Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Archbishop John Sentamu has accused the BBC of bias against Christianity and says it fears a terrorist backlash if it is critical of Islam

Jonathan Petre:

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.

"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 traditional 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.

"We have become a society where we all gather around the microwave or the television. Even while you are eating, the television is blaring. Come on!

"Parents should spend more time talking to children because that is where behaviour is learned, in the home."

Dr Sentamu rejected the idea of the Church severing its remaining ties with the state. "People of other faiths say to me that the Church establishment is critical because it is a bulwark against a secularising agenda," he said.

"The Church of England reminds the nation that in this country the Queen is Defender of the Faith, head of the Commonwealth and head of state." The Queen, he added, was the "real uniting force" and no politician "could ever rise to her level".

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.

UK - BBC frightened of criticising Islam


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