(Retired) Bishop, Church of England
I heard your Interview on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme the other day where you suggested that passages from the Qur’aan should be recited at the next coronation.
Sir, I have always admired your positive contributions to the British society and your efforts in trying to bring hearts closer particularly in these (dire) times when we need good (positive) initiatives to mend the fabric of British society.
Your thoughts on promoting the recital of the Holy Qur’aan at the next coronation are to be commended.
However, with the greatest respect I disagree. From an (Islamic) theological perspective the Qur’aan is not recited (for mere blessings) at coronation of anyone so according to Islamic Jurisprudence we may be on shaky grounds. Secondly, Britain is a multi-cultural multi-faith Nation therefore inclusion of Qur’aan (alongside bible) may send the wrong signals and provide ammunition to the bigots who are already hysterical about “Halal” and “Hijab” which have become very much part and parcel of the British landscape.
In my opinion, majority of British citizens are Christians therefore their (traditional and historic) values shouldn’t be diluted in the name of incorporating other religions and cultures. Personally, I don’t like the idea of Christmas being turned into “Winter fest” to be politically correct! I am a Muslim therefore don’t celebrate Christmas but if (fellow) citizens of this country want to celebrate Christmas, Passover, Deewali or even Arsenal’s winning of UEFA Champions League (slim chance of that happening :-) ) they should have the right to celebrate as they see fit without the need to shoehorn bits of other faith into their (historical) tradition.
Sir, my views are based on my udnerstanding of Islam which allows everyone to practise their religion according to their tradition and you would no doubt be aware of the Mughal & Ottoman contributions to religious freedom.
We need to give freedom to people to practise their tradition, neither restrict nor alter their history.
It’s that time of the year where everyone at work is bringing in cakes and chocolates and the only thing in danger is my waistline, not my Islam!