The subject of Sharia Law has been brought back to the attention of the government. And Mr Cameron hasn’t moved an inch from the remarks that he made back in 2008. There will be no Sharia in the UK.
This is part of a new system which is soon to be unveiled to stop radicalisation in the UK; that is, the promotion of extreme Islamism.
David Cameron has recently won an argument with Nick Clegg, who has called for a more tolerant approach to certain Muslim groups. I don’t think Nick Clegg is on the same wavelength as the majority of the UK. But, Cameron has come out as the victor of the argument, and so tougher measures are going to be implemented to make the UK a more pleasant country to live in where Muslim extremism and Sharia-tastic Muslims are concerned.
OK, none of this information in itself is actually new to most of us. David Cameron has long said that he wishes to take a harder line on those who promote ‘Un-British values’. He has also said that the aim of ‘state multiculturalism’ has failed. And I agree. So what is all the fuss about??
The fuss is about Muslim groups applying for government funding. Under new plans, they will have to prove they do not support extremist views. This is all being done under the banner of ‘counter-terrorism’.
Home Secretary Theresa May is this week set to unveil a fresh crackdown on home-grown terror in a bid to stop the promotion of Islamic radicalism in Britain. The new Prevent strategy will classify any group as extremist if they fail ‘to reflect British mainstream values’. This is whether they are violent, or not.
But in a speech in February, Mr Cameron called for an end to ‘passive tolerance’ of extremist Islamic organisations who foster hatred against the West and radicalise young Muslims. From now on, there will be a direct opposition to radicalising British born Muslims within the University context, and a cease on funding to any Islamic organisation which is deemed extremist.
Indeed, one may say that this is censorship, quashing free speech. And here’s the age old argument. Where should the line between free speech and discrimination be drawn?
I would suggest that ‘hatred’ is the key word. When you insight hatred, you are discriminating. When you express an opinion in a well mannered way, you are exercising free speech.
Let me demonstrate:
A statement that said “I don’t think gay couples should adopt” would be exercising free speech.
A statement that said “God hates fags” would be hatred.
What the government hopes to tackle is hatred, not free speech (in this case). And I fully support these plans. Too long have we been silent as a country. Too long have we been a doormat for people to wipe all their extremist, radical, hate driven ideologies over the face of this land. And it’s time to put a stop to it. I don’t mean “Let’s go on a crusade!”, I mean “Let’s deal with this properly, and nip it in the bud before it’s too late through proper means which is well mannered and humane”.
I am NOT for one second trying to promote hatred of Islam. What I am promoting is British society. British values. Traditional British way of life. And for those who insist on radial Islam, or on Sharia, or anything within these two poles, then I suggest they move elsewhere, where their needs can be met. Because they won’t be met in the UK, and it seems to me that if those need aren’t met, then extremist Shariatans get a bit angry, and then terrorism and hatred surface.
A choice has to be made; Sharia in a different country, or equality, democratic society which is civilised, which stands for freedom and justice. There is no place in the UK for anyone who wishes to choose Sharia & Islamic extremism, or for anyone who whishes Sharia, but wants to take the ‘best of British’ as it were.
Well done to Mr Cameron for sticking with his guns. Nick Clegg, I’m afraid you’re making yourself more unpopular by the hour. Let’s hope these new plans prove effective in ridding our country from Islamic extremism, and preventing our country from becoming the Western version of countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan where there is immense persecution.
At the same time, let’s not get complacent and use these new measures to discriminate. Muslims have the free right to be part of this country and exercise their faith. There is nothing wrong with that. We live in a democratic country which demands freedom of religion. And we must honour that.
What are your thoughts?
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
“What I am promoting is British society. British values. Traditional British way of life.”
But what is ‘British’? Our country is going through an adolescent identity crisis as we attempt to make sense of the new post-modern, glocal world of the 21st century. I don’t want, and I don’t expect, to see British identity and culture come through it looking exactly the same. What it means to be British has changed – in fact it might never be clear again exactly what this word means.
This is why we need to be very careful how we go about deciding who is in and who is out of our accepted ‘British’ identity.
Thanks for commenting James,
Though I think you’re tapping into a slightly different thing. Way of life and identity are two different aspects of ‘Britain’ in my opinion. By traditional British values, way of life and society, I mean a country stood on freedom of speech, justice, and democracy – those sorts of values which help to define us as British.
It also depends on what you mean by identity; do you mean people profiles, our values as society, the government setup, national relgion or something else?
We *do* need to be careful how we decide who is in or out of accepted British identity, but not SO careful about deciding who is in or out when it comes to extremism, terrorism and radicalisation.
We do need to continually ask the question “What is British?” in terms of identity, being aware of the various people/religious profiles in our land. Of course, the answers to this question will shape our culture and identity – but should it change our moral values which we deem to be British, such as equality, freedom of speech, justice, opportunity and religious freedom? I don’t think so – and Sharia law doesn’t fit with these core values that we hold to.
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