I am sitting in Costas (letting my nerves settle) after having done a live interview with BBC Radio Scotland on my article on ‘Islam, the Elephant in the Room” and my initial reaction is one of profound sorrow. Here is why…forgive me if it is a bit emotional.
1) I am fed up of the dumbed down nature and ignorance of British politics and life – I knew that immediately I would be accused of being a bigot, Islamaphobic and I was. The interviewer accused me of being ‘divisive’ to which I simply pointed out that anyone who expresses an opinion of any kind can be accused of being divisive. Here are some examples of the responses I have already received “Don’t know if it was your intention, but you came across as an intolerant, ignorant bigot in that interview.” “You give Christians and bad name if your BBC Scotland interview is indicative of your sect’s attitude to Islam.”
2) I am depressed about the ignorance and spinelessness of our politicians. They are so scared of being accused of Islamaphobia and the nature of our public debate is so dumbed down, that I think it will be impossible to have an intelligent debate about this. Like the man who tweeted the BBC ‘Bet UKIP will be pleased to hear that”. Thats the way to shut down debate! When approached by the press only two of the parties made any comment. The SNP said my comments were “unfortunate and plain wrong”. I issue here a simple challenge to the SNP – tell me where my comments are wrong and I will publicly retract them and apologise for them. If you can’t then in effect you are confirming the view that people have about politicians and political parties….you are good at the soundbites but don’t really come up with reason and facts. The Tories claimed that more people were worried about the economy than Islam. Well, as that great philosopher/politician Bart Simpson says ‘duh’! Of course. That is the point. The reason I raised the subject was because you are not raising it. People are being killed all over the world in the name of Islam. There are enormous problems of radicalisation in England’s cities. There are more British Muslims fighting for ISIS than are in the British army. Every time we board a flight, go to a major public event, we are inconvenienced because of Islamic terrorism. Our media cannot publish cartoons of Mohammed without facing death threats. We have spent billions on fighting Islamic terrorism. Are the Tories denying that this affects our economy? There is a real pressure on freedom of religion in the UK – muslims who become Christians face severe persecution. In the UK! And you keep silent. Actually you don’t. You blame all religions because you buy into the narrative that they are all basically the same. And so in order to keep Islamic extremists out of schools you propose to keep ordinary Christians out as well!
3) I am depressed because of Islamaphobia and the thinly veiled racism that lies behind it. Because normal mainstream politicians are too scared to speak about this, the field has been left open for the far right racists. In saying what I said above I am not saying that all Muslims are terrorists or support terrorism. That would be foolish and completely wrong. But I despair that the spinelessness of our politicians, the hatred of militant atheists for all religions (and therefore lumping Christianity together with Islam), and the ignorance of Islam being a political theology – means that Islamaphobia and the political power of Islam will feed off one another, and both will grow together.
4) I am depressed at the spinelessness of the Church – The Church of Scotland and the Catholic church issued wet politically correct statements which were implicitly critical of me and again identified me as some kind of bigot. Ironically I have had more support from the Scottish Secular Society than I have from the Church!
To be honest I feel kind of alone. And I am fed up taking the bullets. Why should I be branded a bigot for speaking the truth?
So let me issue the following challenges:
1) To the SNP – Tell me where I am wrong and why what I said was unfortunate. If you want me to vote for you (as I have often done) I would appreciate an answer.
2) To the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems – Can you speak about this issue at all? Or are you just going to enact anti-religious policies for all (in order to be ‘fair’) rather than deal with the elephant in the room.
3) To my Muslim brothers and sisters – Do you deny that Islam is a political as well as a religious ideology? Do you want Islamic law to be enforced in a Muslim Britain? Can you name one Islamic country where there is religious freedom – in particular the freedom to change your religion? Will you allow Muslims in the UK to change their religion if they wish?
4) To the Church – Are you prophets and proclaimers of the Gospel of Christ or just compromisers with the spirit of this world? Will you love, serve , welcome and help Muslims – most of all by living, loving and telling the Good News of Jesus. Are you prepared to take time to engage, dialogue and pray with and for Muslims? And can I plead with my fellow Christians – please don’t be Islamaphobic! We have nothing to be phobic about! And if you agree with my view of the threat of Islam please don’t give any credence to right (or left) wing political groups (like the EDL or BNP) who will seek to exploit your frustration. They are evil and must be avoided like the plague.
5) To the Media and the ‘Gatekeepers’ of our Culture. Are any of you prepared to have this discussion and dialogue? Or are you just going to hand over the whole debate to the real bigots, by pretending the issue does not exist and labelling those of us who dare raise it, as bigots.
Will I hold my breath? I’m off to prepare a sermon on Isaiah….amazing how relevant this prophet is to our current situation!
You can read the original article here – http://www.christiantoday.com/article/three.reasons.politicians.cant.cope.with.islam/51513.htm
And the interview and response on Premier here – http://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Islam-is-election-elephant-in-the-room-says-Church-leader
For BBC Radio Scotland interview – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pbhyv
Here is the report in The Daily Express and The Press and Journal
Free Church minister sounds alarm over rise of Islam
Daily Express 8 Apr 2015
“SPINELESS” politicians are ignoring the rise of Islam in the UK, according to a prominent church minister.
And the Reverend David Robertson, who will soon take over as Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, also says there is no such thing as “secular Islam”.
His comments come as debate rages throughout Britain as to how to tackle the issue of radical proponents of the religion without alienating minority communities.
But the minister stressed that although he opposes “racist, jingoistic Islamophobia, the fear of Islamophobia is blinding many of our politicians to the threat we face from Islam”.
Mr Robertson has accused politicians of leading the country down a “path of destruction away from the Christian foundations of our nation” by appeasing Muslims.
Writing on the Christian Today website, he said that politicians are either ignorant of the nature of Islam, or frightened of being labelled racist for speaking out about it. He said: “Christianity is the bedrock and foundation of our secular society. Islam is different. Islam has no doctrine of separation of the spiritual from the political. Islam is, and has always been, a political movement.
“There can be no such thing as secular Islam.
“The narrative is that Islam is the same as Christianity, that ISIS and others are just fundamentalists who are not really part of the ‘religion of peace’ and that Christians have their own ISIS equivalents. All untrue.
“However, the main point is that mainstream Islam does not and cannot fit in with the worldview and doctrines of our liberal secularists. And because our politicians do not see that, they cannot deal with it.”
Mr Robertson warned that Britain is in danger of being outflanked by a growing Islamic population, who could wield great power within 20 years.
Mr Robertson added: “It’s the organisation, social cohesion, wealth and internal discipline that brings the political power; if you want it. And Islam does. A survey released this week shows that in the UK as a whole Islam will be 11 per cent of the population within a couple of decades.
“Our secularists cannot cope with that.”
Mr Robertson, minister of Dundee St Peter’s Free Church and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, will become moderator of the Free Church next month.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Scotland yesterday declined to comment.
Islam is ‘election elephant in room’
The Press and Journal 8 Apr 2015
A leading churchman has clashed with the SNP and Conservatives after he claimed addressing concerns over Islam was more important than dealing with the economy, independence and the NHS.
The Rev David Robertson, the next moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, claimed most politicians were either “blind or too cowardly” to tackle what he called the election elephant in the room.
He said the fear of being associated with racism meant that most politicians were reluctant to discuss the fact that Islamic political theology presented a real danger to freedom.
Aspokesmanfor theSNP said Mr Robertson’s comments were “unfortunate and plain wrong”.
The Tories claimed most people were more worried about the economy than Islam.
Mr Robertson, 52, leads St Peter’s Church in Dundee.