A commenter here thinks I have written a deplorable post (even after removing a few words from the original wording that I had not realised invoked a spectre I would not ever wish to invoke).
To aid you in judging whether it is deplorable and how deplorable it might be in your eyes, it may be worth reading the following articles from the Guardian newspaper re the matter sparking this post. For clarification, let me reiterate, this is the Guardian newspaper, not the Daily Mail, Sun, Telegraph even the Times).
In no particular order:
Finally, this article.
START of ORIGINAL THEN LATER SLIGHTLY EDITED POST
Here in NZ we might be slightly pleased with ourselves that we have a settled state of affairs about women in public life, including life as bishops, compared with our counterparts in England.
But from England we can still learn a lesson or two. One lesson is to not be naive about Islam and a particular lesson is in this Guardian report.
That the vast majority of Muslim immigrants are peaceful, law abiding prospective citizens intent on a better life in a (perceived) better land should not lull any receiving country into thinking that no potential then exists for a Trojan horse of separatist, fundamentalist, women-deprecating Islamism to enter the body politic of the immigrant community and seek to influence the wider Muslim community with a version of Islam which seeks to transform the receiving country back to seventh century Arabia.
The Birmingham story is a sharp reminder of the possibility of growth in that influence to the point where the city council of a major city feels constrained to ignore the growth of that influence to the point where there is a 'head in the sand' approach to the development of an approach to education which is at variance with the overall and general shared values of a multi-cultural society such as Britain.
There are already a few signs appearing in our media of 'radical' preachers in our mosques beginning this Trojan work.
The fundamental naivety a Western country such as ours is likely to have is that Islam's core DNA about community and family life is integrateable into other non-Islamic communities. Within that DNA is a streak which is both separatist relative to surrounding communities and totalitarian in ambition, aiming to ultimately control the whole community, but as a closed rather than open society.
The misreading of the West is always that Islam is just like Christianity which has shown (mostly) in its DNA a capacity to go with the flow of surrounding culture, make adroit accommodations and generally work towards an open society.
Islam is not a non-identical twin of Christianity.
POSTSCRIPT: That some NZers are willing to join and work with Al-Quaeda is noted here.