Introduction to Islam in Britain. 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:
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Desire for assimilation
Acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences
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 Islam’s intolerance
Imposing laws to stifle criticism (‘Incitement’ law)
Defacing adverts: claiming territory for themselves
Finally, Muslim enclaves, using ‘Shariah’ laws
(i.e. Shabina Begum’s ‘Jilbab’)
“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)
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!
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)
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.
Traditional: Sufism & veneration of Muhammad
-Conservative, puritanical, literalist, ‘Islamists’
-Taliban/Wahhabi, Jama’at-i Islami, Muslim Brotherhood)
-UK: ‘Tablighi Jama’ati’ = 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%!
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)
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)
(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 jama’ats (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.
"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.“
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).
1)The West is in Decline:
-Culturally (loss of national identity, creating block societies i.e. European Union, all in opposition to Islam’s 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 (Capitalism’s 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 West’s 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
In 1980 the ‘Islamic Council of Europe’ published a book: MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN NON-MUSLIM STATES
Muslims must band together to establish a viable Muslim community based on Islamic principles.
Must not be assimilated by the majority culture.
Must establish areas of high-Muslim concentration.
Must set up: Mosques, Community centres & Islamic schools.
Must share the message of Islam with ‘unbelievers’ (Da’wah)
A responsibility of every Muslim living in non-Muslim lands.
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)
“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.”
British Muslims tend to live in tightly concentrated enclaves:
-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 Qur’an wrapped and on
a high shelf, while the teacher
must wash their hands before
touching the book.
The British Govt. has made special arrangements to allow Muslims to have ‘Shari’a’-compliant mortgages, which entails a two stage process of paying stamp duty twice, which conforms to shari’a 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.
Across from Civic Centre
£5m to build
3 Prayer halls
Large Community Hall
Servicing 25,000 Muslims
“For the larger Community”
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.
(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!
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).
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)
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 Minister’s vote!
(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 Clinton’s/Bush’s personal troubles? Why does the Western Press not critique the evidence of the U.S. state department?’
(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.
-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."
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
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. Respectculturalsensitivities with respect to alcohol, pork and ‘halal’ food.
2. Handle theQur'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.
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. OM’s 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.
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!
When: Every Sunday 1:30 – 3:00
Where: All Souls (Forum Room)
Speaker’s Corner from 3:00 – 6:00 ----->
HPCF in Action
Most fundamentally we need toknow 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 don’t 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).
Give aid to the Muslims with legal assistance
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.
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.Wemay need to changefirst.
(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!
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.
200 Muslim web-sites versus only 16 Christian web-sites.
Newsgroup: MCD on the Debate site; & soc.religion.islam or alt.religion.islam
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).
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 authorityof 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.
Remember, this is ultimately his work…we are only ‘a pen in the hands of a ready-writer’