Islamophobia comes to Driffield

A Wolds vicar has penned a controversial column warning local Christians about the rise of Islam. The Rev Tony Kidd, vicar of the Beacon Benefice which includes Burton Agnes with Harpham, Lowthorpe and Ruston Parva, has spoken out in the latest issue of The Parish Magazine which is circulated throughout the Driffield area.

Vicars from all the area’s churches contribute to the magazine and tend to use it as a way of keeping parishioners up-to-date with church news and upcoming events. However, Mr Kidd has used his column to record his feelings on Islam and to try and rally local Christians.

Mr Kidd said he is concerned that the UK has abandoned Christianity and the gap that has been left is being filled by Islam. He writes:

“We are sleep-walking into problems through our own carelessness. There can be no justification for blind tolerance of a faith which sees itself as divinely inspired, righteous and true, namely Islam, when too often its expression of that belief conflicts directly with the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the population.

“But equally we can not be surprised by the progress that Islam is making. Our lack of national standards, beliefs and convictions give rise to a host of social problems, unsafe streets and increasing inequality. As a result the clear-sighted objectives of militant Islam are thriving and no appeal to moderation is likely to succeed while our own decadence is so obvious.”

He adds: “Is it not time for us, as Christians, to put our own house in order by making clear what we believe and why?”

Mr Kidd says the UK is vulnerable because its people devoted to materialism, entertainment and celebrity and lack any clear moral code. He argues that the liberal approach has led to UK becoming the “abortion, drug and promiscuity capital of Europe” and adds that an ASBO is seen as a greater achievement among young people than an A level.

“Meanwhile in the vacuum of clear moral leadership from which we suffer and faced with a pro-Arab BBC and foreign office, Islam fills the gap left by Christianity and often features in the news for a variety of reasons,” he said. “Yet the majority of adults in this country have little idea about the force of the Islamic ideal and even less understanding of its potency.

“We may be able to talk about Big Brother, foreign holidays and football but few will understand why Islam and its beliefs are of real significance to that substantial part of our population which follows its teaching and why it therefore ought to matter to us.”

Mr Kidd explains how land once possessed by Islam remains holy to Islam for all time. He said this explains the problems in Israel and adds: “It also explains what those who want Sharia law to apply to parts of England occupied predominantly by followers of Islam may have in mind especially when we remember that Islam believes itself commissioned by its God to bring its own value system to the world through jihad (holy war or holy struggle).”

Driffield Times & Post, 14 March 2007