‘Islam is reviving British values’, says former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams


Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

He said the religion promotes a sense of duty and community belonging

He said the religion promotes a sense of duty and community belonging

Source: The Independent

Islam is rejuvenating “British values”, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed while lambasting sections of the press for presenting Muslims as “un-British”.

Rowan Williams was giving a speech at the annual Living Islam Festival in Lincolnshire on Friday, discussing what British values were and how Muslims could affect them.

He said one of the greatest gifts to Britain had been bringing back “open, honest and difficult public discussion”, the Times reported.

Asked if he thought Islam was restoring British values, he said: “Yes. I’m thinking of the way in which, for example, in Birmingham we have seen a local parish and a mosque combining together to provide family services and youth activities, both acting out of a very strong sense that this is what communities ought to do. ”

Dr Williams was one of several speakers at the event organised by the Islamic Society of Britain, which saw thousands of people gather for four days of talks, debates, music, worship and bazaars.

The now Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge praised both Christianity and Islam for working towards community cohesion and promoting a sense of duty.

But in comments reported by the Guardian, he also objected to the notion of British values, saying they should be more universal.

“The setting-up therefore of British values against any kind of values, whether Muslim or Christian, just won’t do,” he said.


Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

What can a Christian or an agnostic gain in Islam?

Categories: Accepting Islam, Belief, Europe and Australia, UK

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3 replies

  1. British Values

    There is no such thing as British values. There is, however, a British way of doing things. It follows that Michael Gove erred when he said schools should promote British values. To expect schools to uphold British institutions would make much more sense. What matters, in Britain, is loyalty to the institutions which in this country enable us to enjoy in our own constantly evolving fashion the blessings of democracy, freedom, fairness and the rest. Teenage pregnancy, promiscuity, binge drinking, rape culture, victim blaming, casual racism, escalating homophobia and sexism are basic British values

    A secular school being turned into a faith school is not “extremism” or a “swamp” of full of infant terrorist “alligators”. It’s an unauthorised Muslim faith school. Nothing Ofsted have found seems to amount to anything more than that. The media seem to have got this completely out of proportion. Allowing pupils to pray at lunchtime if they wish to and wear the hijab if they choose to, or shortening the school day during the Ramadan fast – is an attempt to meet their spiritual needs as one tool to raise their achievement. Islam and Muslims are being criticised virtually every day by large sections of the media. There was a hysteria a few weeks ago over halal meat and now we have this. This is a witch hunt plain and simple.

    Why should not religious taxpayers have a right to send their children to schools that accord with their beliefs? Is this not, after all, supposed to be a tolerant society? If people receive a religious education, they are not rendered incapable of thinking. That is a thoughtless idea of people who advocate ‘secularism’ –it may not be a religion, but it certainly believes it has a monopoly on truth. Today’s ‘secularists’ are extremists, who want to impose their views on the rest of society. Sir Michael says children (in the criticised Muslim) schools in Birmingham are not being encouraged to “develop tolerant attitudes towards other faiths”. What about state and church schools? Schools should be run by head teachers who are answerable to boards of governors who are elected by parents. The role of the state should be minimised – concerned only with acceptable standards of education being delivered and economic efficiency. Most problems in education and in society in general have been instigated by politicians who are the real scourge in modern society, not religion or faith schools.

    when Brits colonised the sub-continent and beyond they enforced their system on to the locals, side lining their religious practices and tribal systems. In India and Africa the Brits behaved like dictators and enforced a White Christian, UK bigotry on the locals, often by second rate Britishers who has failed at home. You could say we are now getting a taste of our own medicine ?

    Gove’s plan to promote British values in schools will do absolutely nothing to aid societal cohesion. Many young Muslims go to schools which are almost or entirely Muslim. Their friends are Muslim, their family is Muslim, their Mosque and, naturally, their values are Muslim. They have little meaningful experience or connection with our native peoples and culture. We have enabled a people of some 4 million souls to create their own culture and nation within our nation. Don’t blame Muslims. This is perfectly natural and what people of very different cultures do when establishing a life in a different country. It is what we Brits did in Africa and India and other countries. If it causes problems in wider society, the people to blame are politicians who allowed mass immigration from very different cultures without a suitable programme of integration like other countries have like the States.

    A core British value is to be ashamed of being British. Is respect for international law a British value, Mr Gove? Is thinking that Michael Gove is a bell-end officially a British value yet? What is a British value? Does the European Convention on Human Rights express British values? Who decides? Gove: all schools must promote ‘British values’ The British sense of fair play? The rules of cricket? A couple of Shakespeare quotes? Help me out – I’m really struggling with this and I have only lived here for 50 years… Gove’s idea of British values won’t include multiculturalism and political correctness? A “culture of fear and intimidation”= British values. Ofsted were assessing a nursery school’s ability to prevent extremism. My guess is that schools in Birmingham are the new favourite battle ground for Tory politicians.

    British values. Hamm, these days that seems to be…Massive, obscene inequality, hammer the poor and disabled. Kowtow to a wealthy elite and let corporate corruption go unpunished whilst attacking the most vulnerable? Cater to the whims of Banksters and business and punish the poor? Rank hypocrisy from a moral minority on high? These may well be Etonian values I suppose, but do we really want them in all our schools? A ‘value’ has no meaning without practicing what you preach. This government wants a superficial veneer of those values only, like fascism. … promoting British values” I honestly have no idea what that means. Neither does Gove, but it’s a great sound bite isn’t it? British Values! Let the rich get richer and sod the poor. Invade foreign countries, displace the local population, allow them to emigrate to the UK, then cry wolf when they set up ‘free schools’.
    According to the Holy Quran, all children are born Muslims but their parents grow them up as Christian, Jews, Hindus and atheist.

    Muslim schools are not only faith schools but more or less bilingual schools. Muslim children need to learn and be well versed standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time they must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village, he/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit.

    when Brits colonised the sub-continent and beyond they enforced their system on to the locals, side lining their religious practices and tribal systems. In India and Africa the Brits behaved like dictators and enforced a White Christian, UK bigotry on the locals, often by second rate Britishers who has failed at home. You could say we are now getting a taste of our own medicine ?

    This Trojan Horse is a stir up to put up an attitude amongst the British community upon Muslims AGAIN, this hysteria has all been blown up because they do not want non-Muslim youngsters falling to the idea of Islam. Jewish schools have a more strict approach to religion than the majority of Islamic schools or schools that are heavily influenced by Muslim governors, yet they are not gonna be investigated because any hysteria brought up would be labelled anti-Semitism to become increasingly anti-establishment and belligerent. And they would have every reason to if this garbage continues. Park view is not multi cultural. It is mono cultural. It is to all purposes an Islamic school posing as a British secular state school. This “Trojan horse” thing worries me…I do not think that Greek classical mythology necessarily falls within the frame of reference of Muslims.. This affair was started by a hoax letter , driven by Islamophobia , which achieved its end , courtesy of a Government paranoid about ‘ extremism ‘ without any definition of what it means , and a ‘ anti-terrorism industry ‘ trying to justify itself and its funding to the Home Office . Meanwhile Ofsted have become a political tool , a new thought police , with little relevance to the standards of education , and an agenda driven by paranoia in a society which constantly changes its moral goalposts , itself in moral flux and confusion . And let not forget where did this all started, with Al Qaeda, which was created and nurtured and armed by the West. Now everyone is complaining where do all these extremism come from. If you are serious about fighting Muslim extremism start by going to the source, in allied countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and so on. But that would never happen because you also want your cheap oil. Hypocrite.
    London School of Islamics Trust

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