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"The Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Tories of surrendering to “unreasonable demands "

I think perhaps you mean "has accused the government". I know that we're leading in the opinion polls, but don't let's get ahead of ourselves!

It always is one step forward and one back with Williams. Today he is simply being foolish. Comments like this will only encourage extremists in our society.

Thanks Andrew. Mistake corrected.

Apropos the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments about Sharia law, isn't it already the case that e.g. Orthodox Jews in England have access to Beth Din courts in order to resolve certain types of dispute, and that this has for many years been recognised and to a degree accepted within English law?

Per Al-Beeb: Dr Williams says the argument that "there's one law for everybody... I think that's a bit of a danger"

This is so far beyond parody that it is difficult to know how to react.

It has always been obvious that Dr Williams is well-meaning but unworldly. Less charitably, but justly, he could also be described as a pliable moral relativist. But in this interview this intelligent but extremely foolish man has demonstrated that he is unfit for his office.

"isn't it already the case that e.g. Orthodox Jews in England have access to Beth Din courts in order to resolve certain types of dispute, and that this has for many years been recognised and to a degree accepted within English law?"

Correct; essentially it's the same as any form of informal arbitration. It applies where all parties to the dispute in question agree to its jurisdiction and to abide by its findings. At any time any party involved can decide to institute regular UK legal proceedings.

Further, any ruling by such a court cannot infringe UK law, so, to take an extreme example, it could not apply corporal punishment, and if it did, the recipient would have have the usual legal grounds for recourse against assault.

The only occassion where UK law can't intervene is on religious matters. So, for example, the UK courts couldn't rule on kashrut laws, or if a women fails to obtain a religious divorce, while she would have every right to a civil divorce and remarriage, a Jewish ceremony would not be possible.

As pointed out, this has occured in the UK without comment, or need for comment, for decades. The question is, if this is what Carey is suggesting, why does he need to comment on it?

Good news that Mr Qaradawi will not be permitted entry to the country. I have to admit I have had serious doubts about Mr Cameron’s ability to take a firm stance on matters of fundamental importance, but if the story is true that Mr Cameron has indeed made the government think again, then I take my hat off to him. Maybe hardcore conservatives like me will warm to him after all. Time will tell.

I think Dr Williams’s position is becoming increasingly untenable. He should be defending the nations Christian religious beliefs, based on tolerance and justice, with the utmost vigour.

I am afraid that like most left-leaning academics he is all to ready to run up the white flag and surrender yet more of this nations heritage and traditions, working on the assumption that if you are nice to not very nice people they will in turn become nice. This of course is seen as a sign of weakness by not very nice people and they become nastier and bolder, not nicer.

I think that Dr Williams should do the decent thing and stand down and make way for someone (if there is anyone left that is) who is prepared to make a stand.

Of course, the Arch Bishop forgets that Islam (an imperialist creed if ever the were one) denies the divinity of Christ. What else do you expect from someone who bends over backwards to be nice to people who despise his weakness.

Thanks, David, for that very helpful clarification. I hope that what Dr Williams meant was that Sharia law should be treated in a similar manner to Beth Din, and that his reason for needing to spell this out was simply that Sharia law is associated by many people more with chopping off people's hands etc than it is with providing informal arbitration in less alarming ways. Having said that, though, I don't find his remarks (as reported on the BBC) particularly clear, so who knows?

And Paul Wakeford, I'd have thought that 'bending over backwards to be nice to people who despise his weakness', while at the same time being willing to say things that are unpopular with society in general, is - whether one agrees with him or not in this instance - a plausibly Christ-like way of proceeding.

This is a very depressing story about the archbishop.

Is it not a bit odd that this man stands as leader of a church whose central biblical characters fought to prevent the crushing of their own faith by other faiths, and yet Williams just rolls over and calls it inevitable....


Doesn't the Archbishop know his medieval Church history ? For centuries the church courts were abused by those pleading 'benefit of clergy' to avoid the normal punishments for their crimes. It was one of the many clerical abuses which led to the Reformation. Is the Archbishop seriously suggesting setting up a similar mechanism for Muslims to escape the British legal system in this country ? He must be even more idiotic than I previously thought.

Since the Archbishop has done no more than say that sharia law could be provided for in much the same way a Beth Din already can be, this thread is pretty revealing. And it shows the extent to which, as so many of you frothingly affect to fear, Britain is likely to 'become a Muslim country'. Which is to say, how very Christian of the majority of you to find ever newer ways to pour nativist, know-nothing abuse upon Rowan Williams. That'll keep us white, er sorry, Christian, er sorry, and rather more realistically, Muslim-frei - or whatever it is you're screaming about next week. Paediatricians moving in next door most likely from the tone of most of the posts here.

The bible most of you haven't read and the God most of you don't believe in are replete with lessons touching on motes and beams, which Rowan Williams, whatever his other faults does know about, and does do what he can to try and display some basic Christian charity. Better him than you, and better, come to that, Muslims honest enough to believe than bigots pretending to care for Christianity just so they can hate all the better.

Nice post -not ACT.

More to the point Sharia law means the execution of apostates, which is frequently defined by the lunatic fringe as anyone who disagrees with them, the execution of homosexuals and lesbians, together with polyethists (Hindu's, Bhuddists, Taoist's etc al) and the payment of jiaza (spelling) by anyone who does not sign up to Islam.

Since I do not wish to be stoned, or at least not in the way they mean, I am hoping that Williams is not being serious.

Lovely bit of prose, ACT, but it is disingenuous of you to set up your straw man. The point is about equality before the law.

Perhaps a teensy bit hypocritical of you to castigate others for frothing and hating, too.

And if you don't believe me when I try to point out that the raving Islmaphobes are marching in lockstep with the intolerant liberal secularists, just look at what their church says:

For many non-Muslims, the idea of a religious court holding power over British citizens seems totally alien to our mainly-secular culture.
Except, and in heretical contradiction of the BBC's ex cathedra pronouncements on matters of faith, every measure of public opinion that has ever been taken in this country shows that we are still, despite everything, a majority, a substantial majority, believing nation. No uniformity to that belief certainly, but in no sense, other than in the prejudices of the BBC, are we a 'mainly-secular culture'. All of which is again to say: those of you who aren't actually anti-Muslim bigots, merely masquerading as members of the, "it's only the bad 'uns I'm worried about" lobby - please don't let yourself be used by the BBC to bash belief. It's really not the enemy.

There was meant to be a BBC link there too (the quote is from the 2nd par) - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7233040.stm - but I am evidently too dense to properly write code.

ACT @ at 17:23…

Firstly, how do you know that some of us are not practicing Christians? Rather an arrogant assumption.

Secondly, you presume to accuse people of racism for raising legitimate concerns about radical Islam and Sheria Law, and in case you haven’t noticed some of us were unhappy about the entry into the country of an individual who, for example, think women should be subjugated and beaten under - Sheria Law!

Thirdly, it is not a case of keeping this country”white” or non Muslim. These fears are unfounded anyway. There is no chance of this country becoming a wholly Muslim country in anywhere near the foreseeable future, if at all. Especially given the large scale immigration from Eastern Europe (predominately white and Roman Catholic). What we can, and probably will, have are towns, perhaps even whole cities, where one race or religion predominates turning that town or city into enclave. This is a danger recognised by Trevor Philips and others.

If Sheria Law was to be introduced into these enclaves just who would stop it from becoming radicalised and even more powerful over time? Our hand wringing appeasing government? Our police forces paralysed by political correctness? Senior members of the Anglican clergy who say that Sheria Law is inevitable?

Who do you think would have most to fear from this law? Answer: Muslims of course (especially women) who would be expected and pressurised by radicals to conform to it within these segregated communities.

Even though, as my pseudonym suggests, I am a hard-headed right winger, especially when it comes to law and order issues, personally I find it deeply offensive when a teenage girl is stoned to death for being a rape victim, or when a young teenage boy is hung for being confused about his sexuality. That is what Sheria Law can give this country.

Personally I think this is worth getting just a tad worked up about. It is about defending the weak and the vulnerable, and upholding the principles of equality, fairness and justice. There is nothing the remotest bit racist or intolerant in that.

Dr Rowan Williams should be sacked.

"Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts - I think that's a bit of a danger"."

He is clearly against equality under the law, and wants special treatment for religious groups.

There must be one law for everybody, none above the law, none outside the law.

A subject on which liberals and conservatives can agree, it's the stupidest thing anyone has done since... Caroline Flint. Resign!

"Sacking" the Archbishop of Canterbury! Truly, the theological, legal and constitutional notions of some of the contributors here are truly astonishing.

Anyway, if there's anyone here who's ready to take a break from all this energetic fantasising about foreign folk and the nasty stuff they get up to given half a chance, here's a link to the text of what seems to me, anyway, a genuinely thoughtful, thought-provoking lecture:


"That is what Sheria Law can give this country."

And it would still be considered murder.

All this will be is a form of informal arbitration. If at least one of the parties involved doesn't agree with it, then it won't happen, and the courts will be used instead.

Many of the concerns raised are to do with eh rights of women - forced marriages, honour killings etc. This will not make them legal under UK law(while forced marriages per se are not illegal, one can't engage in one without breaking the law). These are issues that happen already, and need to be addressed; effectively, it is a separate issue to ensure freedom from any compulsion.

It will not mean sharia law is enforced by UK courts. It will not mean that things illegal under UK law will be carried out 'legally' under sharia. It will not mean any non-muslim will be subject to it. And it will not result in the breakdown of the UK legal system.

The latter I'm certain of, since the UK legal system has cope with halachic law being applied for quite some time.

But it's one step forward and one step back. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has told the BBC that Sharia Law is unavoidable in the UK.

Can't wait for Hitchins column in the Mail this Sunday- he's gonna have a field day with this

I have long despaired of the leadership, judgement and plain commonsense of our current Archbishop of Canterbury. Who does he think he represents ?

His latest reported statement that the adoption of Sharia law to settle marital disputes and financial arrangements 'is unavoidable in order to maintain social cohesion' is mad, bad and a betrayal of Christian tradition.

I would hope that anyone actively involved with local Church finances would consider a block on any further payment of their Parish Share until the Archbishop corrects/retracts this apalling statement.

The man is a disaster as a leader. It is athough St Paul had said it 'was unavoidable' that the Christian message would be extinguished - or Churchill had said it was 'unavoidable' that Britain would be overun by Nazi's - or that Reagan had said it was 'unavoidable' that Communism would prevail. Or indeed - Cameron was to say it was 'unavoidable'that Britain would become fully integrated into the EU !!!!

Nothing (except death) is unavoidable if you have got guts.

Can't wait for Hitchins column in the Mail this Sunday- he's gonna have a field day with this

I'm afraid I don't have time to comment on the full contents of this thread in the depth they deserve, but I had to pick up on this last comment...

I think I stopped listening to Hitchens long before he announced a couple of weeks ago his ambition to work for destruction of my Party!

Peter Who?

Much as I dislike al-Qaradawi's views and extremist rhetoric, as a free speech extremist I can't bring myself to support this measure. If he was actively organising terrorist attacks then yes, he should be banned from entering the country. Actually no, he should be arrested and prosecuted. But if all he's seeing is really really nasty things then he can hardly be held responsible for violence or terrorist activity. He doesn't force people to go out and blow themselves up or beat up non-believers. If people are influenced by him that is the fault of their own weak minds.

*saying, not seeing

Because Tim doesn't allow profanity on CH I can't say what I think of Dr Williams. However it is a four letter word that begins with the letter c.

He is lucky in many ways that Sharia does not yet hold sway in Britain since under Sharia apostasy is punishable by death and he is without doubt a Christian apostate.

Rowan Williams is patently unfit to continue as Archbishop of Canterbury and the General Synod shsould do something urgently to prevent this foolish man from finally destroying the C of E.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain is extreme, toothless and corrupt, and should probably be subject to an investigation.

It should do a lot better at speaking out and keeping some of it's people under control.

I agree with commenters who allude to our tendency to roll over and bow to pressure from those (secular and religious) whose aims undermine Christianity in this nation. It is particularly depressing when they seem to be helped by those who should be defending it with clarity and conviction.

But perhaps the Archbishop is recognising that Muslims (who I understand hold to traditional beliefs on the family etc) find our permissive and liberal values difficult to stomach. So he may be saying the adoption of Sharia Law would only be in a few issues that won’t affect the majority of the population (whose reaction may be ‘don’t let us worry about what the Muslims do if doesn’t affect us’). But the way pressure has worked in recent decades to bring changes in law that undermine Christianity in our nation from a liberal/secularist angle, has been ‘a little at a time’. Give in a little, then more will be demanded (as it becomes accepted by a population conditioned by the BBC and other liberal and secularist media) Could the same happen if we give in to allow a small part of Sharia Law?

Could the departure from the Christian foundations that underpin a healthy society have a consequence that the secularists and liberals have overlooked: the creation of a vacuum which something else is only too willing to fill, something which, it is sometimes claimed, is rather less merciful than Christianity? People, looking at the chaos to which the removal of restraints has contributed, may look for something that seems strong to sort the mess out. I’d prefer the unchanging values which Christianity has given us, such as the certainty of moral absolutes on one hand, with freedom under the law to do what is right and love and mercy for those who fall short on the other.

I liked Rod Sellers post (2043), particularly his point about leadership: (with respect to the Archbishop saying that Sharia Law is inevitable) that nothing is inevitable (except death) if you have guts, e.g. Churchill and Reagan refusing to say it was inevitable that we'd be overrun by respectively the Nazis and Communists!

Does anyone really believe that in a community that is majority Muslim, a woman would have the option of rejecting "Sharia Arbitration" ????

In theory, independent arbitration is a good thing. In practice it is easy to see how individuals could have their rights steamrollered by such a system.

I was listening to the Nick Ferrari show on LBC this morning and he was having a discussion with callers on the subject of the Archbishop's remarks.

A young woman called in arguing for the introduction of sharia law in a very cool, calm and detached manner.

Hearing her rational approach chilled me to the marrow…. As a woman I am frightened – I am frightened that women like her do not realise that they are as much victims of the cold, vicious, cruel fundamentalist old Imams who call for adulterers to be stoned, men to have their hands and other parts chopped off and other medieval punishments – as I and other Western women would be if those Old Imams had their way. The introduction of Sharia law for civil cases is only the beginning of a slippery slope.

Finally, the image which came inexorably into my mind during the woman’s conversation with Nick was of the television images of bodies hoisted high on cranes in Iran…Is that what we want to happen here?

Serf makes a perfectly reasonable, practical point - but isn't it just as likely that this hypothetical Muslim woman, who may not speak much English, may have no funds of her own and may not know much about judicial structures here, is going to find it difficult to gain protection or redress through British courts?

Sadly, none of these systems is going to ensure perfect outcomes for everyone - especially in a general atmosphere of distrust based on ignorance.

The one thing I do reject, though, is the idea - prevalent on this forum - that British Sharia courts are necessarily going to be 'savage', 'barbaric' (fascinating language!) repressive and unjust. True, in some countries Sharia delivers judgements that are manifestly repugnant to many if not all of us - but then there are a lot of cultures out there that condone domestic violence or allow judicial mutilations or executions - only a small minority of which are Islamic cultures.

Sharia seems to reflect the culture in which it is operating, as well as the ground-rules underpinning it. Secularist liberals in Britain who insist that there is only one version of Islam, a starkly 'fundamentalist' and rebarbative one, are telling us a lot about their own prejudices regarding religion - not just Islam, either — but very little about Islam itself.

Obviously, anecdote really isn't a substitute for argument, but am I really the only person here - a few others maybe accepted - who, although a communicant of the Church of England, has been lucky enough to have Muslim friends, acquaintances and colleagues? Many of these Muslims are, I'd have said, 'observant', in that they keep the feasts and fasts, maintain dietary rules, observe to particular notions of modesty and chastity associated with some types of Islam, etc, etc. At the same time, they seem to me 'normal' British people who contribute richly to their communities - Muslim, Christian and none of the above - and are often, in my experience, at least as appalled by fundamentalist Islamist violence as anyone else. (An Algerian Muslim friend of mine was nearly caught up in the 7/7 bombings - having lost quite a few family members to Islamist terrorism in Algeria, she'd hoped to have escaped it here in the UK.)

Finally, as for the commentator there who's decided that the Archbishop of Canterbury is an apostate - never before have I seen such a stellar example of why we are sometimes called the Stupid Party.

Well, at last someone has done something, to keep this poisonous little dwarf out of the country, so that he cannot disseminate his messages of hate, spite and vitriol.

'as for the commentator there who's decided that the Archbishop of Canterbury is an apostate '

Personally I would describe him as a heretic rather than an apostate. A heretic accepts beliefs and practices which depart from tradition (e.g. the ordination of women) whereas an apostate abandons the faith entirely, which, whatever his faults, cannot be claimed of our own dear Archbishop.

Drusilla I too have Muslim friends - none of whom wear Hijab even though they would certainly regard themselves as observant Muslim women (and are genuinely good women who give to charity, do good in the world etc. etc. etc.)

I am deeply afraid that to go down the path of sharia law - however innocuously "British" we think its application would be - would be to venture down a slippery slope. Our freedom (and yours too) as Western women would be eaten away bit by bit... Just try it- and in 10, 15, 20 years' time I can see you saying "I wish I'd listened to Sally - she was right"!!

Sally, regarding Sharia and women's rights, all I'd say is that in many parts of the world, Sharia really does not produce the grotesque results sometimes ascribed to it. If Sharia courts were given, say, the status of Beth Din courts, I simply don't beleive that they'd be co-opted by scary fundamentalists. Not least, why on earth would the majority of Muslims living here settle for that?

Regarding your (interesting) broader point, social mores regarding women's rights and duties may well change over the next few decades, just as they have changed over the last few decades. Immigration will presumably play a part in that, even without the formal acceptance of alternative dispute-resolution systems here. (Anyone who thinks that the status of women in the poorer parts of Eastern Europe, or the Philippines, or some parts of sub-Saharan Africa is particularly appealing needs to look more closely.) But I also wonder whether the tide will start to turn regarding some aspects of the way in which women's 'freedom' is exercised, not least by young women - as exhibited in our not very admirable rates of abortion, early teen pregnancy, substance abuse, STDs, poor educational attainment and the increasing levels of violence perpetrated by young women themselves.

(This latter point, I should stress for the benefit of the slower members of the congregation although not for Sally, who has more sense, isn't by any stretch of the imagination some sort of argument for Sharia law - it's simply the reflection of an Anglican Christian, living what is still predominantly if unconconsciously a Christian society, that some of those 'old' cultural restraints on women's freedoms - qualities like chastity, temperance and patience - were not without their merits.)

But anyway, yes, if we're living in an Islamic Republic in twenty years' time, I promise I'll think of you.

Thank you Drusilla - I fervently hope that won't be necessary!

Drusilla, it was another (far more sensible) bishop, Michael Nazir-Ali, who pointed out recently the growing stranglehold that Muslim extremists are having over certain neighbourhoods, which are becoming 'no-go areas'. It is ironic that it it is the Pakistani Bishop of Rochester who is far more aware of the reality of what is happening and the threat it poses to our pluralist society than the British Archbishop of Canterbury who blithely accepts it all as 'inevitable'.

Yes, johnc - the irony of that isn't lost on me either!!

I am sure we would like to see the best in people but this can lead to dangerous complacency.

I can also count many Muslims among my friends. I have worked among large Muslim populations as a health care professional, and I can understand why many do not wish to lead the same amoral life that many non-Muslims wish to lead. They follow a strict moral code – their first alliance is to their religion, then family and finally society.

This is a strength and is in many respects, commendable. It also makes moderate Muslims remarkably vulnerable. If the family honour depended on following a Sharia Court ruling, then I suspect that the parties concerned would feel honour-bound to abide by it, even if ultimately the penalties became harsh, because alliance to religion and family would dictate that it was so. Never underestimate the power of “honour” among peoples whose cultures are founded on it and still abide by it.

Harsh Sharia Court rulings may never be condoned by the UK legal system, and much would probably take place in secrete anyway, but a whole community who felt honour-bound to respect the ruling of their religion are also unlikely to report, or co-operate, into enquires regarding the rulings.

I know this may sound unthinkable now, but this country is now experiencing things that would have been unthinkable only 20 years ago. Introduce Sharia Law into this country and you take a huge gamble as to whether it becomes radicalised or not.

My own view is that we do not give one inch on this, not now, not ever.

I agree with you 100% Hardcore Conservative and this is precisely the point I am trying to get across...that the many moderate Muslims would be as much victims as the rest of us should the UK (may the Almighty Forbid!) become an Islamic Republic!! I doubt that most of the population of Kabul (especially the women) were exactly ecstatic when the Taliban took over there! I remember reading a book written by a young woman from there (unfortunately I can't remember the name of it), outlining the horrors and privations of life under that Regime! Oh certainly it would not be likely to get that bad here...but even a faint shadow of that would be bad enough!

“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”

- St. John Chrysostom


Alfred of Wessex - bit lost on me I'm afraid, that one but never mind!

I see the story has taken an interesting turn with many calls for the Archbishop's resignation which I think is a little extreme. He should not make similar pronouncements in future - at least not without thinking very carefully what the reaction is likely to be...but resignation would send the signal that people in his position are not entitled to hold or express views at all, which I think would be most unfair!
There is also an interesting article in today's Mail on the subject of the sharia "courts" which already exist apparently in the cafes of certain neighbourhoods. This is highly dangerous in my view and needs to be very closely looked at by the authorities.

"Apropos the Archbishop of Canterbury's comments about Sharia law, isn't it already the case that e.g. Orthodox Jews in England have access to Beth Din courts in order to resolve certain types of dispute, and that this has for many years been recognised and to a degree accepted within English law?"

Drusilla - I thought I would just shed some light on what you said earlier here. Yes, The Beth Din is the Jewish religious Court (it literally means the house of law). The Orthodox, Reform and Liberal branches of Judaism have their own "versions" and in fact I had to appear before the Liberal Rabbinic Board in order to affirm and to receive my Certificate of Jewish Identity. These Courts only deal with religious matters however - such as conversions, marriage matters (the religious divorce or "Get") and dietary matters (kashrut). Their rulings do not impact on secular and civil life at all. This would clearly not be the case with sharia.

Sorry - when I said "law" I really meant judgements or judges - Dayan meaning a judge!

Sally, do you really think those courts don't affect 'civil life' at all? Knowing more than one Jewish friend refused a divorce by them, I beg to differ. Moreover, as has been demonstrated at the High Court, the Crown's judges won't intervene to oblige these sorts of 'court' to effect a religious divorce, no matter how spurious the reasons of the husband declining to give one. As a matter of doctrine, that may or not be a Good Thing, but it most certainly is a very severe intrusion into the civil life of the observant women involved. There is more than a whiff of a witchhunt against muslims here, and it's very distasteful indeed.

"Knowing more than one Jewish friend refused a divorce by them, I beg to differ"

Gets are given by the husband, not the Beth Din.

And it doesn't stop you from divorcing and remarrying under UK law.

With respect, that wasn't my point. The religious code by which the husband declines to give the divorce the observant wife so deeply craves, and to all external appearances, profoundly deserves, is exactly the thing I'm talking about. And it's NOT interfered with by British law. I'm afraid i can't quite see what the vast, unacceptable leap is to what Williams has been talking about. Certainly the difference, such as it is, doesn't deserve the hysteria we've seen over the last few days.

"I'm afraid i can't quite see what the vast, unacceptable leap is to what Williams has been talking about."

Basically, that, for example, the laws governing the get would have recognised status in UK law.

David @ 16:54 - you make exactly the point I was going to! The unfortunate lady who was denied a Get by her husband can still get married in the Registry Office - under the Civil law there is no barrier at all to her remarriage!

"There is more than a whiff of a witchhunt against muslims here, and it's very distasteful indeed."

Not at all, "Not So Sure" (and I wonder if you are a Muslim yourself? Would you like to declare your interest?) The only thing which is "distasteful" is the fact that according to newspaper reports there IS a parallel and unofficial criminal court going on in various backstreet cafes which operates along sharia lines and seems to also operate along the lines of payment of money by the perpetrator of the crime to the victim - SO LONG AS THE POLICE ARE NOT INVOLVED (deliberate use of capitals here!) This is very different indeed in my opinion to the Jewish religious authorities who as I have already said only concern themselves with religious matters affecting the Jewish community - and yes, I reiterate that religious divorces/remarriages come under that category and have no bearing at all on civil divorces/remarriages! No one is having a go at moderate Muslims who practise their faith without posing any threat to the British way of life - however I do unapologetically "have a go" at IslaMISTS who state categorically that they would like to see a "worldwide Caliphate". The words "over my dead body" come to mind!!

Sally, if you can't see why shouting at strangers, 'are you a Muslim?', strikes some people as something like witch-hunting, you've ever so slightly gone beyond parody.

ACT I am sorry that you feel I am "shouting at strangers"! "Not So Sure" has unfortunately not introduced himself/herself to me and so IS a "stranger" to me..but I am certainly not shouting - merely asking him/her to let us know if they are commenting from a personal interest - which I think is entirely fair (even if you do not)

Sally/LL - how does s/he being a Muslim give them an axe to grind, when not being seemingly, for you, doesn't? You may as well say that, equally non-Muslims have axes of their own to grind - just like Muslims in fact! And it's singling out someone as being worthy of first being indentified as 'something', then very firmly categorised on the basis of that 'something' that makes so much of this thread look, sound and smell quite so unappealing.

OK OK ACT We will just have to agree to differ!

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