Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Islam in Britain Introduction to Islam in Britain."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to Islam in Britain Introduction to Islam in Britain
(A)Islamist Multicultural Agenda: Desire for assimilation Integration Acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences Relative Multiculturalism Islamophobia is the primary sin of the British Separate and parallel communities Muslim leadership seeks Muslim space and influence in: British politics, culture, education, economy and media Using Democratic tolerance to promote Islams intolerance Imposing laws to stifle criticism (Incitement law) Defacing adverts: claiming territory for themselves Finally, Muslim enclaves, using Shariah laws (i.e. Shabina Begums Jilbab)
Zaki Badawi: A proselytising religion cannot stand still. It can either expand or contract. Islam endeavours to expand in Britain…Islam is a universal religion. It aims at bringing its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will be one Muslim community, the Umma. As we know the history of Islam as a faith is also the history of a state and a community of believers living by Divine law. The Muslims, jurists and theologians, have always expounded Islam as both Government and a faith. This reflects the historical fact that Muslims, from the start, lived under their own law. Muslim theologians naturally produced a theology with this in view – it is a theology of the majority. Being a minority was not seriously considered or even contemplated…Muslim theology offers, upto the present, no systematic formulation of the status of being in a minority (Badawi, Zaki, Islam in Britain, London, Ta-Ha Publishers, 1981, pp.25-27)
(B) The Rise of Islam in the U.K. World-wide: 1.2 billion; yet Indonesia + Pakistan + India + Bangla-Desh = +700 million, more than half the Muslim world, thus our tactics and strategies need to reflect this. U.K. = 1.4 (Govt. sources) – 2.5-3.0 million (Sookhdeo, 2004). More than communicant members of Anglicans. 2.7% of the total world Muslim population in the UK; percentage-wise more than the U.S. and Canada combined. 4.4 million immigrants, the majority of them Muslim will enter Britain in the next 30 years. So, by 2013 there will be 5-6 million Muslims in Britain! (Sookhdeo:14)
Ethnic Breakdown: 70% from the Indian sub-continent: -Pakistan (Mirpur, Kashmir) = 46% -Bangla Desh (Sylhet) = 16%, -Indians (Gujarat) = 8% -Arab = 11% -Rest from M.East & Africa (Rahman, Motiur, British Muslims envisage Islamic Britain, The Muslim Weekly, 26 November – 2 December 2004)
The Muslim Underclass: A third of Muslims are under 16 years (vs. a fifth under 16 for the nat. ave.) Average age = 28, vs. 41 for nat. ave. 42% of Muslims live in overcrowded conditions 12% live without central heating 38% are employed, thus 62% are unemployed Lower than any other faith group in Britain. Mostly in low-paid sectors of the economy (Rahman, Motiur, British Muslims envisage Islamic Britain, The Muslim Weekly, 26 November – 2 December 2004) 9% of all prisoners are Muslim, yet they only make up 2.7% of the population.
Barelwis: Traditional: Sufism & veneration of Muhammad Deobandis: -Conservative, puritanical, literalist, Islamists -Taliban/Wahhabi, Jamaat-i Islami, Muslim Brotherhood) -UK: Tablighi Jamaati = Islamic Foundation, UK Islamic Mission, Young Muslims UK, Muslim Education Trust (Rippin, Andrew, Mslims: Their Rewligious Beliefs & Practices, vol.2, The Contemporary Period, London & N.Y., Routledge, 1993, pp.28-32) With strong family support, & emphasis in education, the majority are becoming affluent. Most Muslims are young (between 25-44 years), 50% now born in U.K., with 4% birthrate, the highest in U.K., and twice the national average of 1.8%!
Defining Islam: In 2001: 15% Radical15% Radical – Follow Scripture, and the Prophet Muhammad 70% Nominal70% Nominal – Follow Traditions, and themselves 15% Liberal15% Liberal – Follow the West, and assimilate
In the UK By 2002: Radicals had risen to 25% By 2004: No polls were carried out….. (source: Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell, Islam In Conflict Leicester, England: IVP, 2003, chapters 10-12, and page 193. Also a lecture by Riddell on the theme, Muslim Views on the World held at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and sponsored by the London Lectures Trust, October 23, 2003)
Poll on radicalisation by Pew International (March 2004) Turkey = 31% Morocco = 45% Jordan = 55% Pakistan = 65% (80 million out of 140 million!) (source: US Image Worsens in Europe Poll, news release credited to AFP [Agence Francaise de Presse] - Washington, The Korea Times (Seoul: March 18, 2004), pg.6)
(C) Islamic Structures: (A)-Mosques = 1,200 - 1,400 (240 being built) Center of the Muslim community life. Where Imams (or Maulvi Sahibs) keep a tight control on communities, & regulate social behavior, using the Qur'an as authority. High attendance during friday afternoon prayers, and for Islamic festivals (particularly during the month of Rammadan). Usually funded from M. East, and reflects ethnic diversity. (B)-Qur'anic schools = 5,000 Qur'anic schools, and 69 regular schools, now recognized & some funded by British govt. (Kilburn Muslim school in Brent is the largest). Also, 72 jamaats (Muslim societies), 7 mayors, and 4 MPs (British Muslims, Q-News, July 2001). -The emphasis is on Islamic teachings, & focus on studying the world from a Muslim context. If schools are funded by the govt. they must allow non- Muslims. As a result Muslim administrators view them as potential converts to Islam. (C)-Political structures: "Christianity, which allows pluralism within culture has forced Christian nations to be tolerant. Ironically, Muslims are benefiting from that tolerance; one which would never be reciprocal to Christians in their countries of origin.
5 groups which are trying to mediate between the Islamic community and the government a) The Union of Muslim Organizations of UK (UMO), representing 180 groups. Not effective, doesn't address local issues. b) The Council of Imams and Mosques, speaks for the majority (headed up by Zaki Badawi from the Muslim college in Ealing), formally backed by Libya. c) The Council of British Muslims, speaks for fundamentalists (the former Dr. Kalim Siddiqui from the Muslim Institute, who is backed by Iran). -In September 1989 The Islamic Party of Britain launched as alternative to the Labor and Tory parties-to push Muslim demands. -In December 1991 The Muslim Parliament was founded, to contest the British parliament, demanding that anything concerning Muslims must first come through their jurisdiction. d) Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Moderate umbrella group which seeks to represent the moderate/liberal, or assimilated view, favoured by the government. Spokesman is Iqbal Sacranie. e) Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), closet radical group, trying to represent an Arab viewpoint in Britain, whose spokesman is the outspoken Dr. Azzam Tamimi. (Sponsored Dr. al-Qaradawi, Egyptian radical cleric, teaching in Qatar University, spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood, advocates suicide bombing, beating wives, & killing homosexuals).
(D) Muslims Agenda in the UK: 1)The West is in Decline: -Culturally (loss of national identity, creating block societies i.e. European Union, all in opposition to Islams culture) -Socially (breakdown & dysfunction of the family, of society, rise in crime, indiscipline in schools, plethora of statistics) -Morally (Movies, TV, Music, all push sexual promiscuity, immorality, & have huge influence on the youth) -Spiritually (Secularism is now the norm, only 5-7% go to church, with much public criticism of religion) -Economically (Capitalisms dependence on interest/usury, is evil, and brings about inequality, and injustice) -Politically (Democracy is anathema in Islam, and allows unbelievers to control and eradicate the faith of believers)
2)Christianity is to blame: -It is based on a corrupted foundation…a corrupted scripture -It is irrelevant today (between 5-7% even go to church) -Christians only go to church 1 day a week, for 1 hour -Christians live no different than non-believers -Christians cannot define, let alone defend their faith well -Many Christians leave Christianity & become Muslims
3) Therefore, Islam will dominate: -It has an unsurpassed scripture, modelled by a universal prophet, for all time, all peoples, and all places. -It has a glorious past (especially the Rushidun period, from AD 622-660, and the dynasties which followed) -Muslims can be credited for many of the Wests successes: Algebra, science, chemistry, arts… -It is a 24/7 religion (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, stipulating rules for all areas of living) -It is the fastest growing religion in the World, and will outstrip Christianity by 2020 AD
Specific Agenda: In 1980 the Islamic Council of Europe published a book: MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN NON-MUSLIM STATES 1. Muslims must band together to establish a viable Muslim community based on Islamic principles. 2. Must not be assimilated by the majority culture. 3. Must establish areas of high-Muslim concentration. 4. Must set up: Mosques, Community centres & Islamic schools. 5. Must share the message of Islam with unbelievers (Dawah) 6. A responsibility of every Muslim living in non-Muslim lands. 7. Objective: Muslims should become the majority & the entire nation should be governed according to Islam. (from: M. Ali Kettani The Problem of Muslim Minorities and the Solutions, in Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States, London, Islamic Council of Europe, 1980, pp.96-105)
If successful, such a community would grow constantly in influence and numbers as to become a majority community in the course of time. To become a successful community should be the aim of every Muslim minority. This is an ideological necessity without which the entire presence of the minority would be Islamically unacceptable… Once the community is well organized, its leaders should strive to seek the recognition of Muslims as a religious community having its own characteristics by the authorities. Once recognized the community should continue to request the same rights the other religious communities enjoy in the country. Eventually, the community may seek to gain political rights as a constituent community of the nation. Once these rights are obtained then the community should seek to generalize its characteristics to the entire nation… (i.e. dominate the entire host society in all areas! – a step by step Islamisation of non-Muslim societies)) (from: M. Ali Kettani The Problem of Muslim Minorities and the Solutions, in Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States, London, Islamic Council of Europe, 1980, pp.104-105)
Kuram Murad, inThe Islamic Movement in the West 1980 An Islamic movement is an organised struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Qur'an and the Sunna, and make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant, especially in the socio- political spheres.
Current Examples: British Muslims tend to live in tightly concentrated enclaves: -Bradford, Burnley -London: Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Slough, Paddington, Wembley, etc… Little cross marriages, or social contact Halal meat demanded at many prisons, schools, & hospitals. Hijab worn in schools with Muslim representation. The Qualifications & Curriculum Authority, instructs teachers to keep the Quran wrapped and on a high shelf, while the teacher must wash their hands before touching the book.
Further Examples: The British Govt. has made special arrangements to allow Muslims to have Sharia-compliant mortgages, which entails a two stage process of paying stamp duty twice, which conforms to sharia at no extra financial cost. Muslims in influence favour other Muslims (jobs, housing & services) Police officers wear traditional head-gear, & no badge (with cross) Tower Hamlets, Christian place names are changed (i.e. Islington) Govt. funding for moderate Islamic newspapers, radio stations. Far more TV programmes on Islam, the majority positive. No other faith community is given the same kind of assistance.
Harrow Mosque Across from Civic Centre 4 storeys £5m to build 3 Prayer halls Large Community Hall Nursery, shop Computer Room Gym, Parking Servicing 25,000 Muslims For the larger Community
(E) How do Muslims operate on campus? Islamic activity on campus is increasingly well contextualised to the British scene. [a]-Five main areas of Activity: 1. Talks and Debates (For Muslim Students). Usually on issues that are social (unemployment, economics), moral (Western corruption, the family, women), political (Bosnia, Israel) or theological (scriptures, Jesus, science). 2. Proselytising Meetings (For all-comers). Addresses by (Western) Muslim converts, debates with other groups, open meetings on topics similar to those mentioned above. 3. Islamic Awareness Weeks. Modelled on CU strategy with bookstalls and literature distribution and proselytising meetings 4. Literature. Tracts & books specifically polemical, attacking Christianity, and the Bible. 5. Training Days (For Muslim students). Islamic Students are taken on weekends to learn how to dialogue with Christians through books, videos, tapes and training conferences.
[b]-3 Primary Agendas: (Using lectures, book tables, debates etc...) 1) Decline of the West (using media statistics) 2) Christianity is at fault (due to 7% attendance, and corrupt scriptures) 3) Islam is the answer: answers for every area (i.e. social, economic, political): Cultural mandate (Muhammad Abduh, Khurram Murad, Abd al-Mawdudi) Scientific Exegesis (Maurice Bucaille, Dr. Jamal Badawi) Pagan Sources of the Bible (Abdul Rahman Green) Polemics: the trinity & Sonship of Jesus, authority of scripture (Shabir Ali) -Islam on the campuses is becoming increasingly polemical, and therefore we need to be prepared to understand and answer these agendas if we want to be effective witnesses.
(F) WHY ARE WE DOING SO POORLY? (1) Lack of interest: Only 5%-9% of the population of Britain attends church, thus 91% of the population is unchurched. In London, only 5-8% go to church, the majority of whom are West Indian, and so culturally distant and misunderstood by the majority of Asian Muslims. In the absence of a viable Christian witness, Muslims are able to propagate their beliefs within the urban centres with little opposition. Today the UK has only 8,500 missionaries worldwide (26% of whom are short-term). Thus, since 1910, British missionaries have dropped by 31%, and are supported by only a fraction of the population!
(2) Lack of results: These are due to a number of reasons: a) not enough workers, thus not enough time and energy spent on tackling Islam. b) a general growing confidence of Islam worldwide, since the overthrow of the Shah in Iran in 1979. c) the perception that Muslims care for each other, particularly within the family, and have little problem with racism (Nation of Islam carries the >high moral ground=). d) the attraction for Islam's moral discipline. e) the simple logic of its theology helps to disseminate it easier. f) the weakness of recognized (Anglican) Christianity in Britain. g) the lack of relationships between Muslims and Christians. h) the theological confusion by Christians: evangelism is the domain of the clergy alone (for example: of the 6 groups referred to us for information, only one is actively working full-time with Muslims in the UK).
(3) Persecution of Apostates: Those who fall away from Islam (apostasy) or wish to convert to Christianity. Usually persecution lasts 1-3 years. (Refer to paper: Free to Choose by Patrick Sookdeo)
(4) Incitement / Blasphemy Laws: The push to have the government broaden the Blasphemy laws to also include Islam Muslims want the blasphemy laws to be widened to include material offensive to Islam (thus no criticism will be permitted of Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur'an on TV, in the schools, or in public). Example: Salman Rushdie and his Satanic Verses, or Taslima Nasreen in Bangla-Desh. Fortunately, the law on incitement was defeated last night by ONE VOTE! (283 to 282), the Prime Ministers vote!
(5) Mistrust of Christianity/West: (Making it difficult to create relationships) A strong distrust by Muslims of anything which is Christian. They believe that Christians pervert historical data as they did their scriptures, with a bias against Islam. There is the perception that the west, and thus Christianity, has an agenda to eradicate Muslim countries around the world. Thus new events are interpreted by this perception. All recent Wars (Chechnia, Kosovo, Bosnia) are perceived as Muslim/Christian conflicts (with theological contradictions). Iraqi Conflict is widely considered to be a Christian Crusade, with consequently little concern witnessed by the West The recent conflicts (Sudan, Afghanistan, & Iraq) are perceived as a double-standard. They ask: Which is truly the terrorist state, and were the bombings used as a diversion from Clintons/Bushs personal troubles? Why does the Western Press not critique the evidence of the U.S. state department?
(6) Mistrust of Western Education: (due to a bias against Islam = conspiracy) Muslims have not been able to adapt to a multi-cultural environment, because historically Islam has always dominated others. Thus Muslims distrust western education, as they feel it is responsible for taking their children away. They require an alternative educational system. Their demands: -Muslim schoolgirls wear more conservative clothing (Hijab or Jilbab?) -Halal meat be available at school meals -Muslim holidays be celebrated -Muslim boys and girls be separated during instruction -They not be forced to learn swimming -Muslim children be absent from school assemblies. -Specific Islamic instruction for their children, by an Imam (Muslim religious leader) -"the acquisition of modern knowledge be limited to the practical technological sphere, since at the level of pure thought Muslims do not need Western intellectual products, as these may create doubts and disruptions in the Muslim mind, for which there are already answers to ultimate questions of world view."
[G]WHERE TO FROM HERE? (Possible Solutions) 1) Pray: This is a spiritual battle as well, thus we need to be equipped spiritually to face it. Pray before, during, and after each meeting Go in twos, one person talking, the other praying
2) Break down the barriers Break the barriers which exist between the Muslims and Christians and bridge with them where possible, by: a) Incarnational Life-style: Move into Muslim areas, and open ourselves up to the Muslim community. Be careful to: 1. Respect cultural sensitivities with respect to alcohol, pork and halal food. 2. Handle the Qur'an (and the Bible!) with real respect in a Muslim's presence. 3. Be aware of ritual observances (especially prayer, fasting at Ramadan and hand-washing etc) 4. Be discrete in cross-gender relations (touching, dressing, witnessing etc). Refrain from eating pork or drinking liquor in their presence. Let our children go to their schools. These will open doors for us.
b) Train: Go to HICC and attend the 10 sessions being taught there on a weekly basis, and then put them into practice. Go to other schools, (i.e. OMs Turning Point, LST, SOAS or Ealing), learn about Islam, sometimes from their perspective, make contacts with Muslim students, obtain credibility, and gain access. Learn Arabic, and brush up on Urdu, Bengali, or Hindi, to not only communicate, but be able to refer to the Qur'an directly during discussions. This helps to show them that we care, as we take the time and energy to understand them at their deepest level of communication.
c) Participate: Attend their meetings at Mosques, Islamic Centres, or on campus, to find out what they think, hear their agenda, so that we can talk to them more intelligently, and better communicate the gospel within a context that they know. In witnessing it is wise not to initially attack Muhammad or the Qur'an directly (although in time this will be necessary at least by implication). We should also resist the temptation to 'be nice', as Europeans interpret it (Jesus wasn't!). When we are afraid to show passion or emotion in defending what we believe Muslims may interpret it as lack of conviction! Join HPCF: When: Every Sunday 1:30 – 3:00 Where: All Souls (Forum Room) Speakers Corner from 3:00 – 6:00 ----->
d) Build Bridges: Most fundamentally we need to know why we believe in the divinity of Christ and the Cross/Resurrection and be able to back it up Biblically. To do that we need to: 1) Establish common ground first; by asking questions and listening to the answers. 2) Pray with Muslims (that God will reveal the truth) & constantly be in prayer ourselves. 3) Read the Bible together (Genesis, Proverbs, Luke); if need be read the Qur'an in return, but dont give it authority. 4) Verbal testimony of our conversion, or of answered prayer, or of 'power encounter' with God. 5) Support converts; spiritually, physically, materially and emotionally.(1 Thes 2:8).
e) Help Give aid to the Muslims with legal assistance Convey information Tutor in English Help with correspondence courses Assist in finding jobs Relief for the poor (showing the love of Christ in practical ways). Certain Muslim groups tend to have high unemployment rates, particularly among the first and second generation immigrants. The 1991 census shows that for Pakistanis the rate was 28.8%, for Bangladeshis it was 31.7%, compared with 8.8% for whites.
f) 'Be all things to all men' Although the Gospel never changes, our context does. Muslims are not a homogeneous group so our approach must not be stereotyped. Nominal: like the woman of Samaria, worshipping God 'not in spirit or in truth' (Jn 4) Orthodox: Others are highly moral like the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-30) Fundamentalists: While some are hypocrites like the pharisees (Mark 7:1-23) Seekers: There are genuine searchers like Cornelius (Acts 10) Talibes: The majority are lost like the people in the crowd (Mark 9:36). Jesus responded to each differently and so should we. Never Either/Or but Both/And. This may be challenging; often it is we who are the barrier to Muslims hearing the Gospel. We may need to change first.
3) Dialogue and Proclamation (again, not either/or but both/and) It is not good enough to simply depend on lifestyle evangelism, as many of them do it better then us. We need to tell people the good news (like Jesus and Paul). And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14). Through the contacts made at school and in the community (literature distribution, Leicester Square, Speakers corner etc...), get into mosques, Qur'anic schools, and Islamic centres, or Muslim student meetings to set up dialogues and discussions. The Islamic studies will give a good background, as well as credibility, and hopefully, the trust needed for this type of ministry. From these contacts, try to set up times of Bible Study in the Muslims home, or in a neutral area. Since 50% of Muslims are now born within Britain, the trend towards the indigenisation of Islam in Britain will grow, which means that potentially Islam can and will be penetrated by traditional British cultural values (i.e. Judeo-Christian values, as well as modernizing Western Humanistic values) to which Islam has no response, but WE DO!
4) Bring Muslim contacts or converts into existing churches. From these contacts, try to set up times of Bible Study in the home, or in a neutral area. Ultimately, with those who are regularly in Bible studies, it is hopeful that one could set up a worship service, in the home, or in our church. This meeting can be the foundation for a hub group made up of Muslim converts, and other stronger and more mature Christians, who can give it body, while helping the new converts to be discipled. Experience from some of the Arab-convert churches in London has show us that it is advisable to bring new converts to Christ to an existing church; one which already has international people who worship there. By doing this the Muslim can be integrated into an existing body of believers, with the maturity & understanding to cope with the unique problems which Muslim converts face.
5) Get on the Internet: 200 Muslim web-sites versus only 16 Christian web-sites. http://debate.org.uk http://answering-islam.org.uk Newsgroup: MCD on the Debate site; & soc.religion.islam or alt.religion.islam
6) Future Missionary Service: See LIAM CHAPMAN…he has OODLES of ideas! Summer cross-cultural programs. Medical Internship overseas (medical electives: i.e. CMF). Short-Term volunteer assignments (OMTP, AWM, CARE) Long-Term Career assignments (O.M., AWM, FRONTIERS, WEC, INTERSERVE, YWAM, and many others).
7) An open door: Pendulum is swinging with increasing evidence that Islam's time may have come. Effective approach to Muslims has already been done by Christian missionaries. Apologetical material already exists in abundance, and is being made available. Historical Criticism on both the authority of Muhammad and the Qur'an is available. Disillusionment: Educated Muslims are losing their faith due to reading this material. Muslims worldwide being converted to Christ through supernatural dreams and visions. Access to Muslims is better than ever before: satellite, Internet, literature, radio and (most importantly) through ethnic minorities living and studying in the West. Muslims have come to us; they are living in our country and speak our language! It is clear that the harvest fields are ready but the labourers are few (Matt. 9:37-38). There is an urgent need to raise up and train Christians to take on the challenge.
8) Leave the Results to the LORD!! Remember, this is ultimately his work…we are only a pen in the hands of a ready-writer