Alum Rock: A ‘no go’ area for Christians?

by Richard on June 7, 2008

Richard Sudworth has more about the arrest of Christian evangelists in Alum Rock that I mentioned yesterday.

The above church is where I’m based; the above mosque is the view across the road from the church. So, how we see Muslims is not just an abstract thought, or a political discussion, but a matter of co-existence, neighbourliness and daily lives. Following the controversy over the American evangelists arrested not far from us, it seems that the lobby group Christian Voice are wading in on the act. They are descending on that same area of Birmingham for a very public declaration that there should be no “no-go areas” and handing out evangelistic tracts. We might like to consider What Would Jesus Do? Invited to just such an exercise, I’m tempted to remember a chapter in one of Brian McLaren’s books, “Would Jesus Have Been a Christian?”

Let me fill you on on some extra information:
1. the local Anglican church had a Good Friday walk of witness this Easter, singing choruses and handing out leaflets explaining the Christian faith. The local majority Muslim community welcomed this event and the police were informed and had a minimal presence as part of the gathering
2. every year, the local Roman Catholic convent and church parade a statue of the Virgin Mary, handing out flowers and rosaries as prayers. This is an annual part of local diversity expressed and hundreds of Muslims stand out on the streets to welcome the parade

…is this a no-go area for Christians?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Olive Morgan 06.07.08 at 9:10 am

Thanks for this clrifiation, Richard.

2

Kim 06.07.08 at 9:33 am

Yes, thanks, Richard. Christian Voice? Rather Christian Mouth.

3

PamBG 06.07.08 at 10:21 am

I linked to your post and to Richard S’s. It’s so vital to have all the information about what is actually happening in the neighbourhood. In my experience, most ordinary Christians and most ordinary Muslims have much in common; often more than the general cultural around us. We should not jump on the ’scapegoatting’ bandwagon.

4

fatprophet 06.07.08 at 1:24 pm

I had not realised that this alleged incident happened back in February - I had thought it was a recent event.
I have to be honest my very real experience of living in a multi cultural, multi racial area is that we all co-exist well and the supposed friction is in the minds of those who want to create friction for their own ends.

5

Richard 06.07.08 at 1:57 pm

Couldn’t agree more, FP. I lived for a time in Sparkbrook, which is about as much a ‘Muslim area’ as you could find anywhere in Britain. It was a fine place to be.

6

Bene D 06.07.08 at 8:25 pm

Hmmm. I missed the ‘arrested’ part. of Mr. Abrahams and Mr. Cunninghams story. Why let facts get in the way of identity politics?

7

Paul Foster 06.17.08 at 12:02 pm

It would seem to me that everyone is missing the point, see the attached link

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2058935/Police-advise-Christian-preachers-to-leave-Muslin-area-of-Birmingham.html

It apears to me that no one is saying that relations are bad in the area just that this particular PCSO was in the wrong and in fact attempting to use the “Hate Crime” legislation to perpetrate one himself!
He was attempting to create a “No go area” not the general populace.

The PCSO was clearly in the wrong and also the West Midlands Police in general for not admitting and correcting the error.

This “hate crime” legislation will lead to more conflicts than ever.

8

Miss Alim 12.02.09 at 2:40 pm

I would just like to add that as an asian muslim using Alum Rock Road on regular basis I have not once witnessed any racist behaviour towards any ethnic group. In fact as an asian i enjoy having english neighbours; as they bring about a real sense of community and pride for your area.

As a youngster I was brought up to respect all religions and people of all backgrounds. I believe alot of the tension between us has been exaggerated by the media. Which is such a shame.

I apologise if any thing I have said has offended anyone.

9

Sameer 01.06.10 at 3:58 am

As a British Kashmiri/Pakistani Muslim living in Birmingham, I feel that there is a lot of mutual respect amongst people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions. There are of course some issues but these are mainly youngsters who cause trouble regardless of their religion or ethnic background.

10

ASLAM 06.11.10 at 11:16 am

hi
i have lived in birmingham alum rock rd for over 30 years and i think its the most pleasant place to live .
i remember myself and my little brother going to church on sundays to learn the chistian faith and culture we joined in like normal people
and enjoyed it very much specially the biscuits lol
i honestly believe if we pay less attention to the media and build our own lives around our community the world would be a better place
jesus, moses, abraham, mohammed, peace be upon them had one thing in common they were all humble to all regardless of their faith creed or colour its through love and acceptance we can go further
we dont live long to bicker about colour and race the world belongs to no one we all will leave one day and the grass will keep growing
so is it worth arguing. christianity and islam are very alike
,those who are in peace with themselfs will surely be in peace with others …if we can teach our youth the way forwrd im sure they will understand thank you all sry for the long stry

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