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Dissenting voice warns of threat posed by Islam

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 Anglican priest.

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 separate development."

 "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.

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