UK Faith Advisor: Biggest victims of Islamist extremism are Muslims

Colin Bloom UK faith advisor

A faith advisor of an independent review commissioned by the British government highlighted that the biggest victims of Islamist extremism are Muslims and the vast majority of the members of the community in the UK are friendly and decent people but they are being let down by a tiny minority who are causing problems.

Colin Bloom, Independent Faith Advisor, told ANI in an interview that there are more people in the UK who “have faith than not”, which is why the idea that faith is dying out and that people are less interested in religion or spiritual things is a myth.

He said the situation in Britain is very different from what was about 50 years ago.

The review into faith engagement found the government needs to recognise faith groups as a force for good.

Colin Bloom considered how government can best celebrate the contribution of faith groups while tackling harmful practices.

More than 21,000 people responded to the public consultation and Bloom made 22 recommendations to the government on Wednesday.

“The overwhelming thrust of the report is the people of faith and places of worship make an incredibly positive contribution to society,” Bloom told ANI.

Bloom described Islamist extremism and Islamist terrorism as the “biggest challenges”.

“I point out in the report that by far the biggest victims of Islamist extremism are Muslims and the vast majority of Muslims of the people in UK are kind, friendly, warm, decent people. But, they are being let down by a tiny minority who are causing these problems,” he said.

Bloom said the problem that a very small group of people are using aggressive tactics to try and encourage Sikhs in the United Kingdom on their pro-Khalistan agenda needs to be addressed and noted that the government should crack down on the extremist fringe elements.

“The problem with this is that there is the overwhelming majority of them, of the nicest kindest and most decent people in the UK. And, a tiny minority amongst them are very aggressive, very loud and not representative of the majority British-Sikh community,” he said.

India has raised the issue of security of Indian diplomatic establishments in the United Kingdom in the wake of action of some anti-India elements and has called for strong action by the UK Government.

Bloom hoped actions of such fringe elements do not damage bilateral ties between India and United Kingdom.

“I hope it doesn’t damage the relations between the UK and India. We have some of the strongest ties, a great deal of affection, and obviously, a shared history that goes back many hundreds of years,” Bloom said.

“I hope that continues, whether that’s with the British Hindu community, the British Sikh community, the British Muslim community, whoever it may be, we have to continue to build on those things that bind us together rather than would divide us,” he added.

Bloom said he considers it an enormous privilege that he lives in a country which is tolerant and free.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a telephonic conversation earlier this month that the UK considers the attack on the Indian High Commission totally unacceptable and assured of the security of the Indian Mission and its personnel.

In his review ‘Does Government Do God?’, Bloom examined engagement with faith in a broad range of public institutions – from the Civil Service and the Armed Forces, to schools and prisons – and called on the government to bring in a new programme of faith literacy training for all public sector staff, ensuring public servants understand those they are helping, and to increase partnership opportunities with faith groups who are already playing a valuable role in the social fabric of our society.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024