were no longer a threat to the British colonists. They were quite happy to be part of the British Empire then but were reluctant to pay their share of the defence bill through taxation.

          • Neihan

            I’d be happy to put it back – for a Stuart. If His Majesty Francis II is so inclined to press his rightful claim, of course

          • Lol … Jack suspects if you tried, said flag may end up somewhere painful, Neihan.

          • Royinsouthwest

            “Manifest Destiny” is what the Americans call their imperialism in order to pretend that the United States is not an imperial power.

        • avi barzel

          Folks who 20 years ago bought property about six blocks south-west of us are calling their neighbourhood “Fort Apache.” Mind you, if they were to blow up two of the bridges across the city freeway which divides them from the marauding braves, they might be able to hold off for another decade.

          • Inspector General

            Leicester might well be the FGM capital of England. If it can be proved, then it should go on the ‘Welcome to Leicester’ signs on the city’s outskirts…

          • avi barzel

            FGM…had to look it up. Hmm. Hey, don’t knock tourism and whatever brings in the doubloons, IG. If we put our brilliant minds together, we can come up with an idea for a seasonal giftshop…..

      • Politically__Incorrect

        “The future pattern for Britain as a whole?”

        surely you mean..

        The future pattern for Britain as a hole?

        • avi barzel

          Bwa-hahaha!

          • CliveM

            :0(

          • avi barzel

            Well, it was darn funny! Anyway, we’re getting ours in mid-July; two weeks of the Pan Am Games, with an arena and a stadium two blocks away from us. It’ll take some of the talent from sputh of the Canalal no time to clue in that our yards are wide open, with no walls, barbed wire and Dobermans and that our wood front doors aren’t reinforced with boiler plate. And that, that ain’t funny.

          • CliveM

            Nope not funny at all. I don’t envy you.

  • len

    God has restrained the forces of evil all the time that he was allowed to(by us) but now I believe God is going to give us what some of us (a very vocal minority) demanded which is’ total freedom’. ( “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”Psalm 2)
    I suppose that is a ‘giving us over’ to ourselves (which minorities have demanded and the majority(for whatever reasons ) have gone along with this.
    God ‘giving people over’ is one of the most chilling phrases in the Bible and a form of Judgement.
    We already are seeing parts of the World descend into chaos….

  • Utterly shocking ….
    Saudi Arabia is allowed to continue abusing human rights because of economic and geo-strategic considerations. The dollar and oil in the Middle East trump morality. As for this disgraceful failure on the part of the police to protect a member of the community, those responsible should be investigated and sacked.

    • Hi happy Jack

      Yep and the saudis have invaded another country and are killing people right now, more than the events of Gaza last year, but because it’s not Israel there are no demos organised by stop the war coalition or rolling 24 hour news coverage. Or blogs . Or Twitter outrage .

  • Royinsouthwest

    The British government was planning to deport Raja Khouja, a women’s rights activist from Syria to Saudi Arabia because that is where her husband is from. She has written about the denial of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia and would be in obvious danger if she were to be deported to that barbaric land as the government wishes. However her deportation has, for the time being at least, been stopped by a judge.

    Petition to Stop the Removal of Raja Khouja
    https://www.change.org/p/the-rt-hon-theresa-may-stop-the-removal-of-raja-khouja#petition-letter

    • The Explorer

      Nicky Campbell on ‘The Big Questions’ a month or so ago said he didn’t believe that Islam mistreated women. He called on Muslims in the audience to affirm his view. They did do.

      So what’s the problem about deporting her to Saudi Arabia? Islam doesn’t mistreat women. The British media says so.

      • DanJ0

        Mistreatment implies a yardstick against which the treatment is judged. Most of us in the UK these days consider that women are due much the same things as men. However, that need not necessarily be so, and indeed it was in the UK for much of our history. Islam may consider women to be inferior to men, or to have different roles to men, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily mistreated … by the standards of Islam.

        • The Explorer

          1. A Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman. A Muslim woman must marry a Muslim man. (If she wants salvation, I mean, and to avoid honour killing.)
          2. A man can divorce a woman, but not the reverse.
          3. A rape victim must secure the support of four male witnesses. Otherwise, she is the guilty party. (Seduction.)
          4. The court evidence of two women equals that of one man.
          5. A daughter inherits half of what a son does.
          6. Muslims can own “what your right hand possesses” in addition to wives. ie, concubines taken in war.
          Do these things still apply in mainstream Muslim countries? Do they apply clandestinely in the West? Specifics like that would have been helpful. Unfortunately, ‘The Big Questions’ doesn’t work like that: the time slots are so short, and people shout each other down so much, that only generalisations are possible. Even so, the odd valid point is still made, and valid questions are raised for resolution off the programme.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You’ve missed beating of wives, a special favourite of theirs, and especially allowed.

          • The Explorer

            You’re right. That was originally No 1 on my list, and then I left it off while thinking of the rest. Missing the obvious while citing the obscure is a failing of mine.

  • IanCad

    I’m coming a bit late to this post; But, this here Anelay dame, who seems entirely at ease with barbarism overseas, is the same – never worked in her life except as a teacher – that doesn’t count anyway – bloodless functionary, who declared that it is good policy to “Let ’em drown!” In the case of the Mediterranean illegal immigrants.

    • The Explorer

      ‘Let ’em drown’ may lack compassion in this instance, but is not always so. There have been situations where the lifeboat is full. Take on any more of those in the water and the boat will overturn, drowning everybody.
      What, in such a situation, is the answer?

      In the Mediterranean situation, the traffickers half fill the tanks so that the fuel runs out, take to small boats when this happens, leave the ship drifting, and notify the Italians to solve the problem.

      To refuel the ship and head it back in the direction from whence it came does not answer. The crew have absconded. There is no one to run the ship, or navigate it. A skeleton Italian crew heading the boat in the wrong direction would probably be killed by the passengers.

    • Darter Noster

      Oi! Teaching is bloody hard work thank you very much!

      • IanCad

        Darter,

        There are exceptions, but most teachers go from institution to institution with perhaps a ritual walkabout prior to employment. Thus ensuring that our children are taught by those having the greatest narrowness of mind and shallowness of experience.

        Your many profound and insightful posts over the years set you apart from the above generalization.

    • Dominic Stockford

      No, don’t let ’em drown, pick em up and take em back to whence they came – it worked for Australia, it’ll work for Europe too. Unless of course you actually want Europe to become Africa 2

      • IanCad

        Agreed! And, if we had not engineered Gaddafi’s ouster, and, not encouraged the rebels in Syria, then none of this would have likely occurred. Infants in control.