Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two Faces

Holy Smoke has this comment on Rowan Williams' uncanny ability to miss the point.

"Christians in Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East are being beaten, imprisoned, tortured and killed in the name of Allah. Moderate Muslims in Britain desperately need to be made aware of this situation.

"And what has the Archbishop of Canterbury given them? Yet another sermon on the evils of Yankee imperialism."

At the same time Kate Herbert in Education Guardian has been teaching primary school children about Henry VIII.

However . . .

"Many of them didn't understand the situation of Lady Jane Grey, having to choose between her religion and her life. One suggested that money is as important now as religion was then: they would rather change religion than give up money, homes and toys. Not the Muslim children. They wouldn't swap their religion for an easier life, even if it meant ruling the world for the next nine months."

I thought of my little grandson who would make serious sacrifices to get to see his wrestling heroes knocking ten sorts of **** out of each other but, as the child of a vicar's daughter, has no obvious sense of religious commitment whatsoever.

And then last week there was the TV programme Never Mind The Buzzcocks during which a member of the panel, commenting on David Bowie's performance in The Last Temptation of Christ, said it was so wooden that Jesus Christ should have been nailed to it. We all laughed. Minutes later an awkward attempt was made to tease another panellist, Germaine Jackson, a Muslim, about his beliefs which ended in a half-apologetic withdrawal when the look on his face signalled obvious displeasure.

What is is about Islam that so many otherwise outspoken people are reluctant to criticise, let alone poke fun at, it? In order to maintain the multiculturalist ethos are we in danger of creating a double standard under which the west, modernity and liberal democracy are always on the defensive? I feel increasingly uneasy.

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