The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has accused the BBC of bias against Christianity and says the broadcaster fears a terrorist backlash if it is critical of Islam.I agree with him that the BBC is not evenhanded in its coverage of Christianity and Islam. I do not follow him on his analogy between between wearing a cross in a mosque and wearing a veil in British society. Actually, his view on veils is an embarassment to the Church of England.
The archbishop, the second most senior figure in the Church of England's hierarchy, said Christians took "more knocks" than other faiths at the hands of the BBC.
Dr Sentamu claims Christians take ‘more knocks' at the BBC
"They can do to us what they dare not do to the Muslims," he said. "We are fair game because they can get away with it. We don't go down there and say, 'We are going to bomb your place.' That is not in our nature."
The Ugandan-born archbishop nevertheless said Christians must be more forceful in promoting their beliefs.
Blaming the "chattering classes" for undermining trad-itional Christian culture, he said: "They see themselves as holding the flag for Britain and that Britain is definitely secular and atheist. I want them to have their say but not to lord it over the rest of us."
In an interview with the Daily Mail, he called for a return to family values and an end to the tyranny of materialism, especially at Christmas.
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Dr Sentamu also questioned whether Muslim women were required to wear the veil by the Koran, and argued that those who did should not expect British society to be reordered to accommodate them.
He said Muslim scholars would say three things about the veil. "First, does it conform to norms of decency? Secondly, does it render you more secure? And thirdly, what kind of Islam are you projecting by wearing it?
"I think in the British context it renders you less secure because you stick out and it brings unwelcome attention.
"On the first question (of whether the veil conforms to norms of decency) I don't think it does conform."
The archbishop said he never wore a cross when visiting a synagogue or mosque, explaining: "Because I am going into someone else's home. And I can't simply say, 'Take me as I am, whether you like it or not.'
"I think the thing is in British society you can wear what you want, but you can't expect British society to be reconfigured around you. No minority can expect to impose this on the public or civic life."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006