Tuesday, July 26, 2005
"Deranged religious mania" - Muslims at the Forefront
"Blasting Tony Blair's government for having been "poorly focused," Portillo also remarked that maybe Britons had "take[n] things almost too calmly." Such nonchalance, he suggested, had helped allow the "Londonistan" phenomenon, which he called "the concentration of Muslim political activists in the capital," to gather steam over the years. So, too, he noted, had the U.K.'s asylum rules. They had "made no distinction between the innocent victims of persecution" who should have been permitted to enter Britain, he observed, and "others," like angry militants, who were "intent on bringing down states." (The Times)"
"In the usually more left-of-center Guardian, without explicitly citing the Muslim affiliation of the perpetrators of the July 7 London attacks, commentator Polly Toynbee assailed "the deranged religious mania" of "demented killers lining up to murder in the name of God." Toynbee was referring to Islamist fanatics; she also emphatically criticized religious extremists of all stripes. She took Blair's Labor government to task for pandering to religious groups in Britain, as in its support for Anglican, Muslim and even Hindu schools. She suggested that, under Blair, a too-cozy relationship between the state and churches in the U.K. has helped foster a mind-set that assumes "that religion is always or mainly beneficent."
"History suggests otherwise," she wrote. "So do events on the streets of London." Toynbee argued that "[i]t is time now to get serious about religion -- all religion -- and draw a firm line between the real world and the world of dreams." In a call to action that would inevitably fall on the deaf ears of politicians were she to issue it in the United States, Toynbee urged: "[N]ever was it more important to separate the state from all faiths and relegate all religion to the private -- but well-regulated -- sphere."
"Rosevaldo Reis, a 40-year-old school teacher, said the Menezes killing had shocked many residents of the large Latin American community south of London in which he lives. Reis said: "Latin people are all dark-skinned, but I don't think we should be judged by that and get stopped." (BBC)"
WorldViews, San Francisco Chronicle
I do understand the greater point, however.