Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A fascinating insight into a "moderate" Moslem nation

Channel 4 continues to surprise me by being one of the few mainstream TV media channels to challenge the prevailing liberal opinion of Islam. Their latest offering was this week's "Unreported World" which went into the supposedly secular Moslem majority nation of Egypt and exposed the reality of "moderate" Islam.

Reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon are some of the first journalists to film inside the ghetto where tens of thousands live with garbage stacked to the roofs of their multi-storey homes - eking out a living recycling the rubbish by hand. It's a sight rarely seen by outsiders, and almost definitely not by the million British Tourists who visit Egypt every year.

This group is unique for another reason. They're part of Muslim Egypt's Christian minority; a community claiming to be besieged by persecution, extremism and a creeping Islamisation in Egypt's security services.

In the film, they were taken to an underground church hewn out of solid rock as getting planning permission to build a church is nigh on impossible. They talked to people who, although affluent in their own right, choose to live amongst the squalor which the Christian community is forced to live in simply to be with people of their own religion and to avoid the ongoing daily persecution that Christians face in Cairo.

They talk to publishers of Christian newspapers who are forced to run their journal covertly for fear of being imprisoned for up to 75 years!

They talk to a Christian couple whose 17 year old daughter was kidnapped and forced into an Islamic marriage. When the father tried to trace his daughter - HE was imprisoned!

They travel to a village which lives under siege from Islam , but because the reporting team are forced to travel with an official "minder" they are unable to discuss this openly.

They talk to converts to Christianity who are persecuted daily. They are forced to retain their Islamic names, denied access to ID cards, passports and the things we take for granted. They are told to convert back to Islam or watch their young daughters be raped.

And all this in a so called "moderate" Islamic nation. A nation which a million British tourists travel to each year.

It is time to stop this nonsense about Islam being moderate - it isn't. Moreover, it is impossible for Islam to be moderate in any way we understand it. Nor will it ever try to become moderate as long as we turn a blind eye to it's excesses and evils.

We should stop taking Moslems at their word and letting them have privileges in our nation which Christian's do not enjoy in their countries. The message should be simple - prove it or lose it.

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