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Passion Islam I April 2009 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 7
Archbishop welcomes Muslims
raising profile of religion in society
The Archbishop of Canterbury has “easier for a leader to go with what abstract. So that sense of personal
praised Muslims for being at the seems natural in the society” but he responsibility to one another has been
forefront in raising the profile of religion said he would like to see leaders lost, and behind that is the sense of
and ethical challenges in society. “listening specifically to the more personal responsibility to God that
“I think Islam has made a very ethical challenges that faith brings.” has been lost.”
significant contribution to getting a With regard to Muslims being put Questioned on whether it was
debate about religion into public life,” down for bringing up faith issues into because of the kind of society we live
Rowan Williams said. the public domain, Williams said it in the sense that there is no faith in
“And I think it’s very right that also happened to Christians. the public domain, Williams said that
we should have these debates and “What we all want to say is that at the heart of it, society had “lost
discussions between Muslims and faith is not just what you and I think in the idea that it’s essential to human
Christians and others in public,” he our heads, it’s also about the relations beings to have some relationship to
said. we have in society and what we hope God.”
The spiritual leader of the Church of for in society,” he said. “We can’t really be human unless
England was speaking in an exclusive “If we are not allowed as religious we have some sort of relationship with
interview with the Muslim News that people to talk and argue about these God. And in so much of our culture
focused largely on the general lack issues in public then I think society that’s just not there these days, so we
of ethical principles in today’s secular has become a rather unfriendly place do pay the price for it,” he said.
society, emphasising the need to re- for religious people and that’s not The archbishop acknowledged that
discover the “sense of responsible to helpful change,” he warned. the Christian Muslim forum does not
each other and for each other.” On the current economic crisis, the reach the grassroot level and warned
“The idea that what’s good for archbishop said it was due to a number that “the conversation of the elite and
me and what’s good for you belong of factors and that he did not want to intellectuals isn’t in itself going to
together. Both Muslims and Christians pin the blame on the bankers. change anything. We’ve got to deal
have a very strong sense of God’s “I would blame all of us for having with it and complicated questions, but
will being done in community, when repeatedly voted for governments we have to make good neighbours.”
we really follow the needs of the since the 1980’s that have pushed for But he also believed grassroots
community and work for one another growth that doesn’t always deal with tensions between Muslims and
on that in the will of God,” he said poverty,” he said. Christians in this country is “often
according to a transcript. “If I want to narrow it down, one of exaggerated by politicians and
The archbishop acknowledged the problems in the last round of crisis others.”
that there had been leaders in the is that we have lost any sense of trust He said a lot can be done if the
West with Christian commitments, and relationship,” he told the Muslim presence of religion can be kept in
but said “it hasn’t turned around our News. educational institutions.
society which was being driven by “Financial speculators in recent Asked about the lack of
materialism and I think it takes a great years have gone so far away from any condemnation of Israel for its latest
deal for a leader to turn the whole face to face relationships, any real slaughter of Palestinians from Christian
thing around.” calculation of whether somebody is and Jewish leaders, Williams said that
He suggested it was perhaps credit worthy that they have become it is “always illegal” to kill civilians.
No full apology on
M65 terror arrest
Police chiefs have been urged to give Police were asked to apologise.
a full public apology to the Muslim Cmdr Andy Rhodes refused to give
community in Lancashire over their a full apology but said the incident
handling of recent terror arrests but was “regrettable”.
Two vans and an ambulance were
none has been given. Ibrahim Master, a former chairman
travelling in convoy to London last
Nine men, from Burnley and of the Lancashire Council of Mosques,
month when they were stopped by
Blackburn, were arrested on the said there has been disappointment
counter-terrorism officers.
M65 near Preston but later released about the way the men were treated.
Although six men were later
without charge. Mr Rhodes added that officers
released, three faced extended
At a meeting attended by 200 had done all they could to minimise
questioning and several homes in
people in Blackburn, Lancashire inconvenience.
Burnley were also searched.
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