20 September 2006

Bah! Humbug!

I've just seen the British Home Secretary on TV admonishing Muslim parents to detect radicalising influences in their children, and to nip these radicalising influences in the bud, and counteract them, because we share the same values.

Bah humbug!

What is radicalising Muslim youth is the values of Tony Blair's government -- remaining silent in the face of the slaughter of hundreds in Lebanon, and making thousands homeless. It is the Blair government that is in denial if it does not realise this.

Muslim youth in Britain saw this unremitting slaughter on TV screens day after day, and they knew that their government, with its much-vaunted "values", did less than any other government, except the USA, to try to stop it. Who is the Home Secretary trying to fool? We can all see the "values" that the British government endorses. And it is that that radicalises Muslim youth and others.

I'm not a Muslim, I'm a Christian, and if I lived in Britain I'd be pretty disgusted with the Blair government too, because Christians also live in Lebanon, and they shared the roads, the bridges, the schools and hospitals and homes that were destroyed.

The British Labour Party once stood for values like housing the homeless. Now they stand for making people homeless. It's up to the British government to change that, not Muslim parents. If the British government wants to avoid the radicalising of Muslim youth, then they'd better stop supporting the injustices that get Muslim youth riled up, or at least appearing to support them. Otherwise their appeal to "common values" will fall on deaf ears. Imagine if a Tory had told the grandparents of the present Labour leaders to watch out for radicalising influences on their children.

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Nathan said...

I think what radicalizes Muslim youth is faithfulness to their religion. There was a piece in the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" (consistently some of the best social commentary out there today) recently talking about this in light of Benedict XVI's recent remarks. Taking as a starting point the irony of Muslims throughout the world reacting violently in response to being called violent, the author went on to say, yes, Christianity and Islam have been spread through violence in the past, but when you get to the core of the two faiths, Jesus was non-violent, while Mohammed was an earthly warrior.
Check out the whole article at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008973

Radicalism therefore, in Chistianity takes the form of William Wilberforce and his ilk, while in Islam it is Ayatollah Khomeni and his. Both sides have firebrands, sure, and Robertson and Falwelll make their headlines with inflammatory comments occasionally, but by and large, they are inconsistent with classical Christianity. Violent Islam is consistent with classical Islam. Recognizing that, and being able to say it publicly, is the beginning of honest interfaith dialogue.

Steve Hayes said...

I think you're probably right about what radicalises Muslim youth in places like Lebanon, Syria, Iran or Iraq.

But I was referring specifically to British Muslim youth, where I think the Home Secretary's speech is likely to be counterproductive, and radicalise Muslim youth in Britain even more. It was far more provocative than anything said by Pope Benedict, and downright patronising.

Concerning Pope Benedict, I made some comments on the demands for apologies in my other blog, with links to a couple of very good articles on the topic -- the best I've seen, in fact.

And thanks for the comment -- it's encouraged me to chek my Blogroll links again!

Anonymous said...

I used to have a good friend who is a Muslim, and we would discuss our core religous beliefs over lunch at our workplace canteen.

When we searched for things we had in common, we found them. Just as people bent on finding differences will find those too.

Christianity and Islam happen to be the only religions that have spread their beliefs by the sword. It's just few Christians are warriors any more. Remember the hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers"?

While we in the west might claim to live in a Christian society, we are deceiving ourselves. Most westerners are only "Christian" because our parents or grandparents once went to church... perhaps only for their Christening, wedding or funeral. (Those used to be called "Four-Wheeler" Christians, but now I think they are the majority.)


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