Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clouded Hills

I have no roots in England. My people separated from theirs 1600 years ago, and had no further intercourse save Viking rape and occasional trade. But in a larger sense, we're all the children of England. Her language is our own, even if we are new to these shores. More importantly, from her institutions grew our own, focused, more than anywhere else, on freedom. No matter where our own particular ancestors hailed from, we have duel roots, and for all that we are united now only by language and distant history, we should care what happens there.

The calm springtime breezes of Oxford now carry the muezzin, the five-times call to moslem prayer, broadcast via loudspeakers from the stately minaret of the Oxford Central Mosque. No different than church bells, you suppose? Could be, but this is a land of churches. Yes, mine is a specifically conservative argument. Any other, liberal argument would lead to the extinction of the old and the evolution of the new -- which in this case would be back to the old ... Islam, the religion of locusts, which consume everything in sight. Who knew? -- Mohammad is Abaddon.

Unreasonable? -- to allow bells but forbid amplified chanting? Do we fear the intrusion of the alien? It's not that. It's that they have come to a new place, and by forsaking the old, they must expect to forsake some of the old ways. The guest does not dictate, just as the host does not oppress. But when a way of life is threatened, we are not urged to turn the other cheek. Remember, the Bible does not forbid war. God, indeed, commands it. My point is not to urge for war, of course, but to remind those who need it that ownership brings privileges. Citizens make laws. Tourists follow them. As for religious freedom, the call to prayer is just that, a reminder. Are there no digital watch alarms, to beep at the appointed times? So to insist that this Eastern custom be imposed upon a Western land -- it is a kind of imperialism. Who'd a thunk it.

The bishop of Oxford, the Right Reverend John Pritchard, blithely instructs his flock to "enjoy community diversity." He is a close colleague, of course, of the Archbishop, who urged for the institution of Sharia law in England's green and pleasant land. After all, what is truth? And so we know what lord they follow -- like Pilate, they worship the spirit of the age.

The Right Reverends are not alone in their interfaith outreach ... or would it be extrafaith? Assistant Secretary-General of the esteemed and increasingly dominant Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, made his instructions to the bishops clear: The "call to prayer will be part of Britain and Europe in the future." As much to stop the tide. Thus, knight takes bishop. Checkmate.

How, how to respond, to treachery and cowardice? Minarets? Dark, satanic mills, rather. Blake got it right:

Bring me my bow of burning gold;
Bring me my arrows of desire;
Bring me my spear; O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Jerusalem. Oh, Jerusalem. Not Mecca.


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