December 28, 2010

Bishop urges firm stand against racism

The Bishop of St Albans spoke of the need to "stand firm" against racism in society.

The Rt Rev Dr Alan Smith used his Christmas sermon in St Albans Cathedral to warn against "destructive powers which try to divide communities, races and religions". He acknowledged "hatred and unrest" could be found within Britain, using the example of the controversial marches undertaken by far-right group the English Defence League (EDL), which provoked clashes in town and cities during the year.

He said: "But hatred and unrest is not just found in far away places. In the past year we have seen racist marches on our streets in London and Bolton, in Dudley and Peterborough, in Aylesbury and Bradford, led by individuals who want to stir up unrest. Even as I speak, demonstrations are being planned in Luton in six weeks' time which could seriously undermine community relations. Some people are even trying to commandeer Christianity to support their cause."

He also spoke of the violence faced by Christians in Iraq resulting in killings on the grounds of their beliefs. He said: "Still today we live in a world where there are destructive powers which try to divide communities, races and religions. The Christian church in Iraq is one of the oldest in the world, yet 50% of Christians in that country have had to flee since 2003 in the face of extreme violence.

"Tragically, we receive almost daily reports of Christians being attacked or murdered there. This Christmas many church services have been cancelled because of threats. They have appealed for us to pray for their protection."

The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith called for greater compassion among people regardless of their religion.

Bearsden Herald


NewsHound said...


Jon said...

Just heard from dreadful news that will empower racist trolls everywhere, as the government have stupidly decided to debate online petitions.

Using fake names, duplicate logins, and viral far right Facebook and Twitter petitions, akl of the creeps who use the Daily mail and MySun websites will have a fuckin' field day.

Expect the EDL to force the government to ban the burka.

There are absolutely no safeguards.

Perhaps a petition should be launched to ban petitions.

This frightens me.

Anonymous said...

"Expect the EDL to force the government to ban the burka."

It's not just about the government, it's about us winning hearts and minds. If the government bans the burka, but as a result more people see that Muslims are being unfairly victimised and hence sympathise with Muslims and despise the EDL even more, then that is a win for us. What we have to do is have the counterpropaganda ready to convert a burka ban (or any other Islamophobic move) into a backfire against the EDL so massive it will destroy them completely.

This means knowing how to win arguments against racists. We have the better arguments, but far too many of us aren't USING these better arguments often enough. Just calling the EDL 'Nazis' is not an argument (nor even accurate). We need point-by-point refutations of the material they promote, and we need to show how THEY are the problem in society, and not the people they attack. We need to calculate how much the EDL riots have cost in taxes, and how the money could have been spent helping people in need if the EDL didn't exist.