Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A house divided against itself will not stand

Nowadays, there is a lot of political talk going around. People voicing their gifted opinions about certain candidates, and wanting to reform or change our government. While the US is going on and on about the same issues, and the news media is burning up with empty campaign promises, let's step back for a second and learn about something that's happening across the pond in the United Kingdom.

It hasn't gotten that much media attention which I find intriguing given that we just honored the lives lost on 9/11/2001 a couple of days ago.

A little background information:
It is reported that there are over 1.5 million Muslims in Britain; with others suggesting more than 2 million. There is great tension among Brits and what has been deemed 'islamophobia.' The largest Muslim communities are in Greater London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and central Scotland. Most belong to the Sunni tradition of Islam, which accounts for 90% of Muslims worldwide. Only a small proportion of British Muslims are Shi'as. Perhaps half came originally from Pakistan, with the Middle East and North Africa accounting for around a quarter. Several hundred thousand originated in Bangladesh, with India also contributing significant numbers.

Numerous articles have been written regarding the tension that has been mounting from within. (Please take the time and quickly review these articles). I include all of this information to provide the foundation and context behind what recently came out yesterday.

Revealed: UK's First Official Sharia Courts

Yes, it is true and it is real. Why is it important? There will now be two parallel legal systems operating in one country. Can you even imagine? The British courts will now have the authority to enforce sharia law. It is worth noting that sharia courts have been in existence (in Britain) since August 2007, but their rulings could not be enforced (given that these tribunal courts had no actual legal authority granted to it by the nation). Times are changing, and Britain has willingly subjugated it's own authority!

As Jesus told the pharisees, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand" (Matthew 12:25). I truly sympathize with the British people. Their country is quickly losing its identity and being swallowed up.

It's ironic that hundreds of years ago, America's forefathers left England to have religious freedoms. The Puritans and Pilgrims desired freedom of expression as well. Using their experiences of intolerance and prejudice from England, the founding fathers included the legal and political principle of separation of church and state found in the first ammendment of the U.S. Constitution created way back when in 1787 (later ratified in 1789).

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

What will all of this come to mean to the British people? How will they be affected? Only time will tell...this will definitely be one for the history books.

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