Rowan Williams supports madrassas

It turns out that that great Christian, Rowan Williams, the Archibishop of Canterbury, has been a strong supporter of madrassas, the Wahabbi schools that teach virulent hatred of the West. Not only that, but the madrassas in Britain are funded by the state, a policy that Williams also supports. His reasoning is that any failure to continue public backing of these schools would result in Muslims becoming “more isolated and ghettoised.” Get the logic? But now the so-well-meaning Williams has received a slap in the face from Muslim scholars who, in protest against the Anglican and Episcopal churches’ homosexualism, have refused to attend an interfaith conference set up by Williams to discuss Christian-Muslim relations in the wake of the September 11th attack.

There is a certain satisfying justice in this setback. In the name of total tolerance, Williams wants to subsidize the mortal enemies of his own civilization and religion; yet his church’s tolerance extends so far (embracing officially recognized and ordained homosexuality), that he alienates the very Muslims he is so eagerly seeking to include. In other words, since liberalism, in the name of universal inclusion, denies the particularism of every existing particularity, people who are attached to any particularity (e.g., genuine Christians and Muslims) must perforce exclude liberals, until the liberals end up talking only to themselves.

Williams reminds me of the liberal journalist in The Camp of the Saints who rushes to the south of France to greet the incoming invasion of a million Indian refugees, who then proceed to trample him to death.

Here is the story, from the Hindustan Times:

Archbishop’s peace plan snubbed by Muslims
London, September 13

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been making earnest efforts to defuse the growing international tensions between Christians and Muslims following the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001. He has been the first to fully extend his support to madrassas that some others regard as teaching obscurantism and making the young unfit for the British society. But, Dr Williams experienced a setback when Islamic scholars boycotted top-level talks between the two faiths.

This has surprised many. Only a fortnight ago, Dr Williams was forthright in supporting “madrassas” saying they were “nothing to apologise for”. This was in utter defiance of the thinking here that madrassas could turn out to be like those in Pakistan, that have churned out the Talibans. In fact, he rued that such schools run by various faiths have faced problems after the September 11 terror attacks. A couple of schools set up by Muslim groups were accorded state funds and given recognition before the 9/11. But since then there has been a sort of lull.

The Archbishop said Muslims and members of other faiths should be able to continue setting up schools that are eligible for state funding and support, otherwise members of other religions would get “more isolated and ghettoised”. Speaking at the Association of Anglican Secondary School Heads annual conference in Exeter, he pointed out that after 9/11 “it was suddenly a good deal easier to associate religious conviction with terror and bigotry” He was apparently referring to the current general feeling that Islamic fundamentalism is behind terror attacks.

But then Dr Williams has now experienced a setback and possibly been made to realise that it is impossible to separate education or social values from the tenets of a faith. Muslim academics abruptly withdrew from a two-day meeting set up by Dr Willimas up with Anglican delegates in New York in protest at the appointment of the worldwide Church’s first actively homosexual bishop. The talks were supposed to coincide with the second anniversary of the attacks and were to include a visit to Ground Zero.

Some of Dr William’s delegates got stranded in America. The Muslims blamed the American Episcopal Church’s decision to confirm Bishop-elect Gene Robinson as Bishop of Hampshire.

Bishop Nazir Ali, who is an expert on Islam, said that the issue of homosexuality could seriously undermine relations between the two faiths. He said that the Muslims were prepared to talk to Christians because both religions were founded on revelations from God.

“The Muslims can’t understand why Christians are ignoring the revelations given to us. This is very serious in the present international situation.”

The same international situation could negate the support of Dr Williams to madrassas. The general feeling, including in some quarters in the Government, is that the alienation felt by Muslims in particular is because of the early education based on basic madrassa curriculum.

In fact after the race riots in north England cities, analysts said that the youth were alienated because a lot of them were being sent to Pakistan when very young to study in madrassas. It is also believed that most Talibans were madrassa products.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 14, 2003 08:51 AM | Send

Don’t the Muslims realize that the conference would have consisted of nothing but “Christians” apologizing for their intolerance and racism? Perhaps even they would have found the performance too sickening to watch. Note the narcissism of the idea that tensions have been rising “since the September 11th attack.” Obviously relations were pretty tense on at least one side leading up to and including the September 11th attack.

On another note, I have generally supported school voucher proposals in the U.S., but they lead directly to state funding of madrassas here, too.

Posted by: Agricola on September 14, 2003 9:11 AM

I’ve opposed Bush’s voucher proposal from the start. It is “big-government conservatism,” the inevitable result of which is not just big government, but big government leftism. The public sphere is so corrupt at present that the only solution is the separation of schools and state.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on September 14, 2003 9:16 AM

“The separation of schools and state.”

Hear, hear.

The grand problem with the “separation of church and state” is that it makes no room for ideology. Ideology can take the form of religion, yet since it will have none of the accoutrements it cannot be recognized as such. Therefore a regulation separating church and state could only have the unfair effect of suppressing one kind of thought while governmentally endorsing another. Wisely the founders did not include the phrase in our constitution.

On the other hand, I would love to see a constitutional amendment instituting the “separation of schools and state.” That takes the game completely out of government’s hands. And really, why should the government have any sort of active role in the raising of children? Parents make decisions in that arena far better than the government. They are the ones with a personal stake in the matter.

I would go so far as to say that if all of the public schools in America burned down tomorrow, and if the government did nothing to fix the problem, within six months children would be getting a far better education than they are now. Parents would be forced to take matters into their own hands. Getting rid of the current system would be no loss. It is that bad and that rotten.

Posted by: Thrasymachus on September 14, 2003 11:36 AM

Amen to Thrasy’s remark above. I’ve always been opposed to the Bush voucher program. It’s really a Trojan Horse for leftists to take control of Parochial and private schools. Combined with their already entreched rule of the public schools, the left will be able to realize its longstanding goal of excercising total control over the minds of the younger generation. Home schooling can be outlawed in due course through legislative and judicial action. What’s depressing are the large number of Evangelical Christians who are fallimg for Bush’s scam. With the favor he has shown the Gay agenda, for example, do these folks really think that their little Christian schools will somehow be exempted from the anti-discrimination juggernaut? I’m beiginng to think George Bush has out-slicked “Slick Willie” himself - at least when it comes to Evangelical Christians.

Posted by: Carl on September 14, 2003 12:07 PM

The above considerations also apply to so-called “faith-based initiatives.” The U.S. is crawling with left-wing churches who would only be too happy to use public money to push their destructive programs.

Posted by: Bill on September 14, 2003 5:34 PM

“Home schooling can be outlawed in due course through legislative and judicial action.” Congress tried to pass a bill which would require registration of “residential teachers” some years ago. Fr. Joseph Fessio reports:

“There was evidence of that a couple of years ago here in Wash ington, D.C. when they tried to pass HR 6 or 7, that education bill, 700 pages long. There was one paragraph which said that the federal government would have to certify residential teachers, which means home schooling parents. And who’s going to certify the federal government to do that? It looked pretty innocuous. Suddenly within a week Congress had more faxes and phone calls than they’d ever had in this city all at once. They were shocked. They didn’t know what was happening. It wasn’t just because there are that many home schoolers in this country, but they’ve got friends. They’re networked. They keep in touch with each other. They speak with a single voice. Fortunately, I don’t think that people in Washington D.C. or the New York Times fully understand the future political power of the home schooling movement. I’m glad they don’t, because as soon as they get the idea, you can be sure that there’ll be more and more laws and they’ll try to suppress it, as in some cases they are already trying to do.”

Posted by: Paul Cella on September 16, 2003 10:31 AM

as a homeschooling family and networked into the traditional catholic circles in my city, i would not count on that many families to know the consequences of vouchers and other insidious ploys the left to wreck havoc on the family.

the bulk email letters i receive are constantly giving out information on socialist programs homeschoolers can take advantage of. homeschoolers may have some capacity to see, but they are as a whole being culturally sucked into the web of those who wish to destroy them.

and what political power is paul cella speaking of? other than marshal fritz, who in the homeschooling movement can see clearly.

Posted by: abby on September 16, 2003 12:13 PM


I’m just quoting Fr. Fessio. My own knowledge here is rather limited. In fact, as I have a young child nearing school age, I would welcome any information on the topic.

Posted by: Paul Cella on September 16, 2003 12:16 PM
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