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In 2008, while arguing for the need to formally introduce Sharia law into the law of the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed Sharia law was “inevitable” in the UK . He denied it was an “alien” system and called for “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law. He did this in a calculated and provocative manner, while denying a place for its more “extreme punishments.”
It is unlikely that many members of the Muslim community would be satisfied with an Anglican primate determining the limitations of the Quran and Sharia law.
This argument was rapidly followed by the Lord Chief Justice: Lord Phillips helpfully said there was a place for Sharia law, particularly in mediation. He lamented the “widespread misunderstanding” of Sharia law. The newly established Muslim Arbitration Tribunals immediately put a picture of the Lord Chief Justice on their website in appreciation of his endorsement.
In the United Kingdom, the many thousands of Sharia courts can quietly go about their business of implementing “justice” in a form totally “alien” to the Judeo-Christian tradition, denying human rights to many of our citizens — particularly women.
The “constructive accommodation” of Muslim law reached a logical conclusion with the declaration this year of Sharia law controlled zones in a number of areas geographically spread over the country, where the Islamist militants enforce their will. Their posters declare: “No music or concerts, no porn or prostitution, no drugs or smoking, no gambling, no alcohol.” A reign of terror has begun, with threats of implicit violence against anyone who “insults” Islam, changes religion, or fails to dress appropriately. I have already been contacted about assisting two individuals subject to Islamist threats.
The police stand passively by, adhering to their diversity training.
If the Labour Party had won the last general election in 2010, I believe they would have introduced Sharia law into the United Kingdom. Things have changed for the better since David Cameron became prime minister — he has criticized “state multiculturalism” as causative of terrorism and radicalism. An inquiry of the Ministry of Justice into the operation of Sharia courts had to be stopped as Muslim leaders refused to cooperate with the government; they wanted to continue to execute Sharia law in secrecy. However, this has only heightened concerns. A Conservative peer has sought to introduce legislation delimiting the operation of Sharia courts as discriminatory against women. The home secretary has at last refused entry visas to “hate preachers” like Zakir Naik. (The last Labour government welcomed Hezbollah terrorists to lecture the police on “political Islam.”)
When I was a boy growing up in London, as Roger Kimball has written, terms like “Sharia” and “jihad” were anthropological phrases analogous to witch burning, using leeches to draw blood, and cannibalism. It would have been beyond my comprehension that our political elite would seek to introduce this medieval system into one of the most advanced societies in the world.
Sharia law is the antithesis of law as representative of rational human endeavor to alleviate the human condition.
In this short piece, it is not possible to fully illuminate the “establishment” of Islam in the United Kingdom (as described by the First Amendment). I can only give examples.
An interesting case of mine involved a church in a part of the country declared a “Sharia law controlled zone.” The church had existed for about 150 years, but it was served with a noise pollution notice for the singing of hymns on a Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. As the notice was served, the council officer said: “This is a Muslim area.” (Naturally, this statement was denied in court.)
However, it was the court experience which was most disturbing; the local court was in an area with a high Muslim population, and the majority of the judges hearing the case were Muslim. The court closed the church. I thought the only image missing from the scene was about 200 mullahs demonstrating outside the court for the death of the infidels.
The case was appealed, and moved to a district that was predominantly English (where the appeal court was situated). The court opened the church.
This case was similar to a case where Muslim police officers prevented two street preachers, Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham, from evangelizing in Birmingham. The Muslim police office called it a “hate crime” to seek to convert Muslim youths. A Muslim police office failed to uphold British values: social cohesion requires that the appointment of Muslim judges and police officers is in accordance with British standards and values.
In 2005, the BBC broadcast Jerry Springer — The Opera. It conformed to the usual high standards of the BBC: Jesus in a nappy; Jesus a “little bit gay”; the fondling of Jesus’s genitals. Fifty-five thousand complaints were received, and ignored — the BBC governors declared the program “artistically exceptional.” There was legal action against the BBC, but they bravely defended themselves — using taxpayers’ money — by asserting their willingness to challenge sensitivities. No apology was given.
How brave. Yet their courage seems to fail with Islam, and there has yet to be such an “artistically exceptional” program on Mohammed (nor will there ever be).
This must be juxtaposed with a BBC program titled Question Time, a flagship political discussion program in which free speech is vital to open debate. Mr. Charles Moore, a former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator magazine, openly criticized the Muslim Council of Britain for not condemning the killing and kidnapping of British troops overseas and suggested they thought it was a “good thing.” The BBC offered a £30,000 payment from taxpayers’ money, along with an apology. No attempt was made to defend free speech.
If this decision by the BBC had been challenged as inconsistent with their position to the Christian community, it would have been dismissed by the court (with costs to pay).
In 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the underwear bomber) appeared on the world scene. He is the fourth British Muslim student leader in three years to be implicated in terrorist activity. He was a devout Nigerian student, clearly radicalized during his time at London University — many of our universities have become hotbeds of Islamic radicalism, where Jewish students keep a low profile. Of course, London University commissioned a report and denied that Umar was radicalized while in their educational care, and they defended the right of free speech. Undaunted, Islamic hate preachers continue to appear regularly at London University.
U.S. readers can rest assured that the university authorities and student unions are taking decisive measures against dangerous and radical religious groups. I was recently contacted by the Exeter University Christian Union after they were expelled from the student union for having a discriminatory membership policy. The policy? Requiring members to be … Christians! I ought to say that at the time, my U.S. colleagues assured me that no Christian society at any U.S. university would ever suffer such a “silly” fate because of the First Amendment.
Poor Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang entered a religious discussion with a Muslim guest at their bed and breakfast hotel in Liverpool. Foolishly in a private conversation, they described Mohammed as a “warlord.” They were prosecuted by the police.
The evidence was so bad that the judge effectively threw the case out (and it is instructive to note that a Muslim guest gave evidence on behalf of the couple), but this was not before a year of awaiting trial and the devastation of their business. Their bed and breakfast had been used by the local hospital, which now refused to use such an Islamophobic hostel. The state used its economic powers to ensure that British citizens’ private religious views conform to state policy.
Simultaneously, the British police act in the vanguard of the Islamification of Britain by selectively terrorizing the British population to use only the “free speech rights” of which they approve. In 2007, Channel 4 produced a documentary titled Undercover Mosque which showed video of imams saying things like: “You have to bomb the Indian businesses and, as for the Jews, you kill them physically,” among a whole range of other religious speech advocating violent jihad. A clear case of a “hate crime,” no?
The Crown Prosecution Service said no charges should be brought, and the police announced they would consider prosecuting Channel 4 for showing the documentary.
You can imagine what the average British citizen thinks. The Islamists can say what they want; anyone who criticizes this or shows it will be prosecuted by the police. Of course, Channel 4 is big enough and wealthy enough to defend itself — they sued the police for libel. The police capitulated and paid £100,000 to Channel 4, and accepted “without reservation” that the documentary was accurate and dealt with the subject matter responsibly.
The question remains: why have the imams not been arrested? And why have the police officers themselves not been arrested for interfering with the administration of justice?
Many British employers permit the hijab, but not a cross, and so on and so forth. I could continue, but I am sure you get the picture. Islam is becoming the established religion. However, while the Islamists welcome it, the causative reason is a liberal elite who are “fellow travelers” with a primitive juristic system. The Labour Party and Democratic Party are sympathetic to religious practice that discriminates against women, homosexuals, and Jews — everything they purport to be against.
This could be coming to a state near you sooner than you think.
Paul Diamond is the leading religious rights barrister in the United Kingdom.
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