Lewis Carrol, it is said, was able to believe three impossible things before breakfast. But some things are just too impossible to believe. Is it possible to believe that a leading figure in the Church, say an Anglican or Catholic archbishop or bishop, would stand up and state that all mosques in Great Britain should be destroyed? No, you would need to ingest criminal amounts of chemical assistance to be able to believe that would ever happen.
Can you imagine the howls of outrage from the progressive media, the denunciations from all political leaders, the righteous indignation in newspaper editorials? There would be demands that the Church reject such a figure, and of course he would be immediately rejected in the most forthright fashion by all Christians.
Yet, when Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stated openly that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula,” the television news and current affairs programmes and the newspapers in the West did not see this as worth reporting. Further, none of them seems to be interested that he made this statement to the members of a terrorist group who are quite likely to follow up his suggestion.
Some members of the Kuwaiti parliament have been seeking to demolish churches or at least prohibit the construction of new ones within that country’s borders. Yes, that same Kuwait that British and American soldiers died to free from Sadam.
Naturally the question was asked: What does sharia law have to say about this issue? A delegation from the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) went to the Grand Mufti for advice. The Grand Mufti, is the highest official of religious law in Saudi Arabia, as well as the head of the Supreme Council of Islamic Scholars.
He explained that Kuwait is part of the Arabian Peninsula and any chuches on the Arabian Peninsular should be destroyed. Not to do so would be the same as approving of them. Non-Islamic places of worship are of course already banned in our close ally and friend Saudi Arabia.
The grand mufti said, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us, ‘Two religions shall not coexist in the Arabian Peninsula,’ so building [churches] in the first place is not valid because this peninsula must be free from [any other religion].”
It has to be understood that the innocuous sounding RIHS is not some form of Arabian National Trust dedicated to restoring old properties and selling overpriced jam and tea towels to tourists. Ten years ago the United Nations designated the RIHS as associates of and providers of weapons and funds for “Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.’
The US government is more explicit. They have described RIHS headquarters in Kuwait as “providing financial and material support to al Qaida and al Qaida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba” this is the terrorist organisation which is “implicated in the July 2006 attack on multiple Mumbai commuter trains, and in the December 2001 attack against the Indian Parliament.” RIHS offices have been “closed or raided by the governments of Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, and Russia.”
This is against a background of widespread anti-Christian activity throughout the Muslim world. Churches have been destroyed and Christians murdered in Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere. Areas where Christians have lived for centuries are being ethnically cleansed. In some parts of the Muslim world it is possible to be tried and condemned to death for the “crime” of choosing Christianity over Islam.
In its 14th annual report the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) identified the world’s worst persecutors. Of the 16 countries named, twelve have Muslim majorities or pluralities.
Meantime, our mass media largely ignores the worldwide persecution of Christians. Our Foreign Secretary William Hague does not call in the Saudi ambassador to ask why the leading Saudi religious authority is meeting with supporters of terrorists and assuring them that it is a religious duty to destroy churches. The centres of ‘Islamic – Christian understanding’ in our universities (often funded by Saudi money) seem to be unconcerned by what is happening.
Perhaps they are all too busy working on responses to the really serious spread of ‘Islamophobia’ in the West.