Britain could be an Islamic nation in a few generations and the Church of England is facing extinction, a former chaplain to the Queen has said.
Rev Gavin Ashenden, who resigned last month after criticising a Scottish cathedral for hosting a reading of the Quran during a Eucharist service, told Breitbart News’s James Delingpole Anglicanism seems too weak to tackle the great challenges it faces.
The former chaplain doubled down on his criticism of the service, saying the teaching of the Quran on Jesus was fundamentally at odds with Christian teaching.
“The Quran is predicated on Jesus either having told lies or his friends having told lies about what he said,” he explained, adding that it was especially offensive to have such a reading on the feast of the Epiphany.
“Here you have this wonderful festival celebrating the beauty of the mystery of the Creator of all things sharing our condition, and you give a platform for someone to stand up and say this is bollocks.”
He said that many Muslims would be bewildered by the cathedral’s decision to host such a reading, as according to Islam once a place is used for Islamic prayer it then becomes permanently Islamic.
Muslims, he added, sense weakness and “when they see Christians behaving weakly, they don’t respect us”.
He mentioned that at an inter-faith conference in 2003, an imam he describes as an “eminently serious scholar” stood up and said: “The UK is going to be an Islamic republic in the time of my grandchildren, and I don’t need to do anything about it, it’s just going to happen”.
“If you look at your five northern conurbations,” the imam added, “already the majority of people under 16 are Muslim.” He said that those people would elect Muslim mayors who in turn would feel democratic pressure to introduce Sharia practices.
Rev Ashenden said that afterwards he googled the imam’s claims and found that everything he mentioned about demographics was true. “Mix demography and democracy and you’re going to have Islamic city states in the UK very quickly,” Rev Ashenden added.
In terms of his own church, the Church of England, the former chaplain simply answered “No” when asked if there was any hope for it.
He accused it of trying to “stay chaplain to a secular state that doesn’t want it” by undermining its own foundations and compromising its doctrine.
The Anglican Church is also in serious demographic decline, with the average age of clergy rising, while its dioceses are in increasing financial turmoil, he said.
[This article was amended on 04/02/17 to rectify a transcribing error]