As Salaam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
CAIRO — A senior Church of England leader called for banning any more mosques building before Britain becomes "Islamic," drawing condemnation from Muslims and fellow church leaders, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday, April 2.
"There are enough mosques for Muslims in this country," argued Alison Ruoff, a member of the General Synod, the Church’s governing body.
"You build a mosque and then what happens? You have Muslim people moving into that area, all the shops become Islamic, all the housing will become Islamic and that will be a no-go area for anyone else,"
"If we don't watch out we will become an Islamic state. It's that serious."
Ruoff, a conservative evangelical and a former magistrate, claimed more mosques would lead to Shari`ah becoming a reality in Britain.
"They will bring in Islamic law. We cannot allow that to happen. We are still a Christian country, we need to hold on to that."
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams drew fierce criticism, including from Ruoff, after suggesting aspects of Shari`ah on Muslim civil issues such as marriage, financial matters and inheritance should be introduced as an officially sanctioned legal alternative.
The same position was endorsed by the Observer in a later editorial, noting that Jewish civil divorce courts have operated effectively for decades in Britain.
There are reportedly more than 47,000 Christian churches and about 1,600 mosques in the United Kingdom.
The Church of England was quick to take a distance from Runoff's comments, reported the Telegraph.
"These are her personal comments, speaking as an individual,"
said a church spokesman.
Runoff's own Diocese of London also moved quickly to isolate her.
A spokesman for the Diocese said such remarks would hurt the relations with the Muslim community, estimated at nearly 2 million, in multicultural Britain.
"Mrs Ruoff's comments are her own and do not reflect the views of the Diocese of London, which enjoys excellent inter-faith relations across the capital."
The largest Muslim umbrella group, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), criticized the comments.
"These are unfortunately very bigoted and, frankly, xenophobic remarks,"
said Inayat Bunglawala, the assistant secretary-general.
He stressed it was upsetting that such remarks came from a prominent church leader while it is more typical of a member of the far-right British National Party, a whites-only political party.
"These kinds of comments you would expect to come from someone from the BNP not the Church,"
"As a Christian, she surely ought to be working to build good ties between different communities."