Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jack Straw speaks up for Christmas

Jack Straw in The Times Online rubbishes the idea that talking about Christmas, or celebrating it, offends those of other faiths. Well said, Jack Straw.
One minor quibble. He sets out "ten points for navigation in our society of many religions and none. " Number 7 is about extremists.

There have always been extremists in every religious tradition. We had the Crusades, effectively unprovoked, sustained and brutal assaults, on Islam, and centuries of anti-Semitism. (We also had centuries too of bloodshed between different Christian denominations.) Extremist Hindus (such as those who destroyed the Babri Mosque in Ayodyha in 1992) wish to turn India into a dominant Hindu society. And there are extremists who claim to be followers of Islam, to justify their intolerance and worse.
I realise Ministers of State have to say such things, and castigate self first and foremost. But why does talk of the Crusades never go before 1096? Why does it never go back to the previous invasions of that area, when a predominantly Christian society was put to the sword? What was the provocation for the Islamic invasions of the 7th Century onwards?
(via Ninme)

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