Episode 21 The Big Questions


Episode 21

Nicky Campbell presents the last in the current series of The Big Questions. Nicky asks just one very Big Question: Should the British stop tolerating intolerance?


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Transcript


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Should the British stop tolerating intolerance?

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Good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell, welcome to The Big Questions.

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We're at Patcham High School in Brighton to debate one very

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Should the British stop tolerating intolerance?

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This week's Ofsted report on the alleged Trojan Horse takeover by

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Muslim fundamentalists of certain primary and secondary schools in

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Birmingham caused widespread alarm that children in secular state

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schools are being given a faith-based education

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which does not adhere to modern values and freedoms.

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More inquiries have yet to report, but it's clear the

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David Cameron said we are giving a dangerous message.

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Every British citizen has freedom of faith.

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We all have freedom of speech as well.

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And today of all days, the 799th anniversary of the signing

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of the Magna Carta, we should remember it gave everyone the

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freedom to go about their business subject to the laws of the land.

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So, being British requires us to tolerate the ideas and actions

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of others that we might personally find objectionable,

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To debate this clash between our own beliefs and the duty to tolerate

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other's freedoms to think and act very differently, we have assembled

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a spectrum of political thinkers and commentators, a diversity of faith

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leaders and a medley of believers and sceptics.

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You can join in too, via Twitter or online.

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Just log on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions

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and follow the links to where you can continue the discussion online.

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And there'll be lots of encouragement and contributions from

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Should the British stop tolerating intolerance?

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There is a massive political row about Michael Gove, government

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agendas, political interference, Ofsted, if we can talk about the

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general issue, it looks like there are issues, this has been going on a

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while, it was a private school, but in 2007 a London school had talks

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describing Christians as apes and pigs. One school in Luton had books

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which raised individuals who loved death more than life in pursuit of

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their religion. Then, this radical preacher, some controversial views,

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being invited to lecture in a state school. Do these things trouble

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you? Of course, we should be teaching our children universal

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values, what the true faith teaches, to do with respect, acceptance of

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others, to be conscientious citizens, to be good to God. We

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should be teaching models across the board. It makes you who you are. As

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a believer, we are hard-wired to believe in God. If somebody does not

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believe that, that is OK, I respect their view. I have two kids, I do

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not send them to state school at the moment, we have been home-schooling

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them, because our education system is failing our kids. By putting them

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all in one school, giving them one set of curriculum to be taught, it

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creates the ready meal style education programme. It does not

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nurture the innate goodness of children, my kids speak four

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languages fluently. How and why have these ideas crept into schooling? Is

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a government, they have failed miserably in providing a clear

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framework for ethical teaching. If you look at how the system is

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divided, between private schools, grammar schools and state schools.

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Why should the state school be left to rot? Why should they not have the

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same funding? Why should we not invest in good schools, good

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teachers and a good environment? Let's take it away from education.

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On the subject of these views, surely schools should reflect the

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areas in which they are operating in the communities in which they are

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serving? If you have a community which is 95% Muslim, surely that

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should be the focus of the school? That sounds like a Michael Gove

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idea. Put aside what his ideas are, I believe in religious neutral

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politics, despite a school in 98% Christian or Muslim, is if it is a

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state school in a secular country such as Britain, it must not be

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endorsing any form of religion. Though I agree with his critique of

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the education system, where I would disagree is that schools do not have

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any business teaching God consciousness, that is for the

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parents to do. It is not the school's job. What has been going

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on? People have been mixing, including Muslims, two issues,

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social conservativism, and it is no body's business how socially

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conservative somebody is, but when you impose that on an institution,

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the imposition of it is extremism, and that is what is being objected

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to. Nobody cares if somebody covers their hair, grows a beard, and if

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they do, they are wrong. What about this row about this extremist who

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said some disgusting things about stoning people and death for

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apostate? He was not saying that in the school. You are a liberal, he

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was not talking about those things in a school, he was doing a lecture

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on religion. You should support his right to do that. I support the

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legal right for him to speak, even if I disagree with those views, just

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as if he was saying racist or homophobic bigotry. That does not

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mean I tolerated in civil society, it means I challenge it, just as I

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would challenge racism or homophobia or anti-Semitism. I do not put that

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person in prison, school to have him there? Schools

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should be getting the people who speak to children much more closely.

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But I take issue with the idea that this reflects on a radicalisation,

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because of some overzealous governors wanting to impose social

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conservative moors on a school. The problem is that this government and

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the government before it have allowed schools to develop a much

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more independent ethos, allowing academies and free schools to give

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governors a much greater say in how schools are run, in the ethos of how

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the curriculum is defined. In doing so, it is same two communities, you

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can define your local ethos according to your views, but when it

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does not like the way in which communities form their

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curriculum... It is the principles of Michael Gove. This government is

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playing doublespeak, it cannot talk about the issue of cultural

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isolation and support faith schools. Faith schools develop all sorts of

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forms of cultural isolation. To suggest that as a form of extremism

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suggests the government is supporting extremism in faith

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schools. Bizarrely, education... That is what is needed.

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By whom is it needed? As it happens, there are a lot of conservative

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Christians in this country who object to the way... P to make his

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point. They object to the way in which Christianity has been stripped

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out of the school system, despite the fact it is supposed to be in the

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system following the education act. It is a legal requirement.

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Secularists quietly and unlawfully have removed Christianity from our

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schools. We are a spiritual desert as a country, any kind of

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Conservative religious opinion is constantly sneered at by people such

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as this gentleman is being extremist or otherwise unacceptable. Extremist

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means nothing, it means an unfashionable opinion. Let me come

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back to Kevin. It does not surprise me

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back to Kevin. It does not surprise being marginalised or not given the

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status that they want to have, because they should not have that

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status. Forgetting about the Muslim issue, in Britain there are schools

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who will open and teach their children about creationism, that

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evolution is a light and conspiracy. That is nonsense. I am funding that

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is a taxpayer. That get back to the issue of the alleged extremism that

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has been going on. Not the Trojan horse context, we do not want to

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conflate two issues. 95% of children in a particular area of the Muslim

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faith, you were complaining in your article that in one primary school

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music was banned, but raffles and Tom Bonas were banned, do you want

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to encourage Muslim children to gamble? What is your problem? Should

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reflect the nature of the school? Gambling seems wrong. We are in the

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middle of a debate, the nation is going through some very substantial

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change. What we have been going through some very substantial

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reflect this. Until recently, going through some very substantial

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said two people -- going through some very substantial

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people, what are British values, you would have got a fairly clear reply

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along the lines of, a Protestant Christian country, we have

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institutions of the state and the monarchy and so one. As one of the

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results of the monarchy and so one. As one of the

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there has been a substantial change, good things have come from that, and

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some negatives. One thing is this confusion about what we are. We want

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to be open and tolerant, we want people to be able to practice their

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faith, and live their lives. What we are finding it hard to do is to work

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out where our lines are drawn, because they are not clear. It may

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prove impossible, it maybe we something like France did and try to

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draw clear lines. There is a problem with some schools, state secular

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schools... The problems exposed in the report are pretty serious, and

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there is more to come. What is so serious in the report? These

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children are at risk of cultural isolation, there have been findings

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of children being taught to chant anti-Christian chants. It is

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unpleasant sectarian stuff. None of the pupils were spoken to during the

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investigation. The teachers were not spoken to either. We have a timidity

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who live in an isolated way -- we have a community. I have no problem

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with that if that is what they want to do. We do not create a fuss over

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their community living in that way. Why cause a fuss over a report that

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was made out of a hoax letter... You acknowledge there are issues. You

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are talking about faith schools, we are talking about state schools.

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That is the first thing. The second thing is, what should be taught in

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schools? You should be teaching about religions. That does not mean,

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you have to believe, but if we do not know what other people believe,

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worry! You cannot force people to believe things. You cannot shoehorn

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people in a particularly shaped Britishness. Know. And very

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quickly, the dimension one of the interesting things that has come out

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from this Trojan horse thing, a lot of Muslim groups have been furious

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about these revelations and are denying them. This has happened in

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the Catholic Church over the paedophilia scandal. People do not

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want dirty laundry aired in public. Publicly wrong. That is why there is

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this denial. This report found some disturbing things. This is the same

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report from the man who did a U-turn on what God did or did not tell him?

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Do you think this has been made up? Actually, there are serious

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governance issues and there have been internal administrative issues.

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Whether it is issues of extremism, which is what you are battling and

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the publication you work for is peddling by publishing one of the

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worst covers that I have ever seen in this country, suggesting that

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young children are vehicles for extremism and terrorism. You should

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be ashamed to be behind that. This is a very good example of the

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problem. Miriam, you are a very prominent spokesperson, a prominent

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convert to Islam. I do not call myself a convert. What ever you want

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to go yourself, you have a voice. Here are the problems that have been

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exposed in schools that seemed to be teaching seriously unpleasant things

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and being taught by extremist Muslims. Why in this debate do you

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deny this is going on? And secondly, the problem is the Spectator cover

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cartoon? Miriam, respond to that? You are suggesting that you are

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supporting the Michael Gove agenda, which says that there are issues in

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the schools. And everyone, including the school campaign in Birmingham

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and others have acknowledged that certain people should stand down as

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a consequence of some of these revelations. The issue, however, is

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trying to rebrand this as an issue of extremism in order to expand this

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idea of extremism being non-violent ideas. Nick Griffin, if he had been

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asked to come along and speak in this school... You would be...

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Neither of the equivalence of these two were asked. His views are worse.

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Anyone who supports Al-Qaeda in public or the ideology of Al-Qaeda,

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anyone who supports... Who says that? He should not be invited to

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address schools. Are you defending him? One at a time. You are saying

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he is not as bad as Nick Griffin? You cannot compare the people

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speaking in these schools. Let me finish my point. Please let me

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finish my point. Allow me to speak. Anyone who believes installing

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people to death, Nick Griffin has reprehensible views but he does not

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believe that an adulterer should be stoned to death. Anybody who does

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should not be invited to a school. And nor should... Wait, wait. Next

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on the list is Dan Hannan. Not yet, please. There are a lot of people to

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talk to. If we can agree that Nick Griffin should not be invited to

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speak to children? Of course he shouldn't. Can I finish? If we agree

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that, by application we should also agree that anyone who believes in

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ideas more reprehensible should not be invited to speak at schools. It

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is a moot point. It should not even be a debate. The fact that we are

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defensive about that is illustrative of the problem. Nobody is defensive

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about it. Daniel Hannon is next. I want to bring it back and I think

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with future respect, you have both dealt with that issue and we're

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going to park it for now. Daniel Hannon, MEP, we saw recently a

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certain swing in a certain way at the European elections. And a

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discomfort about certain things that are happening. But this is the crux

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in this debate. We do we draw the line about in -- tolerating

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intolerance. You tolerate object your behaviour to the point of

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incitement. You tolerate eccentricity up to the point of

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madness, offensiveness up to the point of harassment. Toleration

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means you tolerate it. You tolerate things that you find utterly

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appalling. British values? What are they? Today is the 799th anniversary

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of the signing of Magna Carta. You could do worse than the spare

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inscription that appears on that memorial in Runnymede. Freedom under

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all. If you wanted to distil British values into one phrase, and in that

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phrase is incorporated all the things that through the years made

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this country a better place to live that than the authoritarian

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alternatives. It implies a regular election, uncensored newspapers,

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sexual equality, free assembly. So where there is not equality between

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the sexes and we have segregation, whether it is going on or not in

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public places, and people's belief that they should be modesty and some

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form of separation, we hear that from the authoritarian right --

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right wing groups. How do we clamp down on that? You tolerate those

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views. Tolerating them is down on that? You tolerate those

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same as teaching them in school. Every child born in this country,

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where ever his parents came from is the heir to that same birthright

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that began with the great Charter 800 years ago. And we cannot allow

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our own sons and daughters in this country, whatever their parents came

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from, to be denied a portion of that as a free society. That should go

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without saying. Of course, once people have left school, they can

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have whatever eccentric opinions they want but teaching people that

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they are not just a they want but teaching people that

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collection of individuals born to a different random collection of

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individuals, that we different random collection of

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together regardless of creed and race, that we have a British

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identity and are connected to another, that is something that

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should go for all our children. Liberalism with a small L.

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Peter Hitchens, is that something we should fight for, to democratically

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achieve the reality of liberalism? It is fascinating the way his

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British values merchants are so coy about the real basis of the lunacy

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which we enjoy, which is the form of Protestant Crips T and at which this

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country adopted, which created the self restraint and strong belief

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that law should be above power, because more derives from God, that

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is what makes this country but they will not talk about it because many

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of them are not Christians. They do not really believe these things.

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That is what made us what we are. To try to generalise this into some

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kind of human rights blancmange is to make a fundamental mistake about

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how it came about to make a fundamental mistake about

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need to defend... That is not true. I do not

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need to defend... That is not true. people who make the loudest noise

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about people who make the loudest noise

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want to preserve it because many of them are allied with the principle

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political lobby which has undermined its

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political lobby which has undermined of open borders and mass

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immigration, which has made it so difficult to sustain this country.

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They were with you, Peter. But they have fallen out with you. Daniel

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Hannon... That is just false history. It is true that a measure

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of our individualistic culture can be said to have a Protestant basis.

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Why do you think that was aimed at you? I don't think it was. It was.

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Look at the phrase that appears in the charter. The law of the land.

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Not the Kings Law or gods law, but a law that was imminent in the people

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and the territory, that was the genius of the country. And that has

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been our greatest export. The idea that the law is above the

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government, the biggest guy in the country does not get to tell the

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other people what to do, he is bound by something bigger than him, that

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is the law inherent in all of us. Not a single person present at

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Runnymede 799 years ago did not believe in the Christian God. How do

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you know? That is nonsense. Atlanta's been waiting. Don't worry.

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This is one debate in an entire hour. Adnan Rashid. Should we not be

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really careful about what we teach our children? Should we be teaching

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all children the great literature of Romeo and Juliet, the Shakespearean

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plays? Otherwise, they are disconnected from the rest of our

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culture and they need more cultural enrichment and just a sacred text.

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Do you not agree? 100%. We must teach our children how to live in

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this world. This is a complex multicultural world and we live in

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it as a family. This is a perfect demonstration of a family. We are

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all a family but we disagree with each other. A dysfunctional family!

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Sometimes severely. I find some of the views here very objectionable.

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Which ones? He is attacking Muslims for believing in things that Jews

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believed in. There are Jewish rabbis that believe in the same things that

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the sheik who came to lecture at the school believed in. I'll want to ask

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you, do you see anything wrong with Jewish rabbis? Do you see anything

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wrong with them? Exactly! Let him answer. That was a big question! A

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big answer. So the Jews can believe in the Taarabt? -- Taira? What

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aspect of Muslim belief did he decry? Everything he picks on in the

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Muslim belief is believed by the Jews. The Jews believe in the

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Taarabt and the -- believe in the Torah. I'd challenge her to come out

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in public to condemn the Jews for believing in the same things. I do

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not want him to do that and I'd defend the rights of the Jews to

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believe in things they want to believe in. In a second, Laura. But

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on this particular issue, I saw you on Newsnight the other night with a

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gentleman who refused to, and a lot of people who do not understand the

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complicity is of the ultimate aspiration of the Islamic state and

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sharia law would have been aghast at his refusal to condemn stoning. What

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is that about? I think they understand what is going on. Do you

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understand the question? I think I do. The old Testament mentions

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storming and I'd condemned on Newsnight a chap for not condemning

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stoning women. If you are an atheist or Jewish or Christian or Muslim, if

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you are a horse, and you call for stoning women to death, I will

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challenge you and condemn you. I do not care what your religion is,

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frankly. And I'd agree. I agree with him. You asked him a question. Why

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do you not ask him the key question here? We could ask about stoning,

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because I'm not sure what you are taking issue with, Adnan Rashid. My

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take is Islam's take. If in an Islamic state, under sharia

:28:43.:28:48.

conditions, in principle I would condemn stoning a woman to death. Do

:28:49.:28:53.

you, with sharia conditions present, condemn stoning women who are

:28:54.:29:03.

idolatrous? -- adulterous? There is no yes or no. Can I ask him and a

:29:04.:29:12.

question? Why is there no yes no no. Answer to his question. -- eye and

:29:13.:29:20.

showed his question. Wait, wait... Are you answering yes or no? There

:29:21.:29:28.

is no yes or no. I find what you say extremely distasteful. The tone you

:29:29.:29:34.

have used about the Jews and Jewish rabbis, the stoning, it is

:29:35.:29:46.

incredibly distasteful. I defend the rights of the Jews to believe what

:29:47.:29:52.

they want to believe in. I would find it uncomfortable if you started

:29:53.:29:56.

defending me, because I would find it untrustworthy after what you

:29:57.:30:03.

said. Anybody who uses text to defend violence, stoning, is wrong.

:30:04.:30:10.

If there is a faith school or a state school that is teaching it, I

:30:11.:30:14.

object to bit, because I believe in the role of the land, and schools

:30:15.:30:19.

are there to teach, they do need supervision, the government should

:30:20.:30:26.

not get rid of their responsibilities by handing these

:30:27.:30:29.

things over, and any violence from whoever, from whatever type of

:30:30.:30:41.

faith, should be condemned. Sorry I have wasted so long before I have

:30:42.:30:45.

come to do! You are an educational social worker. You understand this

:30:46.:30:52.

area. It is not so much what people believe, it is the fact of imposing

:30:53.:30:58.

those beliefs on children who have not yet had the chance to make an

:30:59.:31:02.

informed decision. Absolutely, that is what makes it difficult. If

:31:03.:31:09.

professional teachers can do their job properly, their job is found

:31:10.:31:12.

equipping young people to make informed choices about what is being

:31:13.:31:17.

said and the speaker. If we do not teach about a multiplicity of faith

:31:18.:31:22.

is in schools, it is uncomfortable, it will involve them hearing things

:31:23.:31:29.

that I do not agree with, but if we do not equip them to make

:31:30.:31:32.

judgements, they will be badly let down. It is about allowing teachers

:31:33.:31:37.

to do their jobs properly. Talking about Birmingham, in a previous role

:31:38.:31:43.

I had, I visited a Catholic run people referral unit, which was

:31:44.:31:51.

doing good things with pupils who were struggling in the educational

:31:52.:31:56.

system, and the leader said, I can stand in front of them and say, as a

:31:57.:32:03.

Catholic, I believe those things. I believe I am loved by God

:32:04.:32:07.

unconditionally, and as a Catholic, I can say that, and in schools

:32:08.:32:13.

today, people are afraid to say that. I heard tell of one particular

:32:14.:32:24.

catholic school, they were telling five-year-olds about burning in

:32:25.:32:30.

hell. You do not need to be a Catholic or a Christian, you just

:32:31.:32:33.

need to be a sentience human being to find that unacceptable. Why we

:32:34.:32:41.

seem to think that this is something that is happening to other people,

:32:42.:32:46.

that it is only Muslim schools, we have to turn the light on ourselves

:32:47.:32:52.

and say, as Christians, we have some shady parts of our own past around

:32:53.:32:57.

extremism and views that people find unacceptable, I do not understand

:32:58.:33:02.

why we associate -- disassociate ourselves from that. It ill behoves

:33:03.:33:10.

any of us to make judgements about that being the sole was possibility

:33:11.:33:17.

of the Muslim immunity -- community. The single most disturbing thing I

:33:18.:33:23.

have heard was how, in a conversation about who is and isn't

:33:24.:33:28.

allowed into secular schools, we got into the Jews. How did that happen?

:33:29.:33:34.

Travelling around the world, I have got that in other countries, it is

:33:35.:33:38.

not something I expected to hear in a conversation in this country on

:33:39.:33:44.

television. I find that chilling. One thing that I strongly agree

:33:45.:33:51.

with, we are not talking about a faith community, we are talking

:33:52.:33:53.

about bad behaviour by some individuals. I have been elected for

:33:54.:33:59.

15 years, I have Muslim constituents, a number of them have

:34:00.:34:05.

got themselves elected, the new leader of the Conservative group in

:34:06.:34:09.

the European Parliament is a fairly devout believing Muslim, he keeps

:34:10.:34:17.

the fast. But being British, he hates talking about his faith, but

:34:18.:34:23.

in a quiet way, he has done his best to live is a good Muslim. The

:34:24.:34:27.

difference between him and Adnan Rashid, he has got himself elected

:34:28.:34:33.

to something, and he is more representative of the British

:34:34.:34:36.

Muslims I have in my constituency than people who have not taken the

:34:37.:34:39.

trouble to get a mandate in the ballot box for any of their

:34:40.:34:45.

opinions. I stood in the last parliamentary election. I believe in

:34:46.:34:50.

the democratic process as a way to put our interests, the interests of

:34:51.:34:58.

the community first. I heard people say, those Muslims, the Muslims.

:34:59.:35:07.

This fashionable word, disgusting word, you can attack the Muslims,

:35:08.:35:15.

the culture is becoming the problem. It had become fashionable to talk

:35:16.:35:21.

against the Muslims. It is becoming worse day by day. I went to

:35:22.:35:26.

Birmingham the other day, I spoke to some parents and some teachers and

:35:27.:35:32.

some pupils, they all said, we are scared of being Muslims. That is a

:35:33.:35:37.

terrible state of play. We do not want to do that any longer. We want

:35:38.:35:41.

to create a society where we all feel respected. Islam has a

:35:42.:35:46.

contribution to make. If it was not for the Muslims to translate the

:35:47.:35:51.

Greek into Latin, we would not see the industrial world today. We need

:35:52.:35:58.

to create an inclusive society and not preach this hatred that is

:35:59.:36:04.

dominating our discourse. We had 400,000 Muslim soldiers who came and

:36:05.:36:06.

fought in this country for our values in the First World War, more

:36:07.:36:11.

in the Second World War, they came as volunteers, to take up arms for a

:36:12.:36:17.

country on which they have never set eyes, because they felt our values

:36:18.:36:25.

were better than the alternative. Our values? We both live in this

:36:26.:36:34.

country. Michael Gove excludes everybody else. He identifies Islam

:36:35.:36:42.

as the poisonous, pernicious religion that needs to be fought at

:36:43.:36:51.

all costs. You have made an elision between Islam and terrorism. That is

:36:52.:36:57.

what Michael Gove is doing. We need to talk about British values with a

:36:58.:37:02.

bigger agenda, how we can create an inclusive society where Muslims, the

:37:03.:37:08.

Jewish community, Hindus, Sikhs, people with no faith, have a stake.

:37:09.:37:20.

Gentleman, let's hear from your constituents, you stud as a Liberal

:37:21.:37:29.

Democrat. You are all for democracy. The gentleman at the back. To be

:37:30.:37:39.

British is an idea of freedom, united our country, the

:37:40.:37:43.

Commonwealth, the English people, and it is enshrined in John Stuart

:37:44.:37:47.

Mill, everybody can practice their happy life, but when it takes away

:37:48.:37:51.

the freedom from other people to practice their happy life, that is

:37:52.:37:55.

why the British state has to be strong in mediating boundaries. I

:37:56.:37:59.

defend everyone's right to practice their religion in any interpretation

:38:00.:38:06.

they choose if that is an extreme interpretation, but they do not have

:38:07.:38:09.

the right to stop a citizen criticising religions, writing

:38:10.:38:15.

books, making films. The British state has to be really strong to

:38:16.:38:21.

find the boundaries. That is a really good definition,

:38:22.:38:44.

the most godless city in England. The most godless city? Apart from

:38:45.:38:52.

Barnsley. This is important, we have one of the highest rate of young

:38:53.:38:57.

people's suicide. Is that because it is godless? You mentioned the word

:38:58.:39:03.

allegedly, if we are debating that, we ought to look at where our feet

:39:04.:39:09.

are. When two people in a family are having a row, the children suffer.

:39:10.:39:13.

When two neighbours are having a row, the streets offers. When the

:39:14.:39:17.

street is having a row, the community suffers. We are looking at

:39:18.:39:23.

an elephant in the room. If we keep talking about Muslims in

:39:24.:39:28.

Birmingham, we are missing the point that children on our own doorsteps

:39:29.:39:33.

are dying, suffering from mental illness, and poverty is the root

:39:34.:39:37.

cause of this. The media are looking to sell more newspapers, and how

:39:38.:39:42.

exciting is it to keep commenting on what one person has said, talking

:39:43.:39:47.

about something that everybody is going to disagree with. I would not

:39:48.:39:54.

have the faintest idea whether Brighton was or wasn't a godless

:39:55.:40:00.

city. How do the people in Brighton relate to each other? Might

:40:01.:40:03.

experience of visiting Brighton fairly regularly is it is a great

:40:04.:40:09.

place to visit, I love the warmth of the reception, the interaction I

:40:10.:40:13.

have with people. I do not know whether they are Muslims, Jews, in

:40:14.:40:19.

Jews -- Hindus, atheists, it is irrelevant. There is something

:40:20.:40:25.

fundamental here, a parallel process in the document that is going on.

:40:26.:40:30.

The question is, should we be tolerant of intolerance? I doubt if

:40:31.:40:35.

anybody would say, yes, we should we tolerant of intolerance. We should

:40:36.:40:40.

not, but there are certain. We should not go beyond. We said levels

:40:41.:40:49.

where we say, culturally, we will not go beyond that. We do not need a

:40:50.:40:59.

priest to tell us. I believe that freedom of speech and thought are so

:41:00.:41:03.

valuable that we should defend them at all costs. If you cannot defend

:41:04.:41:11.

the freedom of speech of people with whom you profoundly disagree, that

:41:12.:41:17.

is no freedom. All of this use of view at extremism in this

:41:18.:41:23.

discussion, they are practising extremism, the suggestion that it

:41:24.:41:28.

will lead on to the commission of terrorist acts, this seems to be

:41:29.:41:34.

very dangerous for freedom of thought. Many ideas which I hold,

:41:35.:41:42.

when my parents helped them, they were commonplace, but now they are

:41:43.:41:47.

eccentric and outrageous, they are increasingly classified as

:41:48.:41:56.

extremism. How long is it... I am clearly about to finish my point.

:41:57.:42:01.

How long is it before the classification of such ideas as

:42:02.:42:05.

extremism leads to restrictions on freedoms of speech? We should be

:42:06.:42:11.

careful. I disagree with a lot of what Muslims think and say, there

:42:12.:42:18.

are many disputes and criticisms I have, but they should be free to

:42:19.:42:23.

express them, not least so we can know what they are. We speak at

:42:24.:42:28.

last, you believe there is an issue. Quite a lot of people come

:42:29.:42:34.

here because it is a tolerant country, but I note you feel

:42:35.:42:40.

here because it is a tolerant often persecuted. They are

:42:41.:42:46.

persecuted, in hard secular regimes, Christians are not free to practice

:42:47.:42:52.

their beliefs, in hard Islamic regimes, Christians are not free to

:42:53.:42:55.

practice their beliefs. We have to look at the root of why our country

:42:56.:43:00.

has been known as the land of the free and the brave, where our

:43:01.:43:05.

education systems and Parliamentary systems have been emulated across

:43:06.:43:10.

the world. It goes back to the Magna Carta, but the inspiration behind

:43:11.:43:15.

the David Carter was Jesus Christ and Kristian Etty -- Christianity.

:43:16.:43:25.

That has given us our freedom and flourishing. As we experience social

:43:26.:43:30.

cultural chaos and a deep sense of loss in terms of our identity, we

:43:31.:43:36.

get this collision of ideas, suppression and oppression. The

:43:37.:43:40.

reality of Christianity is it is welcoming and hospitable and does

:43:41.:43:45.

not coerce, it hosts. What we are finding with a secular regime and as

:43:46.:43:52.

director of the Christian legal Centre is that Christians are losing

:43:53.:43:55.

their jobs for offering prayer, holding opinions in schools, they

:43:56.:43:59.

will not decide over same-sex marriages, and this is reality. A

:44:00.:44:09.

reality of working at the centre is this, in the last month, we have had

:44:10.:44:15.

women who have been born and raised in London and in London schools and

:44:16.:44:19.

at London University 's who have wanted to leave Islam, and they have

:44:20.:44:23.

been threatened with their life if they leave Islam. They are not

:44:24.:44:28.

coming from Saudi Arabia or northern Nigeria, they are coming from

:44:29.:44:35.

London, Birmingham, Bradford. We cannot tolerate the threat of

:44:36.:44:54.

women... Miriam... I think the debate on tolerance must split. I

:44:55.:45:00.

believe that that does happen. People are told me they have been

:45:01.:45:05.

threatened. It happens here and there come from the community. But

:45:06.:45:12.

think the splits into two. Legal tolerance of bigotry exists in this

:45:13.:45:16.

country for good reason because we need to hear extremist views and

:45:17.:45:22.

vent them in a democratic process. But in civil society does not mean

:45:23.:45:27.

that we promote, teach, or endorse racism, homophobia anti-Semitism or

:45:28.:45:31.

any other form of bigotry, whether it is justified by God or any other

:45:32.:45:38.

ideology. And anti-Muslim hatred. That is the distinction we have to

:45:39.:45:44.

make. Should we ban the Torah? That is my question. Can we start by

:45:45.:45:52.

banning the Torah? Why are you obsessed with the Jews?! I am

:45:53.:46:00.

pointing out your inconsistencies. Rabbi Laura and Miriam,

:46:01.:46:36.

lovely. Is it the duty of faith leaders to encourage people of faith

:46:37.:46:37.

to see their faiths in a modern context? And what does matter mean?

:46:38.:46:48.

With doubt. Doubt is a great inoculation against fundamentalism.

:46:49.:46:52.

We should question and we should learn about our faith and other

:46:53.:46:57.

faiths. It is our role as faith leaders to teach in a modern way and

:46:58.:47:02.

that means about ourselves and other religions, with questions. No

:47:03.:47:10.

absolute certainties? I am absolutely sure about that. Miriam,

:47:11.:47:14.

what about that, people standing up and saying, because there is a sense

:47:15.:47:19.

of solidarity within faith and communities, and if one is attacked,

:47:20.:47:23.

there is a feeling that everyone is being attacked. Do you understand

:47:24.:47:27.

where I am going with this? Is it not time to stand up and actually

:47:28.:47:30.

condemn more when we hear outrageous things? I do not know where you are

:47:31.:47:35.

going with that and I'm going to choose to pretend that I do not know

:47:36.:47:39.

where you are going. Rabbi Laura kind of addressed it. Yes. I would

:47:40.:47:46.

like to come back to this idea that for me, faith leaders should teach

:47:47.:47:51.

what they think is right. And schools should teach critical

:47:52.:47:54.

faculties which allow us to distinguish twin solid arguments and

:47:55.:47:57.

unsubstantiated arguments. And that is it. Those are the divisions. And

:47:58.:48:03.

that is extremism. Extremism is saying that this is what you must

:48:04.:48:10.

think and this is the truth. I'm trying to say that faith leaders

:48:11.:48:13.

should stand up and say that this is not what you should think this is

:48:14.:48:16.

something with philosophical flat ability. Back to Michael Gove, we

:48:17.:48:22.

should be teaching our children how to think. The greatest gift you give

:48:23.:48:27.

a child is the skill to think, the critical functions to think. When we

:48:28.:48:33.

tell a child that this is what you must think when Michael Gove says

:48:34.:48:36.

you must read this book and you cannot read that book... Michael

:48:37.:48:41.

Gove has not said you cannot read that book. This is almost as

:48:42.:48:45.

obsessive as saying it is all about the Jews. There's a curriculum and

:48:46.:48:48.

we encourage people to read the best literature. One of the things that

:48:49.:48:53.

David Cameron... You say that we have to believe in something. We

:48:54.:48:58.

cannot teach in a void. What has given us our freedom is our

:48:59.:49:04.

Christian heritage. The believe in nothing, to believe in

:49:05.:49:09.

existentialism... Can we not believe in freedom and democracy? Those

:49:10.:49:13.

ideals come from a Christian backdrop. I am not sure. When I'm

:49:14.:49:24.

teaching my children, do this and do not do that, I have to tell them

:49:25.:49:27.

that this is wrong and this is right but the reasons for right and wrong

:49:28.:49:32.

IDs. We give them absolutes, as I think, and they're also give them

:49:33.:49:35.

rationale. Without absolutes, they would be confused. I believe, and

:49:36.:49:40.

this is an experience I have had with my daughter, eight years of

:49:41.:49:44.

teaching children has convinced me that there are more needs for

:49:45.:49:49.

absolutes. If society did not have absolutes, we would be doing all

:49:50.:49:51.

sorts of things without coming together, that would keep us apart.

:49:52.:49:58.

As a faith leader, is it your duty to bring beliefs up-to-date, or... ?

:49:59.:50:07.

Contemporary interpretation as a Muslim is a must, as far as I'm

:50:08.:50:14.

concerned. It is wrong of me not to. Constantly renewing the verdict is a

:50:15.:50:24.

key value of Islam. But not to an extent that you would say that equal

:50:25.:50:28.

marriage is OK? You would stick to ancient beliefs on that? Italy says,

:50:29.:50:33.

can we abolish prior or end fasting in the month of Ramadan, can we take

:50:34.:50:38.

it to December when the days are short? We cannot make those changes

:50:39.:50:42.

because they are absolutes in the grand. If you take them away, you

:50:43.:50:47.

might as well not have Islam. I'm saying that contemporary

:50:48.:50:50.

interpretation would imply, how do white practice my face, for example

:50:51.:50:53.

in Norway where the sun does not set? As far as I'm concerned, Islam

:50:54.:51:03.

does not accept equal marriage. And both sides need to stay with their

:51:04.:51:08.

views. I believe on one view and others believe differently. That

:51:09.:51:13.

creates a level playing field in which we can tolerate one another.

:51:14.:51:17.

And that is the good reason why the state is secular because he has the

:51:18.:51:20.

right to say that and the state will conduct equal marriage and marriage

:51:21.:51:25.

between a man and a man and a woman to a woman and will not listen to

:51:26.:51:29.

that. If he wants to do it in his home, he can follow that view but

:51:30.:51:33.

the state is not obliged. And that is called equality before the law.

:51:34.:51:42.

I'd think it is useful to listen to the Bishop Holloway, who said the

:51:43.:51:44.

opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. I wanted to mention, it

:51:45.:51:52.

comes back to something said earlier, the period we are in, of

:51:53.:52:01.

rethinking things, that is what the Prime Minister has been writing this

:52:02.:52:04.

morning, everyone is trying to nail down these values. In the reaction

:52:05.:52:10.

to Andrei APPLAUSE comments, nobody seems to be keen on admitting, and I

:52:11.:52:14.

speak as a secularist, on admitting that Christian -- the Christian

:52:15.:52:21.

origin of some of these things. We cannot write our heritage out or

:52:22.:52:25.

pretend it was something else. One of the things that is being done on

:52:26.:52:32.

this, there is this attempt to accomplish the Li Na -- encompass

:52:33.:52:40.

everyone in these great values. Freedom, tolerance, good, but there

:52:41.:52:45.

is a risk in this. It comes back to always highlighting gay marriage,

:52:46.:52:49.

something I am in supportive of, there is a risk that the build-up

:52:50.:52:53.

this value system on white ground, to encompass everyone, but it might

:52:54.:52:57.

also be ground and that is very shallow. I would suggests that some

:52:58.:53:02.

of the things we are talking about, if we are identifying the country on

:53:03.:53:03.

some of those lines, it prove to be, too shallow for some

:53:04.:53:13.

people. Peter, you said in your column today that the whole thing...

:53:14.:53:18.

I will come to you, Peter. You are very insistent. I am in a

:53:19.:53:25.

91-year-old gay man. Following what the gentleman has said, I am living

:53:26.:53:27.

in a relatively gay friendly the gentleman has said, I am living

:53:28.:53:35.

Brighton. I have been in and 18 year long loving relationship with my

:53:36.:53:42.

partner. I campaign to combat homophobia. I used to say to people,

:53:43.:53:46.

please understand, I have been married and had three children, but

:53:47.:53:50.

I have always been gay. People said, you cannot possibly be gay! I did

:53:51.:53:56.

not choose to be, but I am gay. Now I've stopped as people to understand

:53:57.:54:00.

because I do not understand myself. So I know say to people, please

:54:01.:54:14.

accept! Accept, sexuality! -- homosexuality! Peter, you said in

:54:15.:54:27.

your column today, finding a definition of Britishness,

:54:28.:54:27.

your column today, finding a described it as squelchy, impossible

:54:28.:54:32.

to define. What is Britishness to you? It is impossible to define and

:54:33.:54:38.

I do not believe you can define it by anyway other than the way in

:54:39.:54:42.

which it is being destroyed. What does David Cameron mean? He does not

:54:43.:54:45.

know what he means, he is just talking about political advantage.

:54:46.:54:48.

The nation state which our support is the largest unit in which it is

:54:49.:54:52.

possible to be effectively on selfish. We have that, and now that

:54:53.:54:58.

we do not necessarily share a religion or language or a belief in

:54:59.:55:02.

certain laws and customs, we do not it is a regrettable change that has

:55:03.:55:05.

overtaken this country but one which is irreversible. How we work out how

:55:06.:55:11.

to live with our new neighbours in peace and harmony is going to be

:55:12.:55:14.

very difficult. I do not think it will be British and I think we have

:55:15.:55:18.

lost that. It will be something else and we can mourn its lost but to

:55:19.:55:21.

pretend we can be something else and we can warn it's lost but to pretend

:55:22.:55:24.

we can recreated with speeches... I think British values are easy to

:55:25.:55:27.

define. It resides in the elevation of the individual about the state

:55:28.:55:30.

and the law of the government. In constitutional principle. You might

:55:31.:55:35.

say that those values are universal, but how did they become universal

:55:36.:55:36.

values? Imagine that but how did they become universal

:55:37.:55:42.

the Cold War had ended differently. There would be nothing universal

:55:43.:55:45.

about these values. They developed overwhelmingly in the language that

:55:46.:55:49.

we are now talking. And they were exported, if we are honest about it,

:55:50.:55:52.

victories by English-speaking victories by English-speaking

:55:53.:55:57.

peoples, and thank God they were. Imagine of those conflicts had ended

:55:58.:56:00.

differently and we were living in a system that elevated the state over

:56:01.:56:04.

the individual. There is nothing universal about that. There are two

:56:05.:56:11.

mad ways to say British values, you can say British, you are out or

:56:12.:56:17.

British with warmth. Let's say that British values are one thing and it

:56:18.:56:24.

is expensive. -- are a warm thing. British values, squelchy or clear?

:56:25.:56:34.

Do not mean that personally. -- I do not mean. Miriam. Obviously, there

:56:35.:56:39.

is a debt to Christianity in this country and there is no reason to

:56:40.:56:42.

pretend that there is not. It is part of our history. But there is

:56:43.:56:47.

also a debt to other trends and ideas and acknowledging that is part

:56:48.:56:51.

of recognising that what it meant to be British in Peter's parents

:56:52.:56:55.

generation is not the same as what it means to be British today. It is

:56:56.:57:01.

the redefinition of what means to be British. Britishness, what is it all

:57:02.:57:06.

about? I am in Road Muslim and are lobbying in Britain. It is a

:57:07.:57:10.

tolerant society and the British people are tolerant and loving. -- a

:57:11.:57:13.

proud Muslim. What is happening right now is that some politicians

:57:14.:57:19.

are making this country look ugly. It is a beautiful country and it

:57:20.:57:23.

must remain so. I'd defend the freedom of every individual who

:57:24.:57:25.

lives here according to the law. Thank you very much. The last word?

:57:26.:57:34.

To me, Britain has given me what it should. It is more Islamic than most

:57:35.:57:39.

Muslim countries. In itself, that says a lot to me. It is where I can

:57:40.:57:44.

Pty am, free to express myself and have my children grow. Can be proud

:57:45.:57:48.

of my and everything. But some of these values are universal. I want

:57:49.:57:55.

to be a proud citizen of the world with these values are practised by

:57:56.:57:59.

everybody. I think we are going to get one last word from Michael. It

:58:00.:58:05.

is a feeling and we love being here and that feeling is what we need to

:58:06.:58:09.

promote so that everyone who wants to make this country more secure

:58:10.:58:16.

going forward. I want to ended there, on harmony. -- and if there,

:58:17.:58:23.

on harmony, before we go for lunch together.

:58:24.:58:25.

As ever, the debate will continue on Twitter and online.

:58:26.:58:28.

This is the end of this series but we?ll be back next year

:58:29.:58:30.

Until then, have a great summer and goodbye

:58:31.:58:33.

to the cutting-edge science that's driving it,

:58:34.:59:03.

Horizon investigates one of the biggest mysteries

:59:04.:59:08.

Nicky Campbell presents the last in the current series of The Big Questions live from Patcham High School in Brighton.

Nicky asks just one very Big Question: Should the British stop tolerating intolerance?

Amongst those taking part in the debate are: Daniel Hannan MEP, author of Why We Invented Freedom and Why it Matters; the Mail on Sunday columnist, Peter Hitchens; Maajid Nawaz, Chairman of the Quilliam Foundation; Rabbi Laura Janner- Klausner,of the Movement for Reform Judaism; Douglas Murray, Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society; the imam and broadcaster, Ajmal Masroor; Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern; the journalist Myriam Francois-Cerrah; and Kevin Friery from the Hampshire Skeptics Society.


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