: We need Muslim peace-makers, not Christian soldiers

Last updated: March 2nd, 2010

A pretty co-incidence: Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, spoke in Parliament yesterday of the need for Christians to stand up for their faith and “prevail on politicians” to speak up for their beliefs and to stop being treated as “second-class citizens” to Muslims. Today, Pakistan-born Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of the highly significant and global Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, issues a fatwa - a religious ruling for Muslims – against terrorism, declaring it an offence against Islam.

As it happens, I agree with Lord Carey, in so far as a new breed of authoritarian atheists and secularists are trying to force religion out of the public sphere. I agree even more with his successor in the See of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, that politicians tend to see religion only as a problem, practised by weirdos and extremists. And of course I welcome what Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has to say about the profane radicalisation of Islam.

But it would be a shame if Christian leaders were now to become aggressive and confrontational, just as Islamic leaders are urging a more peaceable and conciliatory approach on Muslims. Especially in Lent.

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