Monday, 18 April 2011

UK community Bans Easter Parade

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CrossAre Easter observances a threat to public safety? The Council for the London Borough of Brent apparently thinks so, and has refused permission to church leaders who were planning their annual 400-yard Good Friday parade.

The annual parade has taken place for over a decade as an ecumenical activity undertaken by four churches. As reported in an article for the Daily Mail,

Every Easter for 13 years, about 200 worshippers from four churches — the New Testament Church of God, St Andrew’s Church of England, St Mary Magdalen and Willesden Green Baptist Church — have marched before celebrating communion together.

Father MacKenzie said: ‘It is a long-standing tradition in the area. It is a chance for us to get together.

‘The idea of tolerating the major religions, particularly the Christian religion which has been at the heart of our civilisation, and our right to express ourselves in this moderate way is a very basic aspect of religious freedom.’

Parade organizers were in the midst of their preparations when they were suddenly informed that their activities would not be allowed to proceed as usual. In previous years, it had only been necessary to contact the police to arrange for the necessary road blocks that would allow several hundred people to walk the 400-yard route. Now, suddenly, it would require the approval of the Brent Council, and — of course — by the time the churches were notified of the new requirement, the council maintained that it was too late to grant permission this year. According to the April 15 Daily Mail article,

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Last night Brent Council told the worshippers to walk on the pavement.

A spokesman added: "Brent Council was not contacted about the march until around a week ago.

"There is a strict legal procedure we have to follow to issue a traffic order closing roads so people can march in the highway, which includes advertising and consultation, and this takes about five weeks.

"We are very sorry to say there is now not enough time for us to legally facilitate this march."

Specifically, the parade is banned because “it breaches health and safety laws.” That’s right: 400-yard walk by 200 people is a manifest danger to health and safety.

Fr. MacKenzie of St. Mary Magdalen Roman Catholic Church rightly observes that the Christian religion is “at the heart of our civilization,” but preference is now being shown to those who would cut out that heart and bring that civilization to an end.

Only several weeks ago Islamic extremists once again marched through the streets of London, demanding the imposition of Sharia law throughout the United Kingdom. Where were the petty bureaucrats then? At that time, R. Cort Kirkwood wrote for The New American:

The protesters carried signs with disturbing anti-American and anti-European messages. “Islam the solution for mankind,” one said, while another proclaimed that “democracy will bring oppression.” Another called the United States, Britain, and France a “trinity of evil,” while fourth warned that “Sharia will dominate the world.”

The apparent leader of the marchers, who shut down Oxford Street in London, rants for the three or so minutes the video lasts. His frightening message is what awaits the West if Muslims continue to exercise their political power in Europe.

“Sharia is coming to Libya and Egypt and the U.K.,” he warns. “However much you may dislike ... [garbled] will one day be governed by the Sharia.” “Sharia for U.K.,” the speaker shouts twice, a chant the crowd repeats.

Last week’s protest followed another on Feb. 5, at which a similar group of protesters, holding signs bearing the same messages, showed up outside the Egyptian embassy in London to demand that Egypt be governed by Sharia law.

In fact, Brent Council appears to have shown preference to any non-Christian religious group. As reported by the Daily Mail, the Brent Council actually hosts an annual Hindu Diwali street celebration, and actually “appealed to the Muslim community to notify it of any Eid events so it could promote them free of charge.” Most of the English-speaking world is well acquainted with the contagion of civilizational suicide known as “political correctness,” and the Brent Council appears bent on offering a casebook example of the phenomenon. As Fr. Mackenzie told the Daily Mail, “The rights of Christians are being overlooked in favour of the rights of Islamic groups and gay rights organisations. One does wonder whether if it was a homosexual rights or Islamic group the council would have been more flexible, as it doesn’t seem like rocket science to permit us to walk 400 metres. The rights of Christians are just not respected in Britain.”

For a nation whose monarch still bears the title “Defender of the Faith,” the absurdity of the contrasting way in which adherents of “the faith” are treated regarding the expression of that faith in comparison to those who would see Christians reduced to a state of Dhimmitude is appalling.