A report by Policy Exchange notes that the majority of British Muslims (55%) prefer not to use sharia banking. Only 4% actually use this alternative finance model, which is considered “a striking statistic, given how much emphasis elements of the banking sector have placed on the provision of Sharia banking facilities. It is surely worth considering whether the huge investment of resources diverted to this sector is entirely warranted.”
Note how certain aspects of Christian faith have been de-prioritised (i.e. keeping Sunday special) and not protected by law, unlike Sharia finance.. The argument for refusing to protect those individuals who refused to work on the “Sabbath” was to recast this as a preference, not actually mandated by any major Christian denomination, or with a widespread following. I’m sure, however, more than 4% of Christians refuse to work in commercial settings on Sundays and certainly almost all of us would prefer that the whole day was considered to be a protected “rest day”.
I’m unfortunately forced to conclude that successive governments pick and choose what they would like people to believe, and this selection of “kosher” religious practices is ruled by business interests.
Then, there’s the publication of Dame Louise Casey‘s year-long review into integration, which cites claims that some sharia councils have supported the values of extremists, condoning wife-beating, ignoring marital rape and allowing forced marriages. Of crucial importance is that the facts demonstrate communities becoming more divided and segregated, despite the passage of time. Casey joins many others in warning society that we must be able to discuss these issues without fear of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic”.
An example of how this debate is being shut-down is found in the fascinating account of an anonymous someone who flirted with “alt-right” viewpoints online. He describes being initially convinced by the videos and articles he discovers online, despite having deeply ingrained liberal or left-leaning tendencies. Clearly, to disturb this viewpoint, the arguments that certain interpretations of Islam were a “threat to western civilisation” must have been persuasive. What turned him away from what he describes as “indoctrination” was a reference to being “red-pilled” and suddenly thinking that this all sounded too much like a “cult”.
Whilst so much of what the “alt-right” says is abhorrent and panders to our worst tendencies, are we in danger of failing to engage with this discussion because we’re worried about being “politically correct”? Mr Anonymous gave no indication that he was rationally persuaded that Islam was harmless and I’ve never seen any evidence of this much-repeated assertion.
In fact, there is much evidence to the contrary:
– wherever Sharia law is embraced by an Islamic nation, oppression of women, religious minorities and ex-Muslims follows. For example, principles derived from the Koran were used to justify repeated violence against Nissar Hussain in Bradford.
– violent Jihad is unique to Islam: whilst only practised by a small minority of Muslims, the devastation they have caused is truly shocking. Their ferocity, ruthlessness and inhumanity is unparalleled – just look at the aftermath of terror attacks in Paris 2015 or IS in Syria-Iraq.
– the prophet Mohammed, revered by millions of Muslims around the world, is the only founder of a major religion to also be a warrior and military leader. Islamic biographers describe how he fought with neighbouring tribes, killed PoWs, exploited women and children, blessed violent, religious Jihad and made people slaves.
What is shocking about liberal Western attitudes to Islam is the complacent lack of scrutiny. So few people understand the actual origins of the world’s second largest religion. This ignorance allows extremists to spread their messages of hate and entice individuals, like Rasheed Benyahia, into committing terrorist outrages.
We must hope and pray that everyone learns the truth about Islam and recognises the superiority of Christ Jesus who came not to be served and to slaughter, but to serve and be sacrificed for our sins.