The huge vacuum created by the growing secularisation of the UK in particular and the West in general cannot of course remain as is. It must be filled with something, and that is exactly what is happening with the rise of Islam. For much of its history the UK was the home of Christianity, and was a major source of Christian missionaries who were sent around the world.
But like most of the West, the UK has for quite some time now been becoming less and less Christian and more and more secular. But faith and spirituality and religion are still very important to most people, so instead of folks embracing the vacuous worldview of atheism and secularism, many are turning to what has now become the second largest religion in the UK: Islam.
As of 2011, the total Muslim population there had reached some 2.7 million, or 4.8 per cent of the total population. And it continues to rise. This is largely due to three factors: immigration; demographics (with Muslims having larger families than non-Muslims); and some folks in the UK converting to Islam.
Other figures can be mentioned. Back in 1960 there was one mosque in London. Today there are around 400 in the greater London area. Even more astounding, many of these mosques are former churches. Indeed, the church where William Carey the “father of modern missions” was sent to be a missionary in India some 220 years ago is now a mosque.
The facts and figures are also buttressed by anecdotal evidence. Consider two recent developments which speak to not only the rise of Islam in the UK, but the slow death of Christianity. The first concerns a church in Scotland which is sharing its worship services with Muslims.
This is not the first time such things have happened in the UK, but it is a disturbing development nonetheless. This is how one news item covers the story: “A church in Scotland opened its doors and welcomed hundreds of Muslims for Friday prayers, reported the BBC. Worshippers from the neighboring Syed Shah Mustafa Jame Masjid mosque share St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aberdeen with Christians up to five times a day.
“The church’s rector opened his doors to Muslims because many were forced to pray outside on the streets due to lack of space in the mosque. ‘It was a very cold day, like today, and when I walked past the mosque I saw dozens of male worshippers praying outside, on the streets, right near the church,’ Reverend Isaac Poobalan, who grew up in India surrounded by Islam, told the BBC. ‘Their hands and feet were bare and you could see their breath in the freezing cold. Jesus taught his disciples to love your neighbor as yourself and this is something I cannot just preach to my congregation, I had to put it into practice’.”
Now it is of course one thing if any individual Christian wants to look after anyone else, whether feeding them, giving them shelter, and so on. And to an extent churches can do this as well. But to turn a Christian church into some interfaith vehicle in which all religions are basically treated as equals is quite another.
Would the same church allow Satanists to come into their premises and do their thing when the building is not being used? Will it allow atheists to hold their conferences there? Will it open wide its doors to orgiastic sexual religious cults to frolic in the pews on the church’s off days?
The sad thing is, one suspects that they probably would. Forget the distinctiveness of the Christian faith. Forget the exclusive truth claims of Jesus Christ. Let’s all just be one big happy family by playing down any differences we might have, and by playing up the “let’s just all get along” mantra.
Sorry, but I am just not buying this. In Isaiah Yahweh spoke to the prophet saying, “I will not share my glory with another” (Is. 42:8 and 48:11). And when Paul walked through the multi-faith city of Athens, he did not applaud the “religious diversity” on display there, or seek to engage in interfaith dialogue.
Instead we read this: “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16). He certainly did not think to have a big ecumenical party in the interests of merely getting along. Nor did he endorse the sharing of competing religious worldviews as a way of “loving your neighbour”.
The second alarming indication of the rise of Islam comes from Ireland where plans are underway to construct one of the biggest mosques in all of Europe. Here is how the story has been reported: “The Emir of Qatar, who has long cultivated an image as a pro-Western reformist, has vowed to ‘spare no effort’ to spread Wahhabi Islam throughout Europe. Wahhabism — which not only discourages Muslim integration in the West but actively encourages jihad against non-Muslims — threatens to radicalize Muslim immigrants in Ireland.
“City planners in the Irish capital, Dublin, have given the go-ahead for the construction of a sprawling mega-mosque complex that will cater to Ireland’s burgeoning Muslim population. The massive €40 million ($50 million) ‘Islamic Cultural Center’ will be built on a six-acre site in Clongriffin, a new and as yet unfinished suburb at the northern edge of Dublin.”
Fears about this project are not misplaced: “But critics worry that Clongriffin is in danger of becoming an exclusively Islamic suburb on the outskirts of Dublin where Muslims will establish a parallel society rather than integrate. An Islamist website called ‘Islamic Vanguards: Spearheading Ireland’s Transition’ recently warned that Gannon’s greed would be Ireland’s undoing: ‘If there’s one thing the west yearns, it is money. For it has worshiped this false god without fail for as long as they have departed from the worship of the true God. And it is this weakness, nay addiction that will see what they hold precious being wrenched from their spindly hands. Already as we speak vast swathes of the London metropolis are in Muslim hands, Dublin is set to follow as the wealth that Allah has blessed His servants with is used to reclaim the land for His glory.’
“In any event, the Clongriffin Mosque will not be the only mega-mosque in town: the new mosque on the northern edge of Dublin will compete with another mega-mosque, located in Clonskeagh on the southern edge of Dublin. The mosque complex at Clonskeagh, which also goes by the name ‘Islamic Cultural Center,’ has been in operation since 1996. Its sprawling four-acre campus was financed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai.”
So while Christian churches are disappearing and existing ones are declining in number, we see massive mosques being built in the same vicinities. This is not just a war over real estate, but a war of worldviews. Islam is of course an expansionist religion which aims to see every person fully submit to Allah. It brooks no rivals, and views Christianity as an apostate and false religion which cannot coexist with Islam.
At best, because Christians are “people of the book,” they can exist in the condition of dhimmitude, or second class citizens – if they are lucky. As we speak, where this policy is already in place, Christian churches and homes are being destroyed all around the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Egypt.
Europeans like Geert Wilders have sought to warn us of these matters, but most of the secular left elites in the West choose to ignore such warnings, while foolishly and gullibly teaming up with the Islamists. This is a recipe for disaster, and it is only a matter of time before we witness the complete disintegration of the Christian West – unless we wake up real quick and start doing something about it.