Speaking to the General Synod, the Church of England’s national assembly, in York, Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford, told Christians to learn coexistence from the Muslim minority living in British cities, adding that some parishes in his diocese were 95% Muslim, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

According to the CIA World Fact Book, Muslims make up 2.7% of the total population of the UK.

England’s national assembly, the General Synod, has been raising concerns over Britain’s increasingly diverse society, which it said could undermine the position of the Church of England as the “established” faith in the country.

Rev Baines sees it as an opportunity for Christians to learn practical lessons in co-existence, the very same lessons they have been giving Muslims about cultural integration and harmonious coexistence.

Senior Anglicans have been holding a number of meetings with government ministers during which they discussed a number of measures that seek to “protect” Christian rights in response.

Islam is recognized as the fastest growing religion worldwide. In Europe and other Western states of a majority Christian population, reports have been showing rapid increase in the number of Muslims, due to increasing immigration of Muslims and their above average birth rates.

Many Western states refuse to mention the exact size of its Muslim populations. But honestly speaking, sometimes compiling precise statistics of Muslim demographics is not an easy task and don’t render accurate results.

News about UK Bishop’s remarks come to prove the falsity of some mainstream media claims about the “failure” of Muslims to co-exist and efficiently integrate into Western societies, and particularly the UK, where recent incidences of discrimination against Muslims are wrongly interpreted as preventive measures seeking to halt any attempt at another 7/7 attack.

Islam promotes tolerance and respect of other faiths, as it condones no compulsion in trying to draw people to embrace the religion of Islam, contrary to many misconceptions claiming the opposite.

A wise understanding of the Islamic Shariah which Muslims follow would recognize it as an all-inclusive law safeguarding the rights of Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, ensuring genuine and peaceful co-existence between the two sides that is void of any friction or negative sentiments.

The Qur’an and Sunnah have in numerous instances stressed the importance of dealing gently with followers of other faiths, respecting their rights, and actually protecting them, as long as they’re not in war against them …

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers…”—Quran 60: 8-9

Muslims are even commanded to show mercy towards apostates if they ever sought protection and shelter.

“And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.” —Quran 9: 6

These verses and many others propagating mercy and adopting peaceful ways in dealing with non-Muslims comprise all-encompassing lessons in co-existence and positive social integration amongst followers of varying faiths.

Check Covenant of Madina discussed Here to learn about how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) treated Non-Muslims upon establishing the first Muslim Community in Madina.

Wassalaam,

By: The Muslim Tribune Staff

Posted on: July 14, 2011