When a Middle Eastern head of state or politician would announce publicly that his country is an “Islamic” country, in most cases all hell would break loose upon him and domestic and international politicians and Human Rights NGOs would start crying foul about the minority rights which can go on for months. But in 2014 the British Prime Minister is doing exactly that only labeling the United Kingdom which is supposedly a pillar of secular democracy as a “Christian Country” . Cameron to a great extent sounded or mimicked the ill fated ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi or his boss the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie in declaring that Egypt is an Islamic country regardless what that means to them. He sounded more like a leader of a Christian Brotherhood or a fraternity than an actual Prime Minister of secular Britain.
This statement couldn’t has come at a better time for the Islamists in the Middle East who are losing ground and credibility every day as nations have been exposing and countering their rhetoric in establishing a religious state. They can now find an excuse to continue spreading their divisive rhetoric in the Arab and Middle Eastern society by citing the statements Prime Minister of the oldest functioning Democracy in Europe and claiming that Arab Countries with majority of Muslims should be Islamic as well.
It’s really dazzling to understand the reason why Cameron chooses this timing especially, after he called for an investigation on the philosophy activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Kingdom and whether they are warranted banning them as a terrorist group. This statement is likely to make sure that the Muslim Brotherhood and other similar Islamist groups would plead the innocence that they are targeted by a Prime Minister who considers United Kingdom as a “Christian” Country.
Technically PM David Cameron is correct in terms of history and majority of the population about 59.3 % according to 2011 census who label themselves as Christians. However, by this statement the United Kingdom is not practicing what it preaches in terms of maintaining a secular society. The United Kingdom has no written constitution but lots of historical documents and binding political traditions governing the political spectrum for past 4 centuries. While the British Royal Family remains tied to the Church of England where weddings and coronations are held according to Christian traditions, the domestic and international policies has remained secular at core thus maintaining an openly religious and ethnic society compared to the more traditionally conservative European countries like Greece or Spain.
Its noteworthy, David Cameron very presence as the Prime Minister was not a result of direct vote in his favour , but it is attributed to political compromises and an alliance that has led him to lead the British nation after no party has won a majority vote and an alliance with the Liberal Democrats. This alliance paved the way for him to be at the age of 43, Britain’s youngest Prime Minister since Robert Jenkinson 2nd Earl of Liverpool who was appointed in 1812.
David Cameron Policies were not revolutionary or have shifted the tides of the British economy in the past 4 years. In facts the situation has been sliding to the worse in economic and social issues all over Britain. This may have accordingly led to this desperate plea for votes that attracts the more conservative religious Britons but certainly shakes the foundation of the secular politics of the United Kingdom.
Cameron’s failed economic policies has alienated many British people and unfortunately he is using the oldest trick in the Middle East dictators’ playbook , and that is using religion in politics when everything is going south thanks to his failed policies.
For the decades that followed the Second World War, Britain has prided itself of being a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and religions. Followers of Islam, Judaism , Buddhism , Hinduism and even atheists found themselves a place in a multicultural British society that has embraced everyone from East and West. Yet such statement by Cameron only proves that tired all methods of abusing religion in politics never really die.
As an immediate reaction a group of about 50 entertainers , journalists , Writers and politicians have signed on an Open letter addressed to the Prime Minister saying that Briatin is a non-religious society. The group which was led by Sir Terry Pratchett have indicated this verbatim ” We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives and a largely non-religious society. To constantly claim otherwise fosters alienation and division in our society.’ This response condemning Cameron’s controversial statements has symbolized the British citizens insistence of living in a secular society where all religions and beliefs are respected
Furthermore these statements also draws the question : Why some Europeans are willing to give up on the principals and liberties that their forefathers and great ancestors fought and died to establish? One of these are the secular policies as modern societies are no longer governed by religious based laws or policies since these are always open to interpretations and twisting by politicians and clergymen alike. For all its worth the religious states have proven to be a fallacy and a failure throughout history brining more misery to its nations than actual salivation.
A state is only responsible for protecting its nation’s border through a strong army , planning a sustainable economy, establishing diplomatic and trade treaties with other nations, formulating a good educational system, carrying out major projects of transportation and energy side by to the private sector. It’s not mentioned state’s job description mentions sending its citizens to heaven or even paving they way for them to enter it. States and governments are not Travel Agencies issuing tickets to heaven to its citizens. What happens in the afterlife or in the personal lives of its citizens is none of the state or government concern. Accordingly all these so called Islamic, Christian, Buddhist states is nothing short of scams to allow people to be controlled by tyrannical and intrusive regimes under pretexts of upholding religions which is exactly what Islamists have been trying to do in the Middle East for almost a century.
Maybe the above is not exactly what is in Cameron’s mind but certainly his statement indicates a move towards the above mentioned direction. Evidently Cameron has lost track of time and forgot to check his calendar which indicates he is not living in 14th century Britain but actually the 21st century one.
Cameron’s divisive and irresponsible statements are likely to help Islamists’ radicals in Britain and worldwide to bolster their failed cause and rally people towards their rhetoric. Islamists will argue that since even the most democratic countries still use religion in their policies then why Muslim do shouldn’t. These divisive and alienating statements are likely to have a backlash on him and on British image overall in the upcoming period.