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Islam in Britain

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Introduction to Islam in
(A) Islamist �Multicultural’ Agenda:
Desire for assimilation
Acceptance of cultural and ethnic differences
Relative Multiculturalism
Islamophobia is the primary sin of the British
Separate and parallel communities
Muslim leadership seeks Muslim space and influence in:
British politics, culture, education, economy and media
Using Democratic tolerance to promote Islam’s intolerance
Imposing laws to stifle criticism (�Incitement’ law)
Defacing adverts: claiming territory for themselves
Finally, Muslim enclaves, using �Shariah’ laws
(i.e. Shabina Begum’s �Jilbab’)
Zaki Badawi:
“A proselytising religion cannot stand still. It can either expand
or contract. Islam endeavours to expand in Britain…Islam is a
universal religion. It aims at bringing its message to all corners
of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will
be one Muslim community, the �Umma. As we know the history
of Islam as a faith is also the history of a state and a community
of believers living by Divine law. The Muslims, jurists and
theologians, have always expounded Islam as both
Government and a faith. This reflects the historical fact that
Muslims, from the start, lived under their own law. Muslim
theologians naturally produced a theology with this in view – it
is a theology of the majority. Being a minority was not seriously
considered or even contemplated…Muslim theology offers,
upto the present, no systematic formulation of the status of
being in a minority” (Badawi, Zaki, Islam in Britain, London, Ta-Ha Publishers, 1981,
(B) The Rise of Islam in the U.K.
World-wide: 1.2 billion; yet Indonesia + Pakistan + India +
Bangla-Desh = +700 million, more than half the Muslim
world, thus our tactics and strategies need to reflect this.
U.K. = 1.4 (Govt. sources) – 2.5-3.0 million (Sookhdeo,
2004). More than communicant members of Anglicans.
2.7% of the total world Muslim population in the UK;
percentage-wise more than the U.S. and Canada
4.4 million immigrants, the majority of them Muslim will
enter Britain in the next 30 years.
So, by 2013 there will be
5-6 million Muslims in Britain!
Ethnic Breakdown:
70% from the Indian sub-continent:
-Pakistan (Mirpur, Kashmir) = 46%
-Bangla Desh (Sylhet) = 16%,
-Indians (Gujarat) = 8%
-Arab = 11%
-Rest from M.East & Africa
(Rahman, Motiur, “British Muslims envisage Islamic Britain”, The Muslim Weekly, 26 November – 2
December 2004)
The Muslim Underclass:
A third of Muslims are under 16 years (vs. a fifth under 16
for the nat. ave.)
Average age = 28, vs. 41 for nat. ave.
42% of Muslims live in overcrowded conditions
12% live without central heating
38% are employed, thus 62% are unemployed
Lower than any other faith group in Britain.
Mostly in low-paid sectors of the economy
(Rahman, Motiur, “British Muslims envisage Islamic Britain”, The Muslim Weekly, 26 November – 2
December 2004)
9% of all prisoners are Muslim, yet they only make up 2.7%
of the population.
Traditional: Sufism & veneration of Muhammad
-Conservative, puritanical, literalist, �Islamists’
-Taliban/Wahhabi, Jama’at-i Islami, Muslim Brotherhood)
-UK: �Tablighi Jama’ati’ = Islamic Foundation, UK Islamic
Mission, Young Muslims UK, Muslim Education Trust
(Rippin, Andrew, Mslims: Their Rewligious Beliefs & Practices, vol.2, The Contemporary Period,
London & N.Y., Routledge, 1993, pp.28-32)
With strong family support, & emphasis in education, the
majority are becoming affluent.
Most Muslims are young (between 25-44 years), 50% now
born in U.K., with 4% birthrate, the highest in U.K., and
twice the national average of 1.8%!
Defining Islam:
In 2001:
•15% Radical – Follow Scripture,
and the Prophet Muhammad
•70% Nominal – Follow Traditions,
and themselves
•15% Liberal – Follow the West,
and assimilate
In the UK
пЃµ By
2002: Radicals had risen to 25%
пЃµ By
2004: No polls were carried
(source: Peter G. Riddell and Peter Cotterell, Islam In Conflict Leicester,
England: IVP, 2003, chapters 10-12, and page 193. Also a lecture by Riddell on
the theme, “Muslim Views on the World” held at the London Institute for
Contemporary Christianity and sponsored by the London Lectures Trust,
October 23, 2003)
Poll on radicalisation
by Pew International (March 2004)
пЃµ Turkey
= 31%
пЃµ Morocco = 45%
пЃµ Jordan = 55%
пЃµ Pakistan = 65%
million out of 140 million!)
(source: “US Image Worsens in Europe Poll,” news release credited to AFP [Agence Francaise de Presse] Washington, The Korea Times (Seoul: March 18, 2004), pg.6)
(C) Islamic Structures:
(A)-Mosques = 1,200 - 1,400 (240 being built)
Center of the Muslim community life. Where Imams (or Maulvi Sahibs) keep
a tight control on communities, & regulate social behavior, using the Qur'an
as authority. High attendance during friday afternoon prayers, and for
Islamic festivals (particularly during the month of Rammadan). Usually
funded from M. East, and reflects ethnic diversity.
(B)-Qur'anic schools = 5,000
Qur'anic schools, and 69 regular schools, now recognized & some funded by
British govt. (Kilburn Muslim school in Brent is the largest). Also, 72
jama’ats (Muslim societies), 7 mayors, and 4 MPs
(“British Muslims”, Q-News, July 2001).
-The emphasis is on Islamic teachings, & focus on studying the world from a
Muslim context. If schools are funded by the govt. they must allow nonMuslims. As a result Muslim administrators view them as potential converts
to Islam.
(C)-Political structures:
"Christianity, which allows pluralism within culture has forced Christian
nations to be tolerant. Ironically, Muslims are benefiting from that tolerance;
one which would never be reciprocal to Christians in their countries of
5 groups which are trying to mediate between the Islamic
community and the government
a) The Union of Muslim Organizations of UK (UMO), representing 180
groups. Not effective, doesn't address local issues.
b) The Council of Imams and Mosques, speaks for the majority (headed up
by Zaki Badawi from the Muslim college in Ealing), formally backed by
c) The Council of British Muslims, speaks for fundamentalists (the former Dr.
Kalim Siddiqui from the Muslim Institute, who is backed by Iran).
пЃµ -In September 1989 The Islamic Party of Britain launched as alternative to
the Labor and Tory parties-to push Muslim demands.
пЃµ -In December 1991 The Muslim Parliament was founded, to contest the
British parliament, demanding that anything concerning Muslims must first
come through their jurisdiction.
d) Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Moderate umbrella group which seeks to
represent the moderate/liberal, or assimilated view, favoured by the
government. Spokesman is Iqbal Sacranie.
e) Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), �closet’ radical group, trying to
represent an Arab viewpoint in Britain, whose spokesman is the outspoken
Dr. Azzam Tamimi. (Sponsored Dr. al-Qaradawi, Egyptian radical cleric,
teaching in Qatar University, spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood,
advocates suicide bombing, beating wives, & killing homosexuals).
(D) Muslim’s Agenda in the UK:
1) The West is in Decline:
-Culturally (loss of national identity, creating block societies
i.e. European Union, all in opposition to Islam’s culture)
-Socially (breakdown & dysfunction of the family, of society,
rise in crime, indiscipline in schools, plethora of statistics)
-Morally (Movies, TV, Music, all push sexual promiscuity,
immorality, & have huge influence on the youth)
-Spiritually (Secularism is now the norm, only 5-7% go to
church, with much public criticism of religion)
-Economically (Capitalism’s dependence on interest/usury, is
evil, and brings about inequality, and injustice)
-Politically (Democracy is anathema in Islam, and allows
unbelievers to control and eradicate the faith of believers)
2) Christianity is to blame:
-It is based on a corrupted foundation…a
corrupted scripture
-It is irrelevant today (between 5-7% even go to
-Christians only go to church 1 day a week, for 1
-Christians live no different than non-believers
-Christians cannot define, let alone defend their
faith well
-Many Christians leave Christianity & become
3) Therefore, Islam will dominate:
-It has an unsurpassed scripture, modelled by a universal
prophet, for all time, all peoples, and all places.
-It has a glorious past (especially the �Rushidun’ period,
from AD 622-660, and the dynasties which followed)
-Muslims can be credited for many of the West’s
successes: Algebra, science, chemistry, arts…
-It is a 24/7 religion (24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
stipulating rules for all areas of living)
-It is the fastest growing religion in the World, and will
outstrip Christianity by 2020 AD
Specific Agenda:
In 1980 the �Islamic Council of Europe’ published a book:
Muslims must band together to establish a viable Muslim
community based on Islamic principles.
Must not be assimilated by the majority culture.
Must establish areas of high-Muslim concentration.
Must set up: Mosques, Community centres & Islamic schools.
Must share the message of Islam with �unbelievers’ (Da’wah)
A responsibility of every Muslim living in non-Muslim lands.
Objective: Muslims should become the majority & the entire
nation should be governed according to Islam.
(from: M. Ali Kettani “The Problem of Muslim Minorities and the Solutions”, in Muslim Communities
in Non-Muslim States, London, Islamic Council of Europe, 1980, pp.96-105)
“If successful, such a community would grow constantly in
influence and numbers as to become a majority community in the
course of time. To become a “successful community” should be
the aim of every “Muslim minority”. This is an ideological
necessity without which the entire presence of the minority would
be Islamically unacceptable…
Once the community is well organized, its leaders should
strive to seek the recognition of Muslims as a religious community
having its own characteristics by the authorities. Once recognized
the community should continue to request the same rights the
other religious communities enjoy in the country. Eventually, the
community may seek to gain political rights as a constituent
community of the nation.
Once these rights are obtained then the community
should seek to generalize its characteristics to the entire
(i.e. �dominate the entire host society in all areas’! – a step
by step Islamisation of non-Muslim societies))
(from: M. Ali Kettani “The Problem of Muslim Minorities and the Solutions”, in Muslim Communities
in Non-Muslim States, London, Islamic Council of Europe, 1980, pp.104-105)
Kuram Murad, in
“The Islamic Movement in the West” 1980
“An Islamic movement is an organised
struggle to change the existing society
into an Islamic society based on the
Qur'an and the Sunna, and make Islam,
which is a code for entire life, supreme
and dominant, especially in the sociopolitical spheres.”
Current Examples:
British Muslims tend to live in tightly concentrated enclaves:
-Bradford, Burnley
-London: Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Slough, Paddington,
Wembley, etc…
Little cross marriages, or social contact
Halal meat demanded at many prisons, schools, & hospitals.
Hijab worn in schools with Muslim representation.
The �Qualifications & Curriculum
Authority’, instructs teachers to
keep the Qur’an wrapped and on
a high shelf, while the teacher
must wash their hands before
touching the book.
Further Examples:
The British Govt. has made special arrangements to allow
Muslims to have �Shari’a’-compliant mortgages, which entails a
two stage process of paying stamp duty twice, which conforms
to shari’a at no extra financial cost.
Muslims in influence favour other Muslims (jobs, housing & services)
Police officers wear traditional head-gear, & no badge (with cross)
Tower Hamlets, Christian place names are changed (i.e. Islington)
Govt. funding for moderate Islamic newspapers, radio stations.
Far more TV programmes on Islam, the majority positive.
No other faith community is given the same kind of assistance.
Harrow Mosque
Across from Civic Centre
4 storey’s
ВЈ5m to build
3 Prayer halls
Large Community Hall
Nursery, shop
Computer Room
Gym, Parking
Servicing 25,000 Muslims
“For the larger Community”
(E) How do Muslims operate on campus?
Islamic activity on campus is increasingly well contextualised to the British scene.
[a]-Five main areas of Activity:
пЃµ 1. Talks and Debates (For Muslim Students). Usually on issues
that are social (unemployment, economics), moral (Western
corruption, the family, women), political (Bosnia, Israel) or
theological (scriptures, Jesus, science).
пЃµ 2. Proselytising Meetings (For all-comers). Addresses by
(Western) Muslim converts, debates with other groups, open
meetings on topics similar to those mentioned above.
пЃµ 3. Islamic Awareness Weeks. Modelled on CU strategy with
bookstalls and literature distribution and proselytising
пЃµ 4. Literature. Tracts & books specifically polemical, attacking
Christianity, and the Bible.
пЃµ 5. Training Days (For Muslim students). Islamic Students are
taken on weekends to learn how to dialogue with Christians
through books, videos, tapes and training conferences.
[b]-3 Primary Agendas: (Using lectures, book tables, debates
1) Decline of the West (using media statistics)
2) Christianity is at fault (due to 7% attendance, and corrupt
3) Islam is the answer: answers for every area (i.e. social,
economic, political):
пЃµ Cultural mandate (Muhammad Abduh, Khurram Murad, Abd
пЃµ Scientific Exegesis (Maurice Bucaille, Dr. Jamal Badawi)
пЃµ Pagan Sources of the Bible (Abdul Rahman Green)
пЃµ Polemics: the trinity & Sonship of Jesus, authority of scripture
(Shabir Ali)
-Islam on the campuses is becoming increasingly polemical, and
therefore we need to be prepared to understand and answer
these agendas if we want to be effective witnesses.
(1) Lack of interest:
Only 5%-9% of the population of Britain attends church, thus
91% of the population is unchurched.
In London, only 5-8% go to church, the majority of whom are
West Indian, and so culturally distant and misunderstood by the
majority of Asian Muslims.
In the absence of a viable Christian witness, Muslims are able
to propagate their beliefs within the urban centres with little
Today the UK has only 8,500 missionaries worldwide (26% of
whom are short-term).
Thus, since 1910, British missionaries have dropped by 31%,
and are supported by only a fraction of the population!
(2) Lack of results:
These are due to a number of reasons:
a) not enough workers, thus not enough time and energy spent on tackling
b) a general growing confidence of Islam worldwide, since the overthrow
of the Shah in Iran in 1979.
c) the perception that Muslims care for each other, particularly within the
family, and have little problem with racism (Nation of Islam carries the >high
moral ground=).
d) the attraction for Islam's moral discipline.
e) the simple logic of its theology helps to disseminate it easier.
f) the weakness of recognized (Anglican) Christianity in Britain.
g) the lack of relationships between Muslims and Christians.
h) the theological confusion by Christians: evangelism is the domain of
the clergy alone (for example: of the 6 groups referred to us for information,
only one is actively working full-time with Muslims in the UK).
(3) Persecution of Apostates:
Those who fall away from Islam (apostasy) or wish to
convert to Christianity.
Usually persecution lasts 1-3 years.
(Refer to paper: Free to Choose by Patrick Sookdeo)
(4) �Incitement’ / Blasphemy Laws:
The push to have the government broaden the Blasphemy laws
to also include Islam
Muslims want the blasphemy laws to be widened to include
material offensive to Islam (thus no criticism will be permitted
of Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur'an on TV, in the schools, or in
public). Example: Salman Rushdie and his Satanic Verses, or
Taslima Nasreen in Bangla-Desh.
Fortunately, the law on �incitement’ was defeated last night by
ONE VOTE! (283 to 282), the Prime Minister’s vote!
(5) Mistrust of Christianity/West:
(Making it difficult to create relationships)
A strong distrust by Muslims of anything which is �Christian’.
They believe that Christians pervert historical data as they did
their scriptures, with a bias against Islam.
There is the perception that the west, and thus Christianity, has
an agenda to eradicate Muslim countries around the world.
Thus new events are interpreted by this perception.
All recent Wars (Chechnia, Kosovo, Bosnia) are perceived
as Muslim/Christian conflicts (with theological contradictions).
Iraqi Conflict is widely considered to be a Christian Crusade,
with consequently little concern witnessed by the West
The recent conflicts (Sudan, Afghanistan, & Iraq) are
perceived as a �double-standard’. They ask: �Which is truly the
terrorist state, and were the bombings used as a diversion from
Clinton’s/Bush’s personal troubles? Why does the Western
Press not critique the evidence of the U.S. state department?’
(6) Mistrust of Western Education:
(due to a bias against Islam = conspiracy)
пЃµ Muslims have not been able to adapt to a multi-cultural environment,
because historically Islam has always dominated others. Thus Muslims
distrust western education, as they feel it is responsible for taking their
children away.
пЃµ They require an alternative educational system.
пЃµ Their demands:
-Muslim schoolgirls wear more conservative clothing (Hijab or Jilbab?)
-Halal meat be available at school meals
-Muslim holidays be celebrated
-Muslim boys and girls be separated during instruction
-They not be forced to learn swimming
-Muslim children be absent from school assemblies.
-Specific Islamic instruction for their children, by an Imam (Muslim religious
-"the acquisition of modern knowledge be limited to the practical
technological sphere, since at the level of pure thought Muslims do not need
Western intellectual products, as these may create doubts and disruptions in
the Muslim mind, for which there are already answers to ultimate questions
of world view."
(Possible Solutions)
1) Pray:
This is a spiritual battle as well, thus we need to be
equipped spiritually to face it.
Pray before, during, and after each meeting
Go in twos, one person talking, the other praying
2) Break down the barriers
Break the barriers which exist between the Muslims and
Christians and bridge with them where possible, by:
a) Incarnational Life-style: Move into Muslim areas, and open
ourselves up to the Muslim community. Be careful to:
1. Respect cultural sensitivities with respect to alcohol, pork and
�halal’ food.
2. Handle the Qur'an (and the Bible!) with real respect in a
Muslim's presence.
3. Be aware of ritual observances (especially prayer, fasting at
Ramadan and hand-washing etc)
4. Be discrete in cross-gender relations (touching, dressing,
witnessing etc). Refrain from eating pork or drinking liquor in
their presence. Let our children go to their schools. These will
open doors for us.
b) Train:
Go to HICC and attend the 10 sessions being taught there
on a weekly basis, and then put them into practice.
Go to other schools, (i.e. OM’s Turning Point, LST, SOAS or
Ealing), learn about Islam, sometimes from their
perspective, make contacts with Muslim students, obtain
credibility, and gain access.
Learn Arabic, and brush up on Urdu, Bengali, or Hindi, to
not only communicate, but be able to refer to the Qur'an
directly during discussions. This helps to show them that
we care, as we take the time and energy to understand
them at their deepest level of communication.
c) Participate:
Attend their meetings at Mosques, Islamic Centres, or on
campus, to find out what they think, hear their agenda, so that
we can talk to them more intelligently, and better communicate
the gospel within a context that they know.
In witnessing it is wise not to initially attack Muhammad or the
Qur'an directly (although in time this will be necessary at least
by implication).
We should also resist the temptation to 'be nice', as Europeans
interpret it (Jesus wasn't!). When we are afraid to show
passion or emotion in defending what we believe Muslims may
interpret it as lack of conviction!
Join HPCF:
Every Sunday 1:30 – 3:00
All Souls (Forum Room)
Speaker’s Corner from 3:00 – 6:00 ----->
HPCF in Action
d) Build Bridges:
Most fundamentally we need to know why we believe in the
divinity of Christ and the Cross/Resurrection and be able to
back it up Biblically. To do that we need to:
1) Establish common ground first; by asking questions and
listening to the answers.
2) Pray with Muslims (that God will reveal the truth) & constantly
be in prayer ourselves.
3) Read the Bible together (Genesis, Proverbs, Luke); if need be
read the Qur'an in return, but don’t give it authority.
4) Verbal testimony of our conversion, or of answered prayer, or
of 'power encounter' with God.
5) Support converts; spiritually, physically, materially and
emotionally.(1 Thes 2:8).
e) Help
Give aid to the Muslims with legal assistance
Convey information
Tutor in English
Help with correspondence courses
Assist in finding jobs
Relief for the poor (showing the love of Christ in practical
ways). Certain Muslim groups tend to have high
unemployment rates, particularly among the first and
second generation immigrants. The 1991 census shows
that for Pakistanis the rate was 28.8%, for Bangladeshis it
was 31.7%, compared with 8.8% for whites.
f) 'Be all things to all men'
Although the Gospel never changes, our context does. Muslims
are not a homogeneous group so our approach must not be
пЃµ Nominal: like the woman of Samaria, worshipping God 'not in
spirit or in truth' (Jn 4)
пЃµ Orthodox: Others are highly moral like the rich young ruler
(Luke 18:18-30)
пЃµ Fundamentalists: While some are hypocrites like the
pharisees (Mark 7:1-23)
пЃµ Seekers: There are genuine searchers like Cornelius (Acts 10)
пЃµ Talibes: The majority are lost like the people in the crowd (Mark
Jesus responded to each differently and so should we.
Never �Either/Or’ but �Both/And’.
This may be challenging; often it is we who are the barrier to
Muslims hearing the Gospel. We may need to change first.
3) Dialogue and Proclamation
(again, not �either/or’ but �both/and’)
It is not good enough to simply depend on �lifestyle evangelism’, as many of
them do it better then us. We need to tell people the good news (like Jesus
and Paul). �And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?’
(Romans 10:14).
Through the contacts made at school and in the community (literature
distribution, Leicester Square, Speakers corner etc...), get into mosques,
Qur'anic schools, and Islamic centres, or Muslim student meetings to set up
dialogues and discussions.
The Islamic studies will give a good background, as well as credibility, and
hopefully, the trust needed for this type of ministry. From these contacts, try
to set up times of Bible Study in the Muslims home, or in a neutral area.
Since 50% of Muslims are now born within Britain, the trend towards the
indigenisation of Islam in Britain will grow, which means that potentially Islam
can and will be penetrated by traditional British cultural values (i.e. JudeoChristian values, as well as modernizing Western Humanistic values) to
which Islam has no response, but WE DO!
4) Bring Muslim contacts or converts into
existing churches.
From these contacts, try to set up times of Bible Study in the
home, or in a neutral area.
Ultimately, with those who are regularly in Bible studies, it is
hopeful that one could set up a worship service, in the home, or
in our church. This meeting can be the foundation for a �hub
group’ made up of Muslim converts, and other stronger and
more mature Christians, who can give it body, while helping the
new converts to be discipled.
Experience from some of the Arab-convert churches in London
has show us that it is advisable to bring new converts to Christ
to an existing church; one which already has international
people who worship there.
By doing this the Muslim can be integrated into an existing
body of believers, with the maturity & understanding to cope
with the unique problems which Muslim converts face.
5) Get on the Internet:
пЃµ 200
Muslim web-sites versus only 16
Christian web-sites.
пЃµ Newsgroup: MCD on the Debate site; &
soc.religion.islam or alt.religion.islam
6) Future Missionary Service:
See LIAM CHAPMAN…he has OODLES of ideas!
Summer cross-cultural programs.
Medical Internship overseas (medical electives: i.e. CMF).
Short-Term volunteer assignments (OMTP, AWM, CARE)
Long-Term Career assignments (O.M., AWM, FRONTIERS,
WEC, INTERSERVE, YWAM, and many others).
An open door:
Pendulum is swinging with increasing evidence that Islam's time may
have come.
Effective approach to Muslims has already been done by Christian
Apologetical material already exists in abundance, and is being made
Historical Criticism on both the authority of Muhammad and the Qur'an is
Disillusionment: Educated Muslims are losing their faith due to reading this
Muslims worldwide being converted to Christ through supernatural dreams
and visions.
Access to Muslims is better than ever before: satellite, Internet, literature,
and (most importantly) through ethnic minorities living and studying in the
Muslims have come to us; they are living in our country and speak our
It is clear that the harvest fields are ready but the labourers are few (Matt.
9:37-38). There is an urgent need to raise up and train Christians to take on
the challenge.
8) Leave the Results to the LORD!!
Remember, this is ultimately his work…we are only �a
pen in the hands of a ready-writer’
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