“Beat Extremism by Dissolving Religious Groups”

Times op-ed by one Minette Marrin says there’s only one way for a society to protect itself from Islamic extremism: get rid of all religious influence.

What follows inescapably from this is that religious people and their views should not be officially recognised in groups. Religion should not be allowed a public space or public representation. This is hard for those of us who used to love the muddled Anglican compromise; it means the disestablishment of our national church – if it doesn’t self-destruct first.

The challenge of other, fiercer and more divisive convictions has forced the issue; multiculturalism has been subversive. There must be no more religious schools – personally I would leave those that exist alone. There must be no public recognition of religious associations as representatives of anything or anybody: not on campuses, not in student unions, not in government consultations or in parliament.

So-called religious community leaders, or umbrella groups of religious bodies, must of course be free to associate as they like in private, in a free country, but publicly they must be ignored. Publicly they must not teach or promote illegal prejudices. Forced into the private sphere, denied the oxygen of publicity, power and influence, highly politicised religious groups will wither on the vine. Perhaps, in that wonderful phrase of Yeats, they might even wither into truth.

HT Touchstone.