Church bookshops ban Qur’an
In recent decades, however, SPCK had taken to promoting a multi-faith, amorphous spirituality rather than Christianity exclusively. But in a surprising change of direction, they have now decided to remove the Qur’an from their shelves because it is ‘inimical’ to Christianity.
The choice of word is interesting, coming from the Latin inimicus, meaning unfriendly, hostile, and even harmful. Cranmer wonders whether such a declaration would fall foul of the Government’s proposed religion-hate laws, which they have promised to ‘strengthen’ following the acquittal of the BNP leader, Nick Griffin. If Mr Griffin may not, in a private meeting, state that Islam is a ‘wicked and vicious faith’, by what right may the SPCK say publicly that it is hostile or harmful one?
Only a month ago the SPCK was bought by the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust, which is linked to the Eastern Orthodox Church. The chairman of this trust states without equivocation: ‘Stocking books which are inimical to Christianity, which without question the Qur’an is, could well create the wrong impression among some that we endorse the belief systems of other religions as equal or viable alternatives.’ It is his mission to counter the ‘explosion of Islam’ in the UK, and hold back the tide of secularism. He intends to ‘re- establish Christianity in areas where it has been driven out’.
Cranmer notes that SPCK’s patron is Her Majesty the Queen, who may find their newly-discovered crusading spirit a little unpalatable. Certainly, her heir and successor is unlikely to continue the royal patronage. But, perhaps more importantly, it must be asked how long it will be before members of the SPCK board, or workers in its shops, are arrested for stirring up ‘religious hatred’. Or how long it will be before these bookshops are torched by Muslims who feel that their faith has been demeaned or their prophet insulted. The Muslim Council of Britain has already complained. It will not be too long before the violent tendencies of Islamism take the law into their own hands, or force this dhimmi Government to act on their behalf.