LONDON, June 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite Britain being an officially Christian country with a majority Christian population and a Christian heritage reaching back to the 7th century AD, the UK’s equalities chief has said that Christians need to “integrate” better into Britain’s “modern liberal democracy.” Compared to Muslims, he said, Christians are “more militant” and have a harder time blending in.
“There are a lot of Christian activist voices who appear bent on stressing the kind of persecution that I don’t think really exists in this country,” said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The current movement towards doctrinal and moral orthodoxy in the Anglican and Catholic churches is a revival of “an old time religion incompatible with modern society” that is clashing with “mainstream” views, especially on homosexuality, he continued.
Phillips told the Sunday Telegraph in an interview this weekend that while most actual cases of religious discrimination are against Muslims, Christians often complain of discrimination for cynical political reasons. The interview comes as the Equalities Commission is expected to issue a report on religious discrimination.
“The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian.
“I think for a lot of Christian activists, they want to have a fight and they choose sexual orientation as the ground to fight it on. I think the argument isn’t about the rights of Christians. It’s about politics.”
At the same time, Phillips said that “people of faith” are “a bit under siege” from atheists whom he accused of attempting to “drive religion underground” and conceded that there is “more anti-religion noise” in Britain recently.
He admitted that the EHRC had not stood up in the past for people complaining of religious discrimination, and said that “faith groups” should be free from government interference in their own affairs.
Churches, he said, should be allowed to block women and homosexuals from being priests and bishops. In the same interview, however, he said churches and religious institutions had to comply with equality legislation when they delivered services to the public as a whole.
He blamed the Christian churches that adhere to traditional moral laws for influencing recent African and Caribbean immigrants to be more “intolerant” of homosexuality.
Unlike intolerant evangelical Christians, Britain’s Muslims, he said, are “doing their damnedest to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they’re doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy.”
The ECHR was established by the Tony Blair Labour government in 2006 to administrate the Equality Act. The Act, including the notorious Sexual Orientation Regulations, has already resulted in the closure or secularization of all of the country’s Catholic adoption agencies. Recently the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey directly accused equalities legislation for “marginalizing” Christians.
“It is clear that we must stand up against the marginalizing of faith. We must constantly remind society of its Christian roots and heritage. As I wrote recently, if we behave like doormats, don’t be surprised if we are treated as though we are,” said Lord Carey, speaking last year at an event organized by the Christian Broadcasting Council.
A 2009 poll found that thousands of Christians in Britain fear losing job promotions and are suffering harassment at work because of their beliefs. One in five said they had faced “opposition” at work and over half said they had suffered from some kind of “persecution” at work.
Meanwhile British media reports that violent crimes by Muslims, particularly against homosexuals, are increasing, while police do nothing. A case in point is the London borough of Tower Hamlets where, as Andrew Gilligan reports in the Telegraph on June 12, local police have “covered up” a violent campaign by Islamic militants to “Islamicise” the neighborhood.
Locals say that as hate crimes by Muslims, particularly against homosexuals, have increased, police have refused to investigate or lay charges and have suppressed information to the public for fear of being labeled “Islamophobic” or racist.
Violent crimes against homosexuals in Tower Hamlets have risen by 80 percent since 2007/8, the Telegraph reports, and by 21 percent over the last year. The local Conservative party leader, Peter Golds, said that when complaints of harassment by Muslims are taken to police, they are routinely ignored.
“I have complained, twice, to the police, and have heard nothing. A Labour colleague waited three hours at the police station before being told that nothing would be done. The police are afraid of being accused of Islamophobia.
“Another Labour councilor said that the Met [London police] is now the reverse of what it must have been like in the 1970s, with a complete lack of interest when white people make complaints of harassment and hatred.”
When posters appeared all over Tower Hamlets quoting the Koran and declaring the borough a “gay-free zone,” anti-Christian homosexualist campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Telegraph, “The police said no-one was allowed to talk publicly about this because they didn’t want to upset the Muslim community.”
Homosexuals, he said, are paralyzed by their own fear on the one hand of being labeled “Islamophobic” and being harassed and physically assaulted on the other, he said.
The local homosexualist group, Rainbow Hamlets LGBT Community Forum, issued a statement condemning the anti-gay posters, but added, “We also condemn those who use these incidents to create a moral panic and stoke up racist or Islamophobic sentiment. At present the people responsible cannot be accurately determined, but it is clear that whoever is responsible, they do not represent any of the local communities.”
Andrew Gilligan commented, “It seems rather unlikely that posters quoting the Koran were put up by evangelical Christians, yuppies, brogue-wearing trendies or members of the white working class, the other main parts of the Tower Hamlets community.”