We were honoured to welcome Baroness Caroline Cox today at Newman House as our Sunday Lunch speaker, who spoke to us about 'Reconciliation through Realism' with Islam. Lady Cox, a member of the House of Lords, was described by Fr. Peter as a heroine of our time, and few who heard her speak today could disagree with that.
She initially spoke about the work of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (www.hart-uk.org), of which she is the Chief Executive, describing in terms of her own experiences the dangers and daily problems and tragedies faced by Christians in certain countries in Africa, and of how so many of our fellow Christians are persecuted simply for their refusal to convert to Islam. Lady Cox has travelled to many countries, often crossing borders illegally, and has witnessed first-hand the suffering of so many people. Her testimony is both shocking and moving, and the situations she described are a far cry from the comfort of student life in London.
Following this, Lady Cox introduced the subject of the risk posed by militant Islam to the world, touching on such issues as the enforced culturalisation of regions such as southern Sudan, the incompatibility of Sharia law with the ideals of human rights and liberties, and the tactics employed by Islamists in their attempts to create a 'new cultural hegemony' using education, politics and legislation.
Many questions followed, during which a range of issues were discussed, including the 'guilt trips' felt by the Western world with regard to Christianity and the misuse of Western foreign policy decisions by militant Islam, deliberately misconstruing them as anti-Islamic Christian offensives.
The talk was without doubt an eye-opener for all those who heard it, and Lady Cox kindly donated some of her books on this subject to the Newman House library - for those who missed the talk, or who would like to know more. She also encourages anyone who is interested to get in touch with her -her email address is email@example.com
Many thanks indeed on behalf of everyone at the Chaplaincy to Lady Cox, and also to Denis Criado for organising the talk.