Dissenting voice warns of threat posed by Islam
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
MULTICULTURALISM is dead, and the Government must face up to Islam's claims
for world dominance to prevent the break-up of British society, says an
The priest, the Revd Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the
Study of Islam and Christianity, in London, spoke last week of the dangers to
Britain and to the Church of an unchecked "totalitarian Islam". In his report
Islam in Britain, sent to politicians and the press at the start of
the month, Dr Sookhdeo singles out the belief that Islam is destined to
dominate the world as the real root of Muslim radicalism in Britain.
"Radicalism and violence are inherent in much of traditional Muslim
theology, ideology, sectarianism and history. Only a new interpretation of
Islam will change this trend. In its search for a solution, the Government must
face up to these facts," he states.
Trevor Phillips, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, was
expected to deliver a warning this week that Britain is "sleepwalking" its way
into a segregated society of ethnic enclaves with the potential for conflict.
Dr Sookhdeo accused the Government of using what he describes as the
ultra-conservative Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) as its main means into the
Muslim community. Islam in Britain was divided ethnically, theologically, and
ideologically, he said, but the Government had chosen to ignore other voices
within British Islam.
Dr Sookhdeo said that the Church had also failed to understand what was
happening. "Multiculturalism is dead, and we need to find a new way forward
based on a common identity and on sharing the same values."
"The Church of England is light-years from reality in its relations
with Islam," said Dr Sookhdeo, an Anglican priest with permission to officiate
in the diocese of Salisbury. He is also Canon Theologian for the diocese of
Kaduna in Nigeria.
British Muslims wanted political space to express their very different
values and view of society, he said. Meanwhile, the Church was trying to relate
to Muslims on the basis of drawing closer together spiritually.
Dr Sookhdeo believes that Britain could end up as a community of
communities, as in India, rather than as a community of individuals, which is
how he sees it now. He be-lieves that the reason is that Muslim communities
have not sufficiently identified with Britain.
He also says that church leaders, journalists, and politicans are naïve in
ignoring the policy of taqiyya (dissimulation) used, he claims, by groups such
as MCB. They directed pro-integration statements towards the wider British
public, while "the internal Muslim discourse is quite different, favouring
"Muslim leaders must understand that, in order to enjoy the benefits
of British citizenship, they should be willing to accept the level
playing-field of British democracy and British law and integrate into society
as a whole," says Dr Sookhdeo.
A government taskforce is expected this week to recommend integration as a
prerequisite for tackling Muslim extremism. A multifaith Commission on
Integration was announced on Wednesday by the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke.
It is to ask how to engender inclusive Britishness, how to tackle inequalities
segregating people, and how to create cultural norms between faiths.