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The Inspiring Courage Of Parkfield Muslims

Well, this is typical: [1]

Christian-Muslim interfaith relations are at breaking point in Birmingham as the Church of England refuses to support the Muslim community in its stand against the sexualisation of primary school children [2] at the Parkfield Community School [3] in Saltley, an inner-city area in the Diocese of Birmingham.

Mariam Ahmed [4], a mother-of-two leading the protests, had appealed directly to Rt Rev’d David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham and Sarah Smith, Birmingham Diocesan Director of Education, asking for “support towards our campaign which has now been running since 7th January.”

In a detailed email, Mrs Ahmed explained that the parents were not homophobic or transphobic, they were not against anyone, they fully respected the Equality Act 2010 and they taught their children to respect everyone in the manner they would expect to be treated.

Stressing that the “main concern” of the Muslim parents was that the programme taught by the school was “not age appropriate” and psychologically “confusing young children’s minds as young as four years,” Ahmed said that “I and many other parents have had children coming home confused and with lots of questions as to what they are.”

This was not just a matter for Muslims, but for all faiths, she emphasised, as assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat was teaching a programme where only two of the protected characteristics named by the Equality Act 2010 predominated, i.e. gender reassignment and sexual orientation.

More:

However, Bishop David Urquhart, responding through Kate Stowe his Chaplain, did not offer any support for the Muslim parents. Instead, the email stated that the diocese expected church schools “to address the requirements of the Equalities Act, recognising that it is a requirement of the law to prepare our children to live in modern day Britain.”

“That includes the right for people to choose their identity and who they wish to love. We believe it is for individual Governing Boards to decide on the resources that best suit them to deliver the Equalities Act,” the email stated.

Ahmed also spoke earlier to the Diocesan Director of Education Sarah Smith and received a similar response in a phone conversation.On previous occasions, the Diocese of Birmingham has supported Muslims to the point of upsetting secularists.

It’s not just the Anglicans:

None of the churches, including the local Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist or Free Church of England churches in the school’s catchment area have spoken out against the “No Outsiders” programme imposed by the school.

“The wheat and chaff will be separated.” Muslim academic Kate Godfrey-Faussett told Rebel Priest Media [5]. “This is becoming more apparent when examining the reactions of people from all faith communities to the recent campaigns against No Outsiders and compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) that are undermining our human and parental rights to raise and educate our children inline with our religious beliefs.”

Dr Godfrey-Faussett, who is leading the national Stop RSE movement against the proposed legislation, added: “To declare ourselves as Muslims, Christians or Jews brings with it a duty to stand for what we believe in. We cannot simply turn a blind eye or discard politically incorrect beliefs to move with the times when the times are moving ever increasingly towards a godless immoral society.”

Read the whole thing.  [1]

Who’s standing up for the innocence of children in UK schools? Not Christians. Muslims. Shame on us Christians.

I don’t know why the other Christian churches haven’t spoken out. If any of you readers have insight, or have seen examples of those churches’ leaders speaking out, please let me know. I am reminded of the 2016 fight in California over Cal grants, when the legislature considered taking away financial grants to state students who used them to study in colleges that discriminated in any way against full LGBT rights. Had the law passed, it would have meant that many conservative schools would have had to violate their corporate conscience, or close their doors. An Evangelical leader in the fight to save the schools (which was successful, but it was a close call) told me that it was difficult to get white Evangelical churches involved. They were terrified of being called bigots, which is to say that they were frightened that they would have their middle class respectability taken from them. They would rather have seen Evangelical colleges forced to close than to lose that.

Is this what’s happening in the UK? If so, then God bless those Muslim mums and dads who care more about their children than they do middle class respectability.

This is an example of why top Christian religious liberty leaders tell me that Christians in the US had better learn how to work with Muslim citizens on these issues. I’m eager to get started. Salafist jackasses and white supremacist jackasses will hate it, but the threat to traditional religious belief in practice from secularism, especially sexual progressivism, is far greater than any threat either Christians or Muslims face from each other in the United States (Europe is in a rather different situation).

Still, we’d better be careful about stereotypes. I get e-mails from time to time from Muslim parents saying they enjoyed The Benedict Option [6] because they’re seeing their own children being drawn away from the faith and assimilated into US secular culture, and they want to know what to do to combat this. You may be surprised to discover that US Muslims are far more supportive of LGBT rights than you think (see page 91 in this Pew report [7]). Because by far the biggest threat to religious liberty in this country is its clash with gay rights, Muslims who are orthodox on sexuality are, like their Christian counterparts, fighting both within their own religious communities, and with the secular world, over the issues related to it.

There are so few of us — same with Orthodox Jews — and we face such intense opposition. As a Christian, I am inspired by the courage of those Muslims in the UK who stood up to the progressive education bureaucracy, even though they are standing alone. You know what I would like to see? A conference gathering American Muslim, Orthodox Jewish, and Christian leaders to talk about religious liberty struggles we’re all now facing, and will face in the future, and to talk about how we can work together, despite our very real differences. Drop me a note at rod — at — amconmag — dot — com if you are interested in something like this. I’ll talk to some friends of mine, and we’ll see what we can put together.

Salafists — extreme Muslims — are the enemy of Christians and Jews (and also Muslims who don’t conform to their radical views). But the Salafists aren’t going to try to close down Christian and Orthodox Jewish schools, and compel faithful Christians and Jews to affirm (or lose their jobs and businesses) things they cannot in good faith affirm. White supremacists are the enemy of Muslims, Jews, non-white Christians, and white Christians who reject their racism — but they aren’t going to attempt to shut down our schools, businesses, and careers, or compel us to violate our consciences. Think hard about this.

 

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47 Comments To "The Inspiring Courage Of Parkfield Muslims"

#1 Comment By J On March 19, 2019 @ 11:19 am

The Catholic Church in the UK, with some notable exceptions, is not led by men who are prepared to stand up and be counted on moral issues like this. The bishops are weak and compromised.

The Muslim woman is named Ahmed, it is likely she is an Ahmadyia Muslim. They are generally tolerant, but hated by mainstream Muslims. I am still leery of working with Muslims. I frankly don’t trust them. I’ve worked with some who seemed very decent, until they started chatting about turning St. Peter’s into a mosque and were surprised that offended me.

#2 Comment By DaveNYC On March 19, 2019 @ 11:23 am

Rod, you know full well why Christians in England won’t stand up. The majority of them are white, and the full weight of the law and the media would come down on their heads, up to and including loss of jobs and overt social shaming. Muslims, on the other hand, at least in the U.K., aren’t white, and therefore have a special protection that indigenous Britons lack. State sanctioned multiculturalism also allows brown people, of any faith, to vigorously enforce their own social codes, while whites are expected to capitulate completely to the ever changing standards our superiors deem proper and necessary.
In the post modern West, there are two different standards of behavior, one for heterosexual whites, and one for everyone else.
Muslims in the U.K. are a demographic that is overtly favored by the ruling class in Britain, and they will face nowhere near the level of opprobrium that white Brits will. Of course, most white Brits probably support what the Muslims are doing, but they don’t dare speak up about it.

#3 Comment By Nick Stuart On March 19, 2019 @ 11:31 am

RD: “This is an example of why top Christian religious liberty leaders tell me that Christians in the US had better learn how to work with Muslim citizens on these issues.”

Yep, that’s correct.

RD: “Salafists — extreme Muslims — are the enemy of Christians and Jews (and also Muslims who don’t conform to their radical views). But the Salafists aren’t going to try to close down Christian and Orthodox Jewish schools, and compel faithful Christians and Jews to affirm (or lose their jobs and businesses) things they cannot in good faith affirm.”

Umm, not so sure about that. Not this minute maybe, but if the number of Muslims in an area becomes great enough, the impulse to enforce hijab, sharia, and other Muslim cultural-legal distinctives becomes very strong and could eventually end up this way. Still, I’ll take my chances with it vs. doing nothing and letting the Left enforce its agenda.

#4 Comment By Khalid mir On March 19, 2019 @ 12:06 pm

Excellent initiative! God be with you, Rod. I don’t know many people directly ( apart from my cousin who teaches Islam at a university in the states) but I’ll write to a few friends ( if that’s okay with you) and ask them to contact you. I’d love to see you get in touch with Hamza Yusuf.

#5 Comment By Okie Doke On March 19, 2019 @ 12:09 pm

You know what I would like to see? A conference gathering American Muslim, Orthodox Jewish, and Christian leaders to talk about religious liberty struggles we’re all now facing, and will face in the future, and to talk about how we can work together, despite our very real differences.

I’d like to see that too, but joined by a contingent of agnostics, atheists and religious progressives who have the common sense to see — and the firm courage to say — that state-mandated celebration of the new sexuality is a serious potential harm to the common good.

#6 Comment By John On March 19, 2019 @ 12:11 pm

The real struggle is not between faiths, but between the nihilists and those who believe in positive values. The LGBTQ battering ram is just a stop on the way to the bottom, along with euthanasia and other evils. Common cause is no longer within the faith, or even within faiths working together, but the simple idea that there are transcendent truths or there are not. I do not see just a Christian Benedict Option, but a philosophical one, wherein people strive to preserve the simple idea of truth, not the vacuum of hell is relativism. That’s really what it is becoming about.

More power to the Muslims on this, and it feels like they are fighting their own rear guard action on this. I have been wary of Muslims in the past, but more than appreciate the struggle here, and their willingness to fight relativist nihilism. A big question is if the people who are not nihilists or radicals in either faith can make the connections to support each other. At the end of the day, of course, faith is the filter through which we see reality, so there are different views of that reality. Whether or not they can be reconciled remains to be seen, but refusing to support other faiths experiencing the same struggle against nihilism is simply going to reinforce the divide and conquer mentality that the nihilists have used with so much success against the Christian community itself.

#7 Comment By Anon On March 19, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

Rod might I recommend the writings of Daniel Haqiqatjou Who often talks about these topics, his post on Parkfield can be found here
[8]
The problem with the statement put out by the parents is that it still concedes too much, no Muslim I know wants their kids to be taught about homosexuality at any age, they would prefer it if sexual education was not taught at all in schools.
in the previous thread, one of your commenters made the point that in a conflict between Muslims and LGBT, Muslims would always have the upper hand but I think this ignores The impact of hegemonic Bourgeois western culture on young people.
Despite what the media will tell you, Islam is not a race but a religion and A person can choose to be a Muslim.
It’s very possible that in 40 or 50 years time, there will be no Muslims in the west, just brown progressives.

#8 Comment By Kessler On March 19, 2019 @ 12:15 pm

From the news I read, my impression was, that Church of England is a Church of Nothing. I know I shouldn’t be shocked, but to read statements, that completely abdicate Church’s responsibility still makes an impact. “Who are we to tell people, what’s good and what’s bad, our job is to be happy-clappy with you about the most recent social fad.”

#9 Comment By Jim Jatras On March 19, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

Re: “This is an example of why top Christian religious liberty leaders tell me that Christians in the US had better learn how to work with Muslim citizens on these issues. I’m eager to get started. Salafist jackasses and white supremacist jackasses will hate it, but the threat to traditional religious belief in practice from secularism, especially sexual progressivism, is far greater than any threat either Christians or Muslims face from each other in the United States (Europe is in a rather different situation).”

Well, of course Birmingham is in Europe, or at least on an offshore island thereof. But Christians there are supposed to piggyback on Islamic social activism there as well? Conversely, if Islam is not (yet) as prominent in the US as in Europe, why do we need “to learn how to work with Muslim citizens on these issues”?

Rod, you are spot on in your criticism of nominally “Christian” leaders in the UK who have embraced the LGBT++ agenda, which is clearly what they are doing, since certainly none of them are opposed to Islam per se or migration replacement of the indigenous culture. (I wonder if there’s been anything from Orthodox Christians on this matter.) But suggesting that Christians opposed to social and political cooperation with Islam to defend “religious belief in practice” are “white supremacist jackasses” on a par with “salafist jackasses” amounts to demonizing anyone who opposes the deconstruction of traditional Christian, European societies, of which both LGBT++ and migration-driven Islamization are symptoms.

From Pat Buchanan’s column in TAC today [9] :

“All peoples to some degree resent and resist the movement of outsiders into their space. Some migrants are more difficult than others to assimilate into Western societies. European nations that had not known mass migrations for centuries were especially susceptible to a virulent reaction, a backlash. … The liberal democracies that embraced this ideology, this idea, are at war with human nature, and are now losing that war to tribalism and authoritarianism.”

Re “the threat to traditional religious belief in practice from secularism, especially sexual progressivism, is far greater than any threat either Christians or Muslims face from each other”: While LGBT++ and feminism might yet win an occasional skirmish, in the long run these are nothing more than noxious precipitates of the demoralized, decaying homegrown culture. Once that culture is gone, sexual pathologies will have no ability to sustain themselves against the militant, unapologetic newcomer that, ironically, embodies the very violent anti-homosexual and misogynistic attitudes they deplore.

Pick your metaphor: rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, choosing which sauce you wish to be eaten with, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s all just sound and fury unless and until we see the (very unlikely) resolve of English (and French, German, Dutch, Swedish, – and American, Australian, and New Zealander) parents and the rest of the native population join Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Italians, and other nations still determined to exist on their own historical cultural and moral terms, not the ones allowed them by this or that faction among their gravediggers. (Or would that make them all “white supremacist jackasses”?)

As noted by Christine Douglass-Williams of Jihad Watch [10] :

‘At Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, we see a possible collision between two unlikely allies in the West: the socialist Left and Islamic supremacists. Such a collision is inevitable, as neither believes in freedom of belief and thought, or in the freedom of speech. For example, Christians who fully believe in the equality of rights of all people before the law but do not believe in promoting LGBT causes have been mercilessly attacked by LGBT socialist-Left activists for having a difference of faith and opinion, despite supporting the human rights of gays. Yet peculiarly, social justice warriors have given Islamic supremacists a free pass, despite their opposition to gay rights and the equality of rights of all people before the law, and also despite the gay hate-preaching from many mosques and the call for the murder of gays in many Islamic states.’

Whether in Christchurch or Birmingham, or anywhere else in what until recently were indisputably societies that were ethnically European and spiritually, or at least culturally, Christian, the forces of the rising dictatorship of victims, despite their internecine squabbles, understand all too well who their common enemy is. Whichever faction might have the upper hand at any moment just boils down to scavengers scrapping over the rotting, barely living carcass of a legacy society begging to be put out of its misery.

“There’ll always be an England”? Don’t count on it. Or a New Zealand or an America, for that matter.

#10 Comment By DW On March 19, 2019 @ 12:34 pm

So, the government of England supports the curriculum, the Church of England supports it, and English popular culture supports it.

But the Muslims don’t.

And the British are supposed to listen to them? Listen to people who reject their culture, reject their church, and often reject their law?

Why!?! What Brit in his right mind would start bowing to this?

For the record, I don’t like the LGBT curriculum either, but this idea that the “enemy of your enemies” is your friend is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps getting us in trouble.

If you’re more comfortable with the idea of living in an Abrahamic theocracy someday than living in a secular world, fine. But some of us prefer ourGod-given liberty to fanatic-led tyranny.

[NFR: Allowing the state to sexualize your little children in classrooms to own the Muslims. Brilliant [/sarcasm]. — RD]

#11 Comment By Tom On March 19, 2019 @ 12:58 pm

[NFR: Allowing the state to sexualize your little children in classrooms to own the Muslims. Brilliant [/sarcasm]. — RD]

Rod, this program simply does not sexualize children – it simply doesn’t do that. It tells them that children can have 2 mums or 2 dads. It no more sexualizes children than Slkeeping Beauty. Why do you continue to see and refer to this education as sexualizing?

#12 Comment By Philly guy On March 19, 2019 @ 12:59 pm

If you are going to make common cause with Muslims, supporting Trump is not a good look.

#13 Comment By Bowl of Petunias On March 19, 2019 @ 1:01 pm

“There are so few of us — same with Orthodox Jews — and we face such intense opposition.”

Aren’t Orthodox Jews, both in Israel and the U.S., on track to outnumber Conservative and Reform Jews later this century due to their high birth rates? Of course, they only pull this off by taking advantage of every type of government welfare they can. Not unlike a lot of recently arrived Muslim immigrants in both America and Europe. Most Christians I’m familiar with, however, have been against taking welfare on principle, including the Quiverfull crowd.

Looking forward to the rest of the comments.

#14 Comment By polistra On March 19, 2019 @ 1:15 pm

Maybe you could learn to stop being against Islam because of theological reasons.

Islam has a direct logical theology. God created the world and gave us the gift of life. We have obligations in return for that gift.

Catholicism has hundreds of weird inconsistent postulates, starting with the idea that Jesus came to save the world and screwed up, therefore we know he will succeed on his second try. Everything beyond that is even weirder.

#15 Comment By Elijah On March 19, 2019 @ 1:58 pm

“I’d like to see that too, but joined by a contingent of agnostics, atheists and religious progressives who have the common sense to see — and the firm courage to say — that state-mandated celebration of the new sexuality is a serious potential harm to the common good.”

Hear, hear.

#16 Comment By Philly guy On March 19, 2019 @ 2:01 pm

In the U.S. any sincere conservative Muslim institution that would be conservative enough to support anti- LGBT legislation would not associate with non Muslim religious institutions and would probably be labeled a terrorist organization.

#17 Comment By Augustine On March 19, 2019 @ 2:03 pm

This is not about joining forces with Muslims because we, Christians, share an enemy, the homosexual lobby. It’s about joining forces around what is true, good and beautiful. And, if Muslims are not against them, they are with us.

#18 Comment By Erik On March 19, 2019 @ 2:03 pm

If there is one group of people who can get a little bit of tolerance from the left regarding social conservatism, it is the Muslims. I recently heard a liberal commentator explain on a popular political podcast why “thoughts and prayers” are objectionable when they are offered by Christians for American tragedies, but are to be encouraged for the Muslims killed in New Zealand.

#19 Comment By Rich On March 19, 2019 @ 2:17 pm

I agree that these Muslims are to be praised and respected for their stand, and it’s aggravating that too few Christians (especially leaders) are standing with them. I also agree that it may be appropriate to “ally” with Muslims in the future against the radical sexualization of children, and similar issues.

But I have very mixed feelings about it. If we (as Christians) ally with conservative and traditionalist Muslims, what happens when other issues are addressed, or other opinions are exposed? What do these Parkfield Muslims, for example, believe about genital mutilation, or honor crimes, or similar issues? In the city I used to live in, a woman was murdered by her own family after she was raped by a stranger, because she had brought dishonor to the family. The Muslim community stood with the family. No doubt they would agree with rejecting the school curriculum in this post. But that’s not the only thing their religion teaches them. This is not to mention other details of sharia law, etc.

I was once neighbors with a Muslim couple from Saudi Arabia. They were lovely people, embodying every positive stereotype of Muslim hospitality. They invited me over for tea many times, and we had great conversations (well, the husband and I). They gave me gifts, and their young son played with my children. But the wife would literally hide in the kitchen until she was called for by her husband. She kept her head down. Twice I made the mistake of trying to shake her hand, and she politely shook her head and apologized. She was to be seen and not heard. She served in the shadow of her husband.

If such people can stand with us against the craziness of modern society, that’s a welcome development. But that invites other problems along the way, including how we as Christians are characterized for allying with very backwards cultures.

#20 Comment By Ali On March 19, 2019 @ 2:32 pm

@jim jatras,
The problem with your view is that unlike in America, white British people are generally apathetic towards religion, And it may be that in 20 years time Muslims will be the only ones in Britain Who are opposed to the LGBT lobby and endorse values like modesty.
There is no reason to assume that if every Muslim disappeared from Britain tomorrow that the country would suddenly become socially conservative as it was in the past, The lack of any socially Conservative MPs demonstrates this fact clearly.
As for New Zealand, according to recent research I read, it’s the worlds most promiscuous country and the average woman has slept with 16 men before getting married, so perhaps lowering the gays might be a solution there.
And I think the elephant in the room is this, British people aren’t rebelling against this new curriculum because they don’t care, they have swallowed LGBT hook line and sinker.

#21 Comment By Jim Jatras On March 19, 2019 @ 2:43 pm

@Ali

I don’t dispute any of your observations. Hey, if the native stock are determined to commit demographic, moral, and spiritual suicide, that’s the end of the road and nothing more need be said. Endorsing a way station in the form of an alien and intolerant religious ideology doesn’t change that outcome and may in fact help advance it. Any European revival of Christian values, if it comes, will be linked — and probably drawn behind — national revival, as in Poland, Hungary, Russia, Italy, and hopefully others. Or it won’t come at all.

#22 Comment By Hound of Ulster On March 19, 2019 @ 2:56 pm

@Jim Jatras

You have no clue how to build coalitions, and that is why you are going to lose.

Say what you will about the LGBT movements, but they know how to build coalitions and leverage that to advance their goals. The same cannot be said for most Trad conservatives.

#23 Comment By Matthew Jolley On March 19, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

Dear Rod I am the Pastor of a small Presbyterian Church in the UK, confessionally orthodox and we are trying in our own small way to be a ‘Benedict Option’ community, a small light in the moral darkness, trying to rescue the few we can from the shipwreck all around us. My perspective from over here is the large churches like the Anglicans have been taken over at the top by unorthodox progressives. They are more likely to support the progressive agenda and attack the orthodox. The faithful few who seek to uphold Christian doctrine are scattered around in small churches like mine outside the mainstream and we are simply too small to be recognised. The situation over here is very bleak spiritually and I personally believe most of these compromising churches will be gone in the next fifty years, they will die out without the gospel. We must prepare, pray. And persevere.

#24 Comment By DW On March 19, 2019 @ 3:23 pm

“NFR: Allowing the state to sexualize your little children in classrooms to own the Muslims. Brilliant [/sarcasm]. — RD]

Ceding ground to a religion that will eventually cover your daughter’s face and mutilate her genitals: even more brilliant.

#25 Comment By John Mann On March 19, 2019 @ 3:51 pm

The mainstream churches in the UK tend to be theologically wishy-washy, and fairly politically correct.

The evangelical churches don’t tend to speak out much on political issues – they leave that to bodies like the Christian Institute, which has been very critical of the pushing of the LGBT agenda in schools – see, for example, [11]

#26 Comment By Marie in Vermont On March 19, 2019 @ 3:55 pm

Sorry, Rod, but I agree with the commenters who are leery of joining forces with Muslim groups.

From an article about the 11th Annual “Convention for Palestine in the US” (2018)” by Hesham Shehab:

“One of the speakers, Ibraheem Samirah (also spelled Sumaira), a first generation Palestinian-American Islamist and candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2019, described in detail how Islamists should view its alliance with the American left.

Samirah gave a speech about the importance of making alliances with American progressive movements. He explained that in order to achieve their goals, particularly undermining the State of Israel and the “Zionist” lobby in the West, Palestinian Americans should be pragmatic and temporarily ignore their differences with progressive parties in the West.

Samirah added that this “alliance” strategy was inspired by the example of Muhammad, who forged temporary alliances with pagan tribes in order to achieve his goals.

Samirah told the audience:

‘[Muhammad] had to form treaties with his enemies. He had to form alliances with people who weren’t necessarily believers of his message, who would later on become people who would be his enemies.’

This notion of temporary treaties or agreements with enemies, known as “Hudna”, is a popular one often invoked by Islamist groups to justify momentary concessions.”

Is this how they would see any cooperation with Christians? I don’t want to take that chance.

[12]

#27 Comment By Kent On March 19, 2019 @ 3:56 pm

I’d like, in a small way, to point out that most Muslims that immigrate to the West, especially to the United States, are not doing so in order to conquer us. They are doing so to simply improve their lives.

And they know that most of that improvement comes not from economics, but from liberty, something they desperately missed in their home lands. So it should not be remarkable that US Muslims support homosexual rights at a relatively high rate. They can simultaneously hold the view that their religion may scorn homosexuality, but they can also personally view homosexuals with kindness and compassion.

The first thing immigrant families learn is to be humble and grateful, and that the grace afforded them by society should be afforded by them to all.

#28 Comment By J On March 19, 2019 @ 4:05 pm

polistra, you obviously don’t understand what Catholicism teaches. For example we believe that Jesus succeeded on the cross and offers us redemption. Islam isn’t coherent at all. God is pure will and can change his mind at a whim. First it’s let’s all be peaceful, next it’s kill the Jews and Christians. Islam does not believe in reason and makes it’s god a tyrant.

#29 Comment By James C. On March 19, 2019 @ 4:46 pm

Pastor Jolley,

Keep up the good fight. I know your lovely town very well. Spiritually more of a desert now, but of course it’s named after a great Anglo-Saxon saint, and it literally grew up around a great Benedictine abbey whose ruins still dominate the town. There is still formerly fertile ground to till, and grace can bring fruit from the most parched ground. There are seed-sowing souls like you quietly doing the Lord’s work up and down Britain.

#30 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On March 19, 2019 @ 8:14 pm

Islam has a direct logical theology. God created the world and gave us the gift of life. We have obligations in return for that gift. polistra

1) Roughly 20% of the Koran is incomprehensible even to Koranic scholars.

[13]

2) In the remaining 80%, Allah changes his mind very often and abrogates verses revealed earlier to Muhammad. Here is a treatise written by a Muslim almost 100 years ago on all the verses that have been abrogated by Allah. For a perfect being, He sure has difficulty making up his mind.

[14]

3) If Islam is so clear, why are there so many millions of jihadis who, we are told, suffer from tragic misunderstands of Islam and that therefore their actions cannot be blamed on “true” Islam?

#31 Comment By Ezra H. On March 19, 2019 @ 9:50 pm

One Christian church that is not wavering from traditional norms of sexuality is the Mormons (who are eschewing that name, but not the values that adhere to it). Here’s Dallin H. Oaks, the #2 in LDS hierarchy, speaking five months ago to the whole church, saying in summary “no, we’re not changing our values even if everybody else is.”

[15]

Mormons tend not to feel very welcome in the wider Christian community, but if Muslims get a seat at the table, it would be passing strange not to mark one “LDS.”

#32 Comment By bayesian On March 20, 2019 @ 2:32 am

Generally, there is a lot to be said in favor of this post and for some of the comments thereto (e.g. Ezra H.).

However, Rod, you said:

But the Salafists aren’t going to try to close down Christian and Orthodox Jewish schools, and compel faithful Christians and Jews to affirm (or lose their jobs and businesses) things they cannot in good faith affirm.

You might want to check some of what happens when Salafists (broadly conceived, anyway) get enough political/mob power to make their wishes stick.

You also said

White supremacists are the enemy of Muslims, Jews, non-white Christians, and white Christians who reject their racism — but they aren’t going to attempt to shut down our schools, businesses, and careers, or compel us to violate our consciences.

Only because there are not enough of them – for the moment at least. For Ghu’s sake, Rod, you have talked to people who were around when white supremacist ancestors of some your St Francisville neighbors did exactly that, and worse, to non-white Christians.

Were there any Jews in Feliciana Parish in The Olden Days? I tend to suspect there were not any Muslims. The only Jews I know with pre-1960 roots in the South are from larger cities (specifically Memphis and Birmingham) – their description of their existence was definitely as dhimmis, but not uncomfortably so (I gather that Jews, while rare, were somewhat more integrated into the power structure in some parts of the Deeper South, e.g. Charleston SC).

So it seems like the most plausible charitable reading of your concluding graf is that Thuh Left has more functional power these days (in the US, anyway) than either Salafists or white supremacists. Overall I agree with you about that, although one acquaintance of mine who is a fairly liberal Shia is rather more frightened of the Salafists with the Orange County CA Muslim community (who are able to tap large sums of Gulf $$) than he is of the LGBTQ activists and their bureaucratic allies/enablers. Just sayin’.

#33 Comment By Paolo Pagliaro On March 20, 2019 @ 4:07 am

“Christian-Muslim interfaith relations are at breaking point in Birmingham as the Church of England refuses to support the Muslim community in its stand against the sexualisation of primary school children at the Parkfield Community School in Saltley”

Unbelievable.

The Church if England does not represent the same Christianity I belong to.

#34 Comment By Paolo Pagliaro On March 20, 2019 @ 4:23 am

“That includes the right for people to choose their identity and who they wish to love.”

I can’t see any such right, but I am a bigot.
I suppose the only reason these churchmen have against “the wish to love children” is some psychological theory still predominant in the non-deplorable quarters, but soon to be found outmoded if the trend kicks in.

Who are we to stop the progress? Or, as is now fashionable to say in my own Catholic home: we can’t stop the new things the Spirit is bringing us.

#35 Comment By Paolo Pagliaro On March 20, 2019 @ 5:01 am

My opposition to such programs is not only religious, it is quite plainly secular.

I do not believe that transgender theory are good WHATSOEVER, and I am not ready to be bullied away by some neologism ending in “phobe”.

Is it possible that France is the only country where people is able to protest en masse against government abuse?
In Italy I joined the Family day in 2016, in Rome, only to be met with barely veiled hostility by the Pope.

#36 Comment By Austin (UK) On March 20, 2019 @ 7:38 am

In the 19th century many Christian commentators saw Muslims as to a considerable degree supporting the same values as them, but that was before the extremism took all these turns for the worse.

The “conservative” party greatly promotes Salafism.

I don’t get churches, or Christians, at all nowadays.

Incidentally we don’t have to state our religion. We should speak up about a matter because we’re here and we’re us, not because we belonged to some caste or other, which only plays into the hands of the fake “conservatives”.

#37 Comment By Ike On March 20, 2019 @ 9:14 am

I agree in principal that the church have been cowards and the Muslim families brave.
However they my have made the right choice.

In fact they might be HELPING by not taking a stand. You know full well that if the local bishop take an ‘anti-lbgt’ stance on this the media would make THAT the main point. They ability to twist things to fit the narrative is endless

By making the white Christians the focus it would be that much easier to attack this initiative with the full force of the left wing media. Fits the narrative perfectly.

By staying out the church has made this an Islam issue, an area the left has much more reticence in treading.

Of course I know the churches main concern is themselves. Th English churches have been trounced so hard for the last 50 years I doubt they have any fight left in them even if officially they hold conservative positions on This. They couldn’t really provide any help. They have no remaining social capital to contribute!

Also, you must remember that the church leader KNOW full well that one reasons they are not totally pushed out of the public square is their inoffensive positions. They are now so weak that to be seen standing up to support the ‘Islamic bigots’ could well be their death sentence.

[NFR: If they died, in the sense you mean, would anybody notice? Would that change anything? — RD]

#38 Comment By Ras al-Ghoul On March 20, 2019 @ 12:39 pm

“I was once neighbors with a Muslim couple from Saudi Arabia. They were lovely people, embodying every positive stereotype of Muslim hospitality. They invited me over for tea many times, and we had great conversations (well, the husband and I). They gave me gifts, and their young son played with my children. But the wife would literally hide in the kitchen until she was called for by her husband. She kept her head down. Twice I made the mistake of trying to shake her hand, and she politely shook her head and apologized. She was to be seen and not heard. She served in the shadow of her husband.”

Typical male-centered view of the world. If you were a woman, you would have perceived the husband as “not be seen and heard”. It’s not her fault if the West imposed a male-dominated norm all over the world. In Muslim countries, the Women-only and Men-only societal presence continued till about the advent of modern age. One example: The oldest muslim university -University of Al Quaraouiyine- was founded by a woman. Just some food for thought.

Also, once again, “honor killing” is simply categorized as “killing” or worse (could be sedition) in Islamic law and is also considered a sin. A (horrible) cultural problem common to Muslims, Christians and other adherents of other faiths in a given region which is not shared by other muslims all over the world cannot be a muslim particularity.

We cannot progress in any dialogue if people are persistent
on keeping the …. which has been thrown over their glasses by the media.

#39 Comment By Ras al-Ghoul On March 20, 2019 @ 1:08 pm

@Janwaar Bibi

1. Haha, according to a very scholarly article in “the atlantic”, some “scholars” who learned some Arabic, (compared with those grammarians who could quote verbatim and by heart pages and pages from the Al-Kashshaaf -the Koranic tafsir with deep linguistic analysis), didn’t understand some of the Koran according to the modern western criteria, and so they decided that 20% of it is not “understandable”. Let me ask you, what would be the literary value of Shakespeare work, or of the Bible, or of Gita, if the content only had one clear meaning in ALL of its sentences?

Talk to Nouman Ali Khan about it.

2. This is also a grossly misunderstood and misrepresented topic. God did not change His mind. God is talking with the context of a constantly changing world and so He can adapt the rulings to the changing circumstances; or it could be a pedagogical process. The “theological” statements, the eternal truths, were never abrogated. Also, that such as such “sword verse” abrogated all the many verses about the civil behavior towards non-Muslims ( including a couple of them just before and after the said verse) is just an absurdity and a myth and, historically, can be found as the opinion of a simple-minded person, or of somebody who lived during a fight with brutal enemies (like Mongol invasion).

The clarity is a clarity of heart and soul which rests on the fundamentals and universals and is actively seeking the right answer in particulars. Confusing the two and building on fallacies is the symptom of a confusion of which Janwaar
is not devoid.

3. The fundamentals of Sharia are crystal clear and have been worked out in full detail. There are many nuances, exceptions,
particularities, etc, like in any other law and the contradictions of real life to be lived are added on the top. Clarity does not mean lack of complexity. Simplifying a complex thing (which destroys its clarity) is what the self-declared muslim terrorists do, and that is what Janwaar does too.

Terrorist jihadists (not jihadis; the afghan “jihadis” fought against the Soviets and Taliban with US support, do you remember?) do not suffer from misunderstanding of the Islam. They suffer from the dirt in their own souls and their arrogance in manipulating the Word of God for their whims. Worse case scenario, a naive boy with a gore rush clings to some myth he’s been fed with the media and puts his anger and frustration into a cut and pasted verse from Koran. Hardly a ‘confusion’ in Islam per se.

#40 Comment By JEinCA On March 20, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

Rod My Orthodox Brother,

I will go out on the line and say that from my own experiences with Muslims (including spending some considerable time in a predominantly Muslim nation in Central Asia) that us Traditional (and especially Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Christians) have much more common ground with Traditional (not Salafist or Wahhabist but Traditional) Islam and it’s faithful than most of us in the West realize. I will even go so far as to say our Traditional Western Christian Ancestors would have understood these Traditional Muslims living in the West much more than they would understand their own descendants. They would be horrified at what became of their descendants and the lands they fought for, bled for and worked with the sweat of their brow.

This does not mean that I would like to see Islamic Civilization replace what was once Western Christendom and neither do I support unbridled immigration to the West from non-Western nations, cultures and civilizations. However there is nothing wrong with making common cause with Muslims residing in the West when they are right and on this they are right and shame on the Church of England because there is nothing Christian left in them and unfortunately powerful elements in the Roman Church appear to be following Canterbury’s lead into the Post Modern, Post Christian West.

#41 Comment By Ali On March 20, 2019 @ 2:26 pm

well, according to this article, four more schools in Birmingham have stopped these lessons
[16]
If ever there was a time for Christians or people of any faith really to speak out against the LGBT indoctrination of schools.
Individuals or in small groups, the government can simply ignore but if this could become a nationwide movement, the government would not simply be able to sweep it under the rug.
It’s also interesting for me that Muslims feel that they will be called radicals if they don’t embrace the liberal position on this issue.

#42 Comment By Ras al-Ghoul On March 20, 2019 @ 3:32 pm

One further comment about the Koran: A basic misunderstanding in the Western Koranic scholarly mind is the the confusion between the fact that “Qur’an [to Muslims] is literally the Word of God”, and the statement that “Qur’an is the literal word of God”. The latter was never admitted as such in the Muslim theology and any Muslim school boy or girl (well, except the extreme literalist trends) who has familiarized themselves with the basics of the traditional muslim culture knows it not to be true. The debate between modernists and literalists (some of the salafists) is the fight of two confused extreme camps who cannot or do not want to distinguish between the former and the latter. Even in the Qur’an itself the complexity (but not its unclarity) of the affair is mentioned in 3:7, i.e. Qur’an is self-consciously not entirely literal.

#43 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On March 20, 2019 @ 6:20 pm

Ras-al-Ghoul, Out there in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has captured, raped and sold as slaves thousands of Yazidi girls, some as young as 5 years old, to other Muslims.

As I am sure you know, they justify this in their online magazine Dabiq by citing the Koran and the deeds of your prophet. In fact Rukmini Callimachi of the NYT titled her articles on this horror “ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape.”

[17]

A theology of rape. And you see the same behavior in Nigeria and even in Pakistan, where thousands of non-Muslim are kidnapped each year, raped and “married” to Muslims.

[18]

Either Islam permits Muslim men to indulge in this kind of barbarism or Islam forbids this behavior and Muslims all over the world are sadly misunderstanding their own religion. Which is it? You cannot have it both ways.

#44 Comment By Ras al-Ghoul On March 20, 2019 @ 7:28 pm

“Either Islam permits Muslim men to indulge in this kind of barbarism or Islam forbids this behavior and Muslims all over the world are sadly misunderstanding their own religion. Which is it? You cannot have it both ways.”

Really? You are really reduced to give me a false dichotomy to choose from? If that’s all that you can throw at me to make a point, I’m quite happy.

You were never a fare debater, so my posts are only formally addressed to you, and are usually to counteract your misinformation. Your fallacies and distortions are too obvious for me to lose my time over it, since the answer to your so called “questions” are already answered in my previous post. Let me repeat: Quoting from Koran is not adequate for justifying an act in the name of Islam. I can show you the phrase “there is no god” in the Koran (2:163) to justify atheism. It does no prove the claim that Koran supports Atheism, and that’s exactly the sort of thing that ISIS and the ilk are doing in their journals and you don’t want to admit.

And then citing the behavior of at most some 100,000 deviant criminals (i.e. less than %0.005 of the total Muslim population)
and then saying “Muslims all over the world are misunderstanding their religion” is simply preposterous,
and even IMHO obscene and sanctionable by Rod, in the light of what just happened last week. You don’t want to be a Muslim? fine; you don’t like them to be around you? ok; there is freedom of expression? alright; but remember that the words have nevertheless a weight and ‘the lies’ propagated to disfigure an entire population share in the crimes committed against those innocent of those lies.

#45 Comment By Ras al-Ghoul On March 20, 2019 @ 9:26 pm

Rod: This is from the facebook page of Abdullah bin Hamid Ali of the Zaytuna College. You might want to get in touch with him:

There are three primary contributing factors to massacres like what happened in New Zealand: 1) media; 2) politicians; and 3) big corporations. Each group has its own “bottom-line.” The media & big corps’ bottom-lines are profits. The bottom line of politicians is “more power” which means job security. The media appeals to corporations to convince them to advertise with them. This is where much of media profits originate. This means that they are driven to give preference to the most sensational and fantastic of stories in competition with their competitors to attract advertisers. Unfortunately, this includes stories that reinforce negative stereotypes about select groups of people, especially Muslims and white conservative men. Politicians will capitalize off of the social engineering of the media and stoke the flames of prejudice further damaging the relationships between the rest of us. In this so-called “Age of Trump” it’s much worse because demagogues throughout Europe have been galvanized by his often reckless disregard for responsible speech, especially in relation to vulnerable minorities. There used to be a time when politicians at least tried to appear to be objective and unaffected by ideological bias. But, this era has seen the rise of so many who have played their cards, and that’s not only on the right side of the aisle. Truth told, Islamophobia did not begin with Trump. Nor did the rise of white nativism. Its rise was predicted by Samuel P. Huntington, the most influential political scientist of the 20th century. During the Obama years, more white supremacist groups appeared throughout the US than any time before in the past few decades just when we thought that America was on the verge of becoming post-racial. Trump’s use of terms like “nationalism” makes it easy for him to be painted as a crass classical white racist since it sounds like code for “white supremacy.” The reality, however, is that the matter is much more complicated if you take a look at Trump’s economic and foreign policies which seem to corroborate his claim that his “nationalism” is an antonym for “globalism.” It would be easy if we could simply blame massacres like the one at Masjid Noor in New Zealand on Trump and the conservatives. But, when we consider the fact that both the liberal and conservative media are involved in political propaganda to mold the minds of the masses and to shape our views to conform with their wishes/perspectives, it becomes clear to any objective observer that the things contributing to this terrible violence are more complex though not hard to distill. While anti-immigration rhetoric on the right does contribute to the anxiety and hatred that lead to these massacres, the anti-white anti-Christian anti-heterosexual pro-non-European alternatives to white political domination and refusal to have dispassionate evidence-based debate about important issues like global warming, gender theory, abortion, gun control, and other issues cannot be ignored as not involved with the sense of hopelessness felt by maniacs like the one who killed and seriously injured scores of people in NZ. The politicians on the left will make this once again all about gun control (“We need to ban assault rifles”) and conservative “racism.” Those on the right will respond that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” The rest of us will choose sides in the debate based on what “appears” to be the most “moral” stance. And, will remain in our silos taking aim at, berating, and ridiculing our opponents as “stupid”, “unsophisticated”, “weak on security”, “racist”, “hateful”, “more concerned by foreigners than citizens”, etc. Meanwhile, the media (including social media) and corporations will get a pass on their destructive contribution to our collective wellbeing. And, we will be no better off because of it.

#46 Comment By Beardie On March 21, 2019 @ 1:41 am

J: “The Muslim woman is named Ahmed, it is likely she is an Ahmadyia Muslim. They are generally tolerant, but hated by mainstream Muslims.”

No. Ahmed is just an alternative spelling of Muhammad. (Note the ‘h, m, d’.) It is commonplace throughout the Muslim world.

The “Ahmadiyya” are to Islam what Mormons are to Christianity, except unlike Mormons their politics are SJW-level left. They would not be caught dead picketing LGBT ideology. They’re quite irrelevant to this.

#47 Comment By Kurt Gayle On March 21, 2019 @ 11:39 am

Back in 1992-93 gay activists at our local school board first pushed to put “Heather Has Two Mommies,” “Daddy’s Roommate,” and other such so-called “LGBTQ children’s literature” in the primary grades of our elementary schools.

Christian parents (both Protestant and Catholic) and Moslem parents set up a working group to opposed putting this type of literature in the primary classrooms. I worked for a pro-life organization and I was assigned to attend all of the meetings, to listen and to take notes, and to offer whatever help seemed appropriate. I just want to say that I was amazed at how identical the views of Moslems and Christians were with respect to this issue. Indeed, it was a special pleasure to work with the Moslem representatives, and at least three of them knew (and could recite from memory) Old Testament references on a par with any pastor or priest in the meeting.

The Moslems were extremely cordial and easy to work with, they immediately agreed to stick to the issue at hand and not try to proselytize, and (at least based on my experience over the course of that year), the Moslems could be trusted to carry out the initiatives and actions that we all agreed to.

I think that the problem in the UK (as described above) is that so few of the “Christians” are actually Christian and that the Moslems are just about the only parents standing up for Biblical teachings and for the well-being of their children.