State interference in religion?

While a debate rages about the degree of separation of church and state in Scotland and Wales, the government is backing new initiatives for the Muslim faith in the UK, is this a case of state interference in a religion?

  • jaffa

    “is this a case of state interference in a religion?”

    No – it’s providing for Islam the same academic support as currently exists for Christianity. The announcement was made at Cambridge so here something from the Faculty of Divinity’s pages;

    “The training of clergy has been a part of the University’s work for centuries. Today it is carried on by the Cambridge Theological Federation, an independent body comprising Anglican, Methodist, United Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox colleges and institutions. The Federation has close links with the Faculty and, as in the past, many of its students follow University courses. In this way sound scholarship and research are being channelled into the life of the churches. Most of the students in the Faculty will not be ordained, and many of them go into influential positions in careers such as the media, publishing and teaching. Our aim is that they will take with them a critical but positisve vision of the part which religion has played and continues to play in human society.”

    The intention appears to be to build the same kind of relationships in support of Islamic ministry. I don’t think they’re suggesting that Imams are issued a license by the local soviet.

    “sound scholarship and research” Good thing.

  • curious

    “is this a case of state interference in a religion?”

    Certainly not in the state of Northern Ireland. The Church of ireland was disestablished from the established state Church of England in 1869.

  • curious

    ‘Disestablishment is the process of divesting a church of its status as an organ of the state. In England there was a campaign by Liberals, dissenters and nonconformists to disestablish the Church of England in the late 19th century; it failed in England, but demands for the measure persist to this day. The Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1869 and the Church of England was disestablished in Wales in 1920, the Church in Wales becoming separated from the Church of England in the process – it had formerly effectively been the Church of England and Wales. Those who wish to continue with an established church take a position of antidisestablishmentarianism.’

  • I wonder…

    Greater understanding of the Muslim faith can only be welcomed. The prejudice of a few against the entirety of that relgion is a running sore in liberal Britain and Ireland today. It isn’t only extreme Islam that hates – there are plenty of “Christians” who display hatred and intolerance here on Slugger and elsewhere.

  • GreenProd

    I think this may be a move to keep foreign militant Imams out of Britain.

  • BeardyBoy

    The same thinking that was behind maynooth?

  • Hickenlooper


    Certainly the same kind of thinking. To the best of my knowledge, however, Catholicism has never sanctioned the killing of a Catholic who might decide to follow a different path to God (or cease believing in Him altogether.) Islam (and, let’s be clear, I’m talking about Islam, not some extremist version thereof)) does sanction such killing. Can it, then, be considered a “religion” in the same way as Judaism and Christianity? Can taxpayers’ money be legitimately given to support Islam’s complete lack of freedom of religion for its adherents?

  • BeardyBoy

    I agree that islam is a bloodthirsty cult and cannot be considered as the same as Christianity and Judaism – which unfortunately have been occasionally hijacked by the bloodthirsty to justify their actions.

  • Gum

    Fair Deal, surely the UK isnt a secular state? With the head of state also being the head of the established church, religion and state are linked?