The menacing advance of the Islamic State in Iraq should not prejudice Western people against Muslim people and the Islamic faith.
I once served as an airman in Egypt and Iraq and can vouch for the kindness and goodness of many Muslim people. Indeed, more than three million have made their home in Britain, and by far the majority want to get on and make good and peaceful homes among us.
But there is a darker side. Radical Islam is on the rise and imperilling our way of life, threatening to undermine the values that have been bitterly won over the centuries.
Lord Carey says Radical Islam is on the rise and imperilling our way of life, threatening to undermine the values that have been bitterly won over the centuries
In recent weeks, we have heard desperate reports of barbaric violence – including crucifixions and beheadings – accompanying the onward march of the terrorist group calling themselves ‘Islamic State’ (IS, formerly ISIS).
Even worse, about 500 of these murderous thugs, criminals and rapists are said to be Britons and a further 1,500 from other parts of Europe.
The youngest of these would-be terrorists is reported to be 13 years old and has travelled to the Middle East from Belgium with an older brother.
Frighteningly, the young British hostage-taker who may have beheaded the incredibly brave reporter James Foley, is not even the first to have committed such a despicable act. Journalist Daniel Pearl was murdered by a Briton as well.
My good friend Canon Andrew White, widely known as the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, has seen many of his parishioners killed.
He said only the other day that a child he had recently baptised was cut in half by terrorists in the advance of IS. He and other church leaders in Iraq are witnessing the ethnic cleansing and even the genocide of the ancient Christian community in the homeland of our Christian faith.
Christianity in Iraq dates back to the first century and the missionary expansion inspired by the preaching of St Paul. By contrast, Islam arrived by conquest and the sword centuries later.
These young fanatical Muslims from Britain and elsewhere are bringing the sword yet again to this region.
Only this time they are killing all in their wake, including fellow Sunni Muslims who do not hold the same belligerent interpretation of Islam, together with Shia Muslims who by population are in a majority in Iraq.
How can we respond to the evil these young people are doing in the region, including young Britons that we have educated in our schools and who now repudiate our decent and tolerant values by pursuing jihad in Iraq and Syria?
The first step is to withdraw their passports. This includes young people who we learn are planning to travel to commit terrorist acts, together with those who are fighting for foreign terrorist groups
American journalist James Foley was beheaded by an ISIS militant
They should not have access to the privilege of travelling under a British passport with the accompanying consular protection – and they certainly should not be able to travel back to their shores with the barbaric and bloodthirsty skills they have gained.
Young people who travel abroad to commit violent ‘jihad’ should know before they go that there is no way back to civilised society.
It may focus their minds to know that the privileges and luxuries of our country (including our gyms, games consoles and relative peacefulness) will be denied to them in future.
It will take a brave Government to carry out this intent but it is my feeling that the majority of our fellow citizens want this to happen.
They will want it out of sheer disgust that so-called Britons are killing others in the name of Islam and so challenging the tolerant values that stem from our Christian heritage.
The second and most important step is to recover a confidence in our own nation’s values. For too long we have been self-conscious and even ashamed about British identity.
By embracing multiculturalism and the idea that every culture and belief is of equal value we have betrayed our own traditions of welcoming strangers to our shore.
The strangers we welcome were attracted to our way of life and our democratic traditions.
They were often escaping totalitarianism and religious persecution and wanted to come to a country where there was freedom of religion and separation of the powers of church, state and judiciary.
They also came to one of the only countries in Europe where there was an established Church. The establishment of the Church didn’t mean that other beliefs were not welcome but it did offer hospitality for a range of diverse beliefs.
In Britain’s hospitable establishment different beliefs were welcomed but only one was pre-eminent – Christianity.
The fact is that for too long the doctrine of multiculturalism has led to immigrants establishing completely separate communities in our cities. This has led to honour killings, female genital circumcision and the establishment of sharia law in inner-city pockets throughout the UK.
It Is a situation that mainstream Muslims – the vast and quiet majority – are fed up with. They are witnessing the radicalisation of some of their young people and feel powerless to do anything about it.
The majority of Muslim leaders firmly condemn such radicalisation, but the appeal of such illicit underground movements to radicalised young men cannot be underestimated.
The best way to challenge a thoroughly bad thing is to offer a better one.
The better idea we can offer is the broad and all-encompassing values of liberal democracy in which we all have a voice and a say in shaping our future together. In this must involve the power and co-operation of Muslim communities who need to state, more clearly than they have done so far, their denunciation of these fanatical forms of Islam.
Islam has many strengths to contribute to our land. When I was Archbishop of Canterbury I had a strong and rich friendship with Sheikh Zaki Badawi, who sadly died in 2003.
He often remarked that Muslims had difficulties living as minorities in plural societies and much more work had to be done by Muslim scholars. With him I set up an important ‘listening exercise’ that eventually led to a Christian-Muslim Council.
I was also closely involved with Tony Blair in the establishment of Building Bridges following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
There has been a huge investment in strengthening Muslim, Christian and secular dialogue.
Muslim communities are being challenged as never before to discipline their young people or face the consequences that such radicalised young men will be banished from our shores.
This year we are reminded by the commemoration of two world wars that the values of our democratic traditions are precious. Our fathers and grandfathers – including many thousands of Muslims from around the Commonwealth – fought against totalitarianism for the survival of democratic virtues. The bloodthirsty advance of IS is a reminder that totalitarianism is far from dead.
Our fight continues.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2732895/Why-I-Christian-believe-banish-evil-British-jihadis-shores-Says-former-Archbishop-Canterbury.html#ixzz3BPELDqrH
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