Wisest words come from a churchman
The bestseller charts in recent months would seem to indicate that most people believe religion, like fishpaste and sock-suspenders, is a drearily unfashionable anachronism indulged in only by a few antique eccentrics.
The dominance of works by A. C. Grayling, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and, above all, Richard Dawkins, all give the impression that any of us who harbour a faith in any sort of God are in the grip of a tragic delusion.
But if an established Church is merely institutionalised superstition, then why is it that probably the most sensible thing said by any public figure last week came from one of those spinners of fairytales?
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, calmly pointed out that the situation in Zimbabwe is a towering moral disgrace. And we need a campaign to topple President Mugabe every bit as urgent as past crusades to get rid of apartheid. He also reminded us that Kate and Gerry McCann weren’t just probably innocent. They are totally innocent. And they will be until the situation ever arises that they have been tried, and found guilty, in a forum better designed to arrive at the truth than the media. One thing is certain: they have lost a daughter and their daily suffering must be torture. Christianity teaches us to show compassion to individuals who find themselves in such a position.
With his affirmation of the need for justice towards the poorest, and love for those who suffer, Sentamu may not speak as wittily as Dawkins. But I think I know whose moral force is more likely to mobilise action against dictatorship and win sympathy for a family enduring agonies that none should know.
Sir – Britain sends some of the finest and most courageous of their generation to risk their lives and spill their blood chasing the Taliban out of Afghanistan. But who, meanwhile, is guarding our homeland?
A recent police report makes clear that, back here in Britain the Deobandi – the very same Islamist sect responsible for spawning the Taliban in Afghanistan – has succeeded in taking over more than 600 of Britain's 1,350 mosques. In addition, it controls 17 of Britain's 26 Islamic seminaries and produces 80 per cent of Britain's home-trained Islamic clerics.
It's a funny old world, as Margaret Thatcher once famously remarked. Except that this is no laughing matter. Not for 70 years has there been a more clear or present danger to our internal security, to our free society and to our democracy, than that posed by this vipers' nest in our midst. The Deobandi, an ultra- conservative sect, outlaws music, art, television and football, and also demands the entire concealment of women.
According to the Lancashire Council of Mosques, the Deobandi has now taken control of 59 out of 75 mosques in the old Lancashire mill towns of Oldham, Preston, Bury, Blackburn and Burnley. While not all Deobandis are extremist, leading preachers of this sect aim to radicalise the Islamic youth of Britain, and to mobilise them against our society and the freedoms we hold so dear.
When will the Government wake up to this mortal threat which – if not swiftly dealt with – threatens to bring strife and bloodshed to the streets of Britain on a scale far exceeding anything seen in the bombings of recent years?
Why are Gordon Brown and David Cameron, indeed our entire political class, so deafeningly silent on this, the most pressing matter confronting Britain today? Who will help the moderate majority of Muslims maintain control of their mosques? Who will safeguard the homeland?
Winston S. Churchill, London SW1
It is heartening indeed to hear of Conservative politicians who are prepared at this important hour to advocate the primacy of the Christian faith and to alert the nation to the enemy within. May the Lord bless and protect both.