Rasputin warns of the inevitable alienation of Muslims by David Blunkett's racist, Islamophobic strategy of arresting Muslims in reponse to a campaign of terrorism explicitly carried out in the name of Allah.
“If we want to persuade moderate Muslims to sign up to toleration and pluralism of the right kind, anything that gives the impression that we are targeting Muslims is problematic. We have a lot of ground to make up.”
Of course, the Archbishop is quite right. Only about 6% of the population of Britain are Muslim. Most, including the Archbishop, are nominal Christians. It therefore follows that the majority of arrests made under anti-terrorist legislation should be Christian, and that the resources of MI5 and Special Branch should be mainly targeted on extremist religious groupings such as the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Quakers. Anything else would be 'profiling' of the most racist and bigoted kind.
Acording to the Sunday Times, Williams also believes that "westerners find it difficult to grasp that for a Muslim, being religious is not something that is done in addition to everything else: “It just is the fabric. For the Muslim everything is seen through that lens.” "
You know, Archbishop, once upon a time, even some Christians were like that - their religion was the core of their being. Obviously you were never one of those, though. And British Muslims are "Westerners" - or is that a code word ? I wonder what it could mean ?
But it looks as if religious faith, like culture, is becoming another one of those things which is OK for 'them' to have, but not for 'us'. Minette Marrin makes this point in the Sunday Times. She also quotes Mathew Arnold's 'Dover Beach', and I can't resist it either. Poets are prophets.
"The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world. "
UPDATE 27/12/2003 - The Magna Mater Melanie also gives Rasputin a good telling-off.
4 hours ago