Friday, September 22, 2006

This Needed Said!

I recently read this post on another blog of a friend of mine in the UK. What this guy is saying desperately needed saying, so I'm re-posting it here. This guy's blog is at Good blogger, I suggest you link him, I am.

The time has surely come...
Imagine, if you will, that a tiny, “radicalised” minority “Christian” sect appeared on the scene, calling itself, oh, let’s say “The Avenging White Angels”.

Imagine that at the forefront of this sect’s beliefs was a gross misinterpretation of the Biblical condemnation of sexual promiscuity. The AWA somehow gets it into its head that God is telling them to murder all prostitutes, both men and women, and so the AWA spends much of its time carrying out this so-called “command”.

As we all know, the media “always reports all the bad stuff – you never hear about the thousands of good deeds that people do, only the murders and robberies”. And so, the public’s perception is gradually swayed to the point where the man/woman on the street thinks to him/herself: “Christians are evil; they believe that it is God’s will for them to murder all prostitutes”.

Given that this cult, the AWA, represented only a tiny minority and that its views were indeed completely at odds with those of the wider, traditional branches of the church, one would expect leaders and figureheads such as the Archbishop of Canterbury to publicly come out and condemn the AWA, and moreover, to denounce it completely and unconditionally. No ifs, no buts, no “root causes” or “foreign policy yada yada”, no artificial flavours or preservatives.

It would be no use at all if Dr Williams was to say “While the Church of England condemns these murders, it must be noted that prostitutes are indeed partly to blame by their actions, and unless they repent and change their ways, the Church cannot be held responsible…” If he were to repeatedly make such ambiguous remarks, we would eventually feel forced to come to one of two conclusions:

Either (a) that the church had an enormous public relations problem and that its leaders simply did not understand how to put their message across effectively, or (b) that while wishing for the time being to appear beyond reproach, the wider church (and hence all of its members) in fact secretly supported the actions of the radical cult in its midst.

At first, most people, naturally wishing to find the best in their fellow human beings, would accept conclusion (a). But as time passed and the same scenario was repeated over and over again, surely public opinion would slowly begin to shift towards conclusion (b).

Again, let us still insist that the “AWA” is nothing more than a tiny cult whose views and practises are completely at odds with the mainstream church. Is it not reasonable to suppose that Christians everywhere, seeing their faith so grossly distorted in the public’s perception, and seeing their leaders unable or unwilling to redress the balance, would eventually take to the streets in large numbers, in order to publicly condemn this vile cult and to disassociate themselves from it?

You know where I am going with all this, of course:

I desperately want to keep believing that the vast majority of devout, practising Muslims in this country are peaceful folk who utterly detest the violence carried out in their name by a small minority of warped radicals. But the accumulation of events, and moreover, the, shall we say, ambiguous reactions of Muslim community leaders to those events, are making it harder and harder for me to stick with conclusion (a). I so want to be proved wrong about all this, but recent statements made by groups such as the MCB give me no grounds for such relief.

There is a "rotten apple" in the Islamic garden, and Islam's mainstream leaders for some reason are unable or unwilling to condemn it as forcefully as is required. Therefore, the time has now come for ordinary Muslims en masse to publicly and demonstrably reclaim their faith from those who wish to use it as a vehicle of destruction.

Posted by Tom Tyler on September 19, 2006


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