Faith, power and territory – a handbook of British Islam
Isaac Publishing; 360 pages; £12.99; ISBN: 978-0-9787141-3-0
Patrick Sookhdeo needs no introduction and has long been regarded as an expert in the field of Judaeo-Christian and Islamic studies. In this book, he explores the way Islam is developing in Britain today and, more importantly, its influence on almost every part of society, including politics, banking and education.
Describing his book as designed to provide information, the author begins with a history of the origins of Islam, looks sensitively at what it means to be a Muslim in Britain, and profiles those Muslims who have shaped British Islam. It will not take the reader long to discover how complex Islam is!
Writing against the backdrop of the London bombings, Sookhdeo looks at Islamic extremism and describes a number of important names and characters. Granted that the vast majority of Muslims (Islamist is a term exclusively reserved for extremists) are law-abiding citizens, these extremists nevertheless have a clear desire to dominate world affairs and ultimately set up an Islamic state in every country.
Part of the author’s conclusion, and what will concern the reader, is that there is no precedent of a non-Muslim society successfully halting the advance of Islam by peaceful means. This means that within a generation or two Britain could be predominantly Muslim – a view expressed by other writers. At the same time as the influence of Islam in Britain is increasing, the Christian church is both losing its influence and declining numerically.
The author suggests that the way forward is for politicians and others to face the question of what kind of society we want in the UK. It will either be a secular society with space allowing all religions to exist, or one that increasingly becomes fragmented – with groups opting out of the wider societal framework on the basis of their own religious identity.
Although written for a wider readership, this book is a challenge to believers. It reminds us how subtly Satan works in raising up pseudo-religious movements to undermine the gospel. However, it also reminds us how much individual Muslims need to hear the gospel.
This book is really a reference book for the serious student – there are other titles by Sookhdeo for those needing a less detailed account. However, I recommend it highly for the former group.