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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What brought on Rvd David Robertson's fit of the vapours against Islam

Reverend David Robertson incensed at being called Islamophobic

https://theweeflea.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/islamaphobia-phobia-why-church-media-and-politicians-are-spineless/?fb_action_ids=10153238450250948&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_ref=pub-standard

"Every time we board a flight, go to a major public event, we are inconvenienced because of Islamic terrorism."

Muslim terrorism is undeniably caused by Western foreign policy.
http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/who-is-more-responsible-for-muslim.html

"But I despair that the spinelessness of our politicians, the hatred of militant atheists for all religions (and therefore lumping Christianity together with Islam), and the ignorance of Islam being a political theology – means that Islamaphobia and the political power of Islam will feed off one another, and both will grow together."

The distinction between politics and religion is a distinction without a difference.

Religion is only the ancient word for state ideology and state ideology is about imposing your idea of morality on others.

All morality is of course controversial simply because people don't agree on what is necessary or moral and how to go about deciding what is moral and how to go about imposing which morality on whom.

If you think about it, Islam is a state ideology no different from Nazism, Communism, Liberalism etc since all are capable of starting wars which kill people.

"Do you deny that Islam is a political as well as a religious ideology?"

It was once a guide to etiquette to avoid discussing politics and religion with strangers, but to stick to one's health and the weather.

There is no real distinction between the two because both are equally controversial and potentially upsetting.

"Do you want Islamic law to be enforced in a Muslim Britain?"

Some Muslims probably like things the way they are, I imagine, but the ones who take their religion seriously would unsurprisingly want Sharia law, but do bear in mind there are four schools of sharia and not all Muslims are agreed on the kind of sharia law they want.

Making such generalisations would be like assuming that all Christians in the world take their religion as seriously as the Christians in Bible Belt America who open museums devoted to demonstrating the workings of intelligent design, rather than evolution.

"Can you name one Islamic country where there is religious freedom – in particular the freedom to change your religion?"

http://quran.com/2/256 has the Koran stating that there is no compulsion in belief, but it cannot be denied that many Muslims ignore the Koran in just the same way people who call themselves Christian ignore Biblical teachings and claim gay marriage is good and fornication is fine.

"Will you allow Muslims in the UK to change their religion if they wish?"

You may have heard of a very active group called http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

As far as I know, no harm has come to them.

4) To the Church – Are you prophets and proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ or just compromisers with the spirit of this world? Will you love, serve , welcome and help Muslims – most of all by living, loving and telling the Good News of Jesus. Are you prepared to take time to engage, dialogue and pray with and for Muslims? And can I plead with my fellow Christians – please don’t be Islamaphobic! We have nothing to be phobic about! And if you agree with my view of the threat of Islam please don’t give any credence to right (or left) wing political groups (like the EDL or BNP) who will seek to exploit your frustration. They are evil and must be avoided like the plague.

Are all Christan clergy prophets and proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ?

What in particular about the Gospel of Christ you are referring to?

I am not sure if Muslims, who in any case acknowledge Jesus as a prophet of God as well as the Virgin Birth (though they deny the Trinity) need to be told about the "Good News of Jesus". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam

Muslims are always often the ones who are challenging liberals to debates and liberals are the ones declining this.


It is a curious, inconsistent, hypocritical or cowardly that Reverend Robertson tells other Christians not be Islamophobic when he is constantly referring to "the threat of Islam" and bigging it up, so to speak.

 5) To the Media and the ‘Gatekeepers’ of our Culture. Are any of you prepared to have this discussion and dialogue? Or are you just going to hand over the whole debate to the real bigots, by pretending the issue does not exist and labelling those of us who dare raise it, as bigots.

There is plenty of discussion about Islamophobia in the media, but it is rarely revealing or constructive, probably because the media is stubbornly not acknowledging the existence and genius of Claire Khaw who conceived of Secular Koranism http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/secular-koranism.html and is anxiously and impatiently awaiting to oversee its imposition on the rest of the world, especially after it has been piloted successfully in Britain and Israel.

"I’m off to prepare a sermon on Isaiah….amazing how relevant this prophet is to our current situation!"

In what way is Isaiah relevant to "our current situation"? Are you likening  Muslims to the Assyrians and Israel to Christians, who were at war with each other? If so, why do you deny your Islamophobia?

http://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Islam-is-election-elephant-in-the-room-says-Church-leader

"Christianity is tolerant."

Are you sure, Reverend Robertson? Many examples of Christian intolerance come to mind:



Sharia courts are a species of arbitration, a method of dispute resolution, which can only be conducted if both parties agree. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/lawreports/joshuarozenberg/2957692/What-can-sharia-courts-do-in-Britain.html

"Every secular society has stemmed out of a Christian world view."

What does Reverend Robertson mean by this exactly? I suspect he conflates a liberal society with a secular society but a secular society need not necessarily be liberal or sexually liberated. Are Christian values really liberal values and have they merged only because generations of corrupt clergymen have elided away all traces of Christian morality and got away with it because people who go to church will accept anything they are told rather than read the Bible for themselves? It seems Reverend Robertson is also one of those rabid Islamophobes who says it never irrational to hate and fear Islam and denies the validity of the term Islamohobia.

" ... as long as Muslims  are going to allow their faith to be privatised ... "

What do you mean by this, Reverend Robertson? Is it like a Christian saying "As long as I go to church and obey the law, my beliefs are no one's business"? But what if the law that you obey is contrary to scripture such as gay marriage? What if you are a Muslim who has notice that the UK government goes around invading Muslim countries, bombing, killing and maiming Muslims while Islamophobic voters with corrupt and pig ignorant morals frankly don't give a damn about this and never will as long as they are all right, Jack? They actually want to kill Muslims because they hate Muslims and they hate Muslims because Muslims are numerous, visible, frightening and very noticeable because of uncontrolled immigration and PC laws. What then? Put up and shut up?

"I want the government to stop pandering to the Islamic vote and stop accusing people like me of Islamophobia ... Islamic values are not British values." 

What are Islamic values and what are British values, Reverend Robertson?

"In another decade 11% of the population are going to be Muslim."

I think Reverend Robertson read The Future of World Religions report: One in ten Europeans will be Muslim by 2050 and There May Be More Muslims Than Christians In The World By 2070, Pew Study Suggests and that was what brought about this attack of the vapours.




3 comments:

alan Hamilton-Messer said...

Good comments. Thank you.

DRO said...

PART I

"Why is Islam a threat to our society?

It was Christianity that brought the sacred/secular divide into the Western world. It was Christianity, especially after the Reformation, which taught that there were two kingdoms and that the one was not subject to the other. It was within that Christian context that secularism was able to develop and flourish. Christianity is the bedrock and foundation of our secular society. Islam is different. Islam has no doctrine of separation of the spiritual from the political. Islam is, and has always been, a political movement. There can be no such thing as secular Islam. In the Islamic view the world is divided into two houses, Darus Salma, the house of Islam, and Darul Har, the house of war. The former is the actual area controlled by Islam, full political and religious control; the latter is those areas of the world still unsubdued by Islam. Islam means ‘submission’, not peace. “The Muslim cannot remain neutral with regard to the State. He has an alternative: either the ruler and the government are Muslim, in which case he supports them. Or they are not Muslim, in which case, he must reject them, oppose them and do everything in his power to change them, peacefully or by force, by openly declared or secret activity. This is neither fanaticism nor prejudice. The question is much simpler. This religion was revealed thus – as a religion and as a state. It imposes itself upon individuals and groups, for it is the law of God, and it is impossible for us to substitute another” – Hussein Kuwalti. This is not ‘extremist’ fringe Islam. This is Islam 101."

There is so much that is contentious and misinformed in this excerpt.

I don't know the authority he cites, Hussein Kuwalti, but the quote is wrong as a comparison with the ruling of Imam al-Mawardi (a well-known Shafiite Sunni scholar and constitutional authority) would show in that he held that the imam (read 'ruler' or 'government') must be obeyed as long as he permits the prayer to be said; or Imam al-Sarakhsi (a well-known Hanafite scholar) who held that a Muslim in a non-Muslim land *must* obey the law of the land, and is disallowed from demanding the law be changed to suit his (or her) prejudices.

The Shafi'ite School (one of the 4 major Sunni schools) maintained that the world - for the jurisprudential purposes of geo-political understanding and inter-state relations - is divided into *three* conceptual areas: the daru-l Islam (the 'realm' in which Islam governs), the daru-l ḥarb (the 'realm' in which there is actual open conflict), and the daru-ṣ ṣulḥ (the 'realm' of peace/compromise/understanding).

The Daru-ṣ Ṣulḥ is the default area: if there is not actual open conflict and any given part is not governed by Islam, then it is a part of the Realm of Peace.

Fighting or, in its extreme form, warfare is only permitted as a means of defending oneself, one's family and dependants, one's property, or one's land. Aggressive warfare is forbidden ("...wa la ta'dilou..." 'and aggress not'). There are very strict rules about actual armed conflict in Islamic Law. For example, if a person lays down his weapon in the middle of a battle (for whatever reason) he becomes unviolable. No non-combatant is a legitimate target - that includes enemy soldiers who are not actually engaged in fighting you at that particular moment.

DRO said...

PART II

I'm surprised that he skips over some 1200 years of non-secular Christian governance under the Church of Rome (which begins for the sake of argument in the decades preceding the First Council of Nicaea in 325AD) to jump to the Reformation in the 1500s to announce the invention of secularism by Christian western Europe.

I'm surprised he fails to mention that the Renaissance began in Islamic Spain in the 1200s; or that European Islam contributed hugely to the evolution of the Western Tradition from the early 8th Century onwards; or that 'secularism' in the British Isles does not mean the same as 'secularism' (laïcité in modern French) in Europe [British secularism is 'temporal', and still to a great extent understood as such to this day, in the sense that strictly that churchmen are separated from governing men: there is the problematic matter of the 28 Anglican prelates in the House of Lords, of course, but at least the Lord Chancellor is no longer a bishop/Cardinal].

The Common Law is still deemed to be Natural Law here (i.e. Divinely Inspired Law), and so that Rights are given of God not by temporal government. Unlike in 'secular' France and the rest of neo-Hegelian Europe where rights are the gift of a benevolent government.

I would argue that western European Christendom, through divines such as St Thomas Aquinas, brought the temporal/spiritual divide in from Islam through inspiration or studying of the works of Imams Al-Ghazzali (Algazel), Ibn Rushd (Averroës), ibn Ḥazm (Avenhazen) - (Aquinas is cited as being "the foremost of the Christian Averroists").

Incidentally Ibn Ḥazm, one of the great early Troubadours and a contemporary of Duke William IX of Aquitaine, was the originator of the concept of Courtly Love poetry (through his work "The Ring of the Dove"/'Ṭawqu-l Ḥamāmah') which was fashionable at the court in Poitiers of Eleanor of Aquitaine (Duke William's grand-daughter and mother of King Richard the Lion-heart and King John) and her daughter Marie de France. And so it goes on; which is why I have a great deal of sympathy with Lt Gen Sir John Bagot Glubb's bemoaning in his book "The Lost Centuries" the eliding of "800 years of history from our schools" (actually it's more like 1300 years, with patchy and distorted oddities that are badly taught anyway).

And as for the terrific victory of the Christians over the Muslims at Poitiers/Tours in 732AD, according to Professor Charles Beckingham of SOAS Abdul Rahman al-Ghafiqi was conducting little more than a "raid in strength" beyond the northern limit of the date palm (the Moors' field rations at the time), and there was no Grand Plan to invade northern Europe. There seems to be a tendency to ignore the longish Moorish presence in southern France (Septimania), the Mediterranean islands - especially Malta and Sicily-, and southern Italy (Calabria).