Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Martin Parsons: Stopping the spread of sharia should be central to British foreign policy

While this article is written for a British audience, it is applicable to all Western countries. Mr. Parsons has done a fine job of outlining Islamic advances around the world and what they mean to the West. Well worth the read.


Martin Parsons: Stopping the spread of sharia should be central to British foreign policy

By Martin Parsons

In the days following Christmas the Christian church has traditionally remembered the visit of the wise men to Jesus. The word magi is in fact a Persian loan word indicating their origin in either what is now Iran or western Afghanistan. The whole story reminds us that Christianity far from being a western religion in fact came to birth in the Middle Eastern world and that there are millions of Christians in the Middle East and the Persian speaking world whose churches predate much of western Christianity. Matthew’s Gospel records that after the visit of the magi the Roman puppet king Herod ordered the massacre of all children under two years old in Bethlehem. The tyrant it seems, as many tyrants are, felt threatened by even the hint of a possible alternative to his brutal rule.

As the Christian church remembers the visit of the magi, now is also a good time to reflect on the suffering of Christians in the region where Christianity originally emerged. The Middle East is unfortunately full of tyrants prepared to imprison, torture and even massacre anyone they think just might threaten their power. Think Qadaffi, think the Assad regime in Syria, think the Mubarak regime in Egypt. Yet even before these regimes began to fall a shadow had begun to rise – the empowerment of Islamists who want to enforce sharia (Islamic law) on the entire population of their countries, including on non Muslims. In parallel with this, and in many cases not unrelated to it, has been a significant increase in acts of intimidation including kidnapping and terrorist acts targeted specifically at Christians and churches, who form the largest non Muslim minority in most Islamic countries. These acts have generally aimed at securing the implementation of sharia enforcement on Muslims and non Muslim alike and in some cases have also additionally aimed at what is now being termed ‘religious cleansing’ – the attempt to create a ‘pure’ Islamic state by the eradication of non Muslim minorities.

In saying this it should be obvious that we are talking about sharia in the sense of a legal code that is enforced, rather than in the secondary sense of a codification of Islamic principles of daily life that individual Muslims may choose to live by – as Islamist apologists have sometimes disingenuously tried to claim. If individual Muslims choose to live a certain way they should, within the limits of British values, be free to do so.However, the enforcement of sharia rules on those who do not chose to follow them, including Christian minorities in the Islamic world is another issue altogether.

Whilst there are four schools of Islamic law in Sunni Islam which predominate in different geographical regions and a separate Shi’a form of sharia, the variations between them are largely a matter of detail in relation to the issues that I will discuss below.

Let us just for a moment look at what has been happening in terms of moves towards the spread of sharia enforcement in the last year, including the gaining of power by Islamist parties aiming at the eventual enforcement of sharia:

The advance of sharia enforcement in 2011

Article continues HERE.