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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Gays aren't the problem, says evangelist

Forget queers and women. It's Muslims you have to watch out for. That, anyway, is the message of a member of the Church of England Synod – it's ruling body – featured in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

She's referring to the gathering of bishops at the GAFCON summit in Jerusalem last week, discussing, in the main, gays in the church and how they don't like them. Then we get the Synod meeting in York this week to discuss this and that, including the introduction of women bishops. The paper goes on:

But Alison Ruoff, an evangelical lay member of the Synod and a former magistrate who is at the Gafcon summit in Jerusalem, told the Daily Telegraph that the church needs to get past these divisions and concentrate on fighting the rise of Islam in Britain.

She says that under an Archbishop of Canterbury who said it is inevitable that elements of sharia law will be introduced in the UK – as Rowan Williams did indeed say earlier this year – the church has not done enough to put its message across.

Well, from this point of view, we'd rather no religious view prevailed over humanist ones, but if there has to be a choice give me the comparatively benign Church of England any day.

Mrs Ruoff believes the problem with the growth of Islam in Britain is that some communities do not integrate, and that some immigrant imams do not learn English, leading to segregation.

She fears that if these communities introduce Islamic law, all non-Muslims and women will be treated as second-class citizens by them.

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