Monday, July 28, 2008

Religious Killing OK Says One-third of Muslim Students in UK

"[A] startlingly large proportion of young British Muslims hold what to most of us are outrageous and unacceptable views – views that they consider to be Muslim truths."

-- From "To beat extremism we must dissolve religious groups" by Minette Marrin posted at TimesOnLine 7/27/08

Four out of 10 Muslim students in Britain support the introduction of sharia into UK law for Muslims, according to a YouGov poll. Almost a third of them said that killing in the name of religion was justified; 40% said they felt it was unacceptable for Muslim men and women to associate freely; and nearly a quarter do not think that men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah.

A quarter of Muslim students said they had little or no respect for homosexuals. As for whether British Muslim servicemen should be allowed to opt out of hostilities with Muslim countries, 57% said they should and a further 25% said they were not sure.

More than half of the Muslim students were in favour of an Islamic political party to support their views in parliament. A third don’t think or don’t know whether Islam is compatible with the western notion of democracy, and a third said they were in favour of a worldwide Islamic caliphate based on sharia.

. . . these are large minorities indeed of Muslim students holding opinions that are against this country’s laws and its traditions of liberal democracy. And these are students from a sample of some of the best universities and higher education colleges.

If the brightest and best think like this, what of the rest? It is frightening to imagine the views of their less well educated contemporaries. All this seems to undermine yet another piece of conventional wisdom: that education is the solution to Muslim alienation in Britain.

CLICK HERE to download the entire (.PDF) study from the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) "Islam on Campus."

In the mind of this British columnist, the solution is to effectively ban religion. Read on:

What follows inescapably from this [study data] is that religious people and their views should not be officially recognised in groups. Religion should not be allowed a public space or public representation. This is hard for those of us who used to love the muddled Anglican compromise; it means the disestablishment of our national church – if it doesn’t self-destruct first.

The challenge of other, fiercer and more divisive convictions has forced the issue; multiculturalism has been subversive. There must be no more religious schools – personally I would leave those that exist alone. There must be no public recognition of religious associations as representatives of anything or anybody: not on campuses, not in student unions, not in government consultations or in parliament.

So-called religious community leaders, or umbrella groups of religious bodies, must of course be free to associate as they like in private, in a free country, but publicly they must be ignored. Publicly they must not teach or promote illegal prejudices. Forced into the private sphere, denied the oxygen of publicity, power and influence, highly politicised religious groups will wither on the vine. Perhaps, in that wonderful phrase of Yeats, they might even wither into truth.

To read the entire commentary, CLICK HERE.

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