August 11th, 2011
05:24 PM ET

My take: Rioting raises religious concern

Editor's Note: Andrew Watson is the Bishop of Aston in the Diocese of Birmingham, UK. He was formerly a vicar in London, and is a musician, author and father of four.

By Andrew Watson, Special to CNN

Birmingham, England (CNN) - I spent most of yesterday in Winson Green, Birmingham, following the deaths of three young British men in the early hours of the morning. I visited the small mosque where two of the men (brothers aged 32 and 30) had been regular worshippers, and where both their uncle and older brother were in a state of profound shock and grief.

I then attended a gathering hastily convened by the local member of parliament - taking place in a room above a local supermarket – followed by a much larger public meeting with the police later in the day. About 150 people crammed into the community hall for the police meeting, with twice as many gathered outside.

Feelings were understandably running very high, with the grief and anger of the community expressed in equal measure. There were voices calling for retaliation, but these were increasingly drowned out by other voices (both old and younger) urging restraint.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Belief • Britain • Europe

soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Faith

    American atheists, your problem is not unbelieving in God, though it's evil itself. You used to just deny God's existence in spite of scientific evidences before, but now your problem is hating God, blaspheming, hating God's people, hating the Christian faith and true Christians, hating everything good, loving immorality and ignorance on history. You can't hide how evil you are.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  2. Faith

    I think Americans are racist. Why they never report on the plight of the Bible-reading Christians in the long-time-ago Europe or the Asians and Slavs under the atheists, and all the minorities in the Asian and Arab nations?

    August 13, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • fred

      The American Media is controlled by a Hollywood group comprised of those who hate Christians. Wesimply never hear about it or the news is burried. The last thing CNN ABC NBC want is sympathy for Christians.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Faith

      Fred, we all know. I found Christianity is truly good because the Hollywood perverts go so up against it.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  3. John Akbar

    Black is Christian, White is Christian, Africa and Israel and Palestinian is Christian. Only Arab is muslim. Dont associate muslim is black or Christian is white. Some muslim scholar try to impose that image to reader. This is how they did brainwashing technique. Sorry muslim colonial caliph, I took out one of your strategy to colonized Europe .

    August 13, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Faith

      A lot of browns, reds, yellows are Christian, too. The colored are the Christian majority today, so the secular American whites should shut up about Christianity.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  4. Faith

    CNN, dig out and feature what atheism did in Soviet Union and in China and in all the atheistic countries, so the American atheists will find out what they are really made of. There are plenty millions of people still alive who have family members butchered solely on the insist in believing God. Get your citizens out of false fantasies. Don't talk about the Western Europe only all the time. Except for the evil done to the Jews, Nazis wasn't as bad as the atheists.

    August 13, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  5. Muneef

    Ahh its muslim again! Why I always heard something bad about this cult. Muslim minorities kill but muslim majorities only quiet. This religion name is associate with kill bomb racist forcing tight not free woman hidden child abuse no rights blood fear no tolerate and so on

    August 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  6. Faith

    Britain needs Christianity. Godless secularism is destroying the country and the whole West. The whites were normal when they were not attacking Christianity.

    August 12, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  7. Bo

    What is the % of rioters to the peaceful people? What are they going to accompilsh in the end? I have no idea why this is a belief article accept to start an argument.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  8. John


    August 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  9. Normon

    From the original article:
    "Christians, Muslims and others share similar concerns about family life, mutual respect, and the need for religious faith to give structure, purpose and hope to our lives; ..."
    This is a self imposed 'need', it does not require religious faith.

    "...while it would be naive to identify just one cause for the spate of rioting ... the increasing marginalization of faith in our society remains an issue of shared (and grave) concern."
    Is this author saying that it the "marginalization of faith" that is a cause of the rioting, not conflict between different faiths, but the marginalization of faith? So the riots were caused, in part, by a lack of faith.

    August 12, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  10. Faith

    The 2012 Olympics should be held in Iraq or Afghanistan, not in Britain.

    August 12, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  11. Methusalem2000

    Militant online forums are abuzz with calls to Muslims in Britain to launch Internet campaigns in support of the British rioters and to urge them to topple the government.

    Dozens of contributors on Wednesday suggested Muslims in Britain should flood social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, with slogans and writings inciting the British youth to continue rioting.

    One contributor says the rioters should adopt slogans similar to those used by Arab protesters during the uprisings in the Middle East this year.

    “The people want the killer of Mark Duggan punished” is suggested — a reference to the British man whose death sparked the riots.

    Another contributor says an Internet media attack is very important and that “chaos is useful to militants in London.”

    August 12, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  12. Methusalem2000

    The media, icluding CNN, mocks teachers, parents, and pastors to sell product to young adults, because it works in the short term, but now we are shocked to discover that millions of these young adults do not work. The looters in London are not so different than the looters of finance with different tastes and without the power of government to protect them. They haven not been taught to work hard to learn useful skills, but how to mooch nd loot.

    Christians know that the nation that sends a man to jail for stealing bread, but will not send a man to jail for stealing billions from mortgage fraud is unjust.

    August 12, 2011 at 6:24 am |
  13. Faith

    I feel sorry for the church buildings in the Western Europe. The present Western Europe does not deserve all the beautiful church buildings.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • myweightinwords

      You....feel sorry for...buildings?

      August 12, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Bob

      Please donate your computer to charity. You aren't using it.

      August 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  14. Faith

    In the free democratic countries, people sure have plenty electric toys today. But the quality of character and judgment is as bad as any spoiled king in history. Magna Carta applies to the mass of people, not just to individual tyrants. Britons were a lot smarter hundreds of years ago.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  15. Faith

    Why the whites are no longer respected: Though they've got everything wonderful and intelligent from the Bible, they blaspheme God and mock Christianity, becoming purposeless, shameful and immoral.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • shootmyownfood

      Not all white people are Christians. Generalizations make you look silly.

      August 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Faith

      The whites were mostly Christian and the Christian majority until the last century. That's why today's anti-Christian presence in America is a total absurdity. Where did you guys leave your brain and common sense? The previous years of addiction and immorality must have gotten you insanity finally. Attacking Christianity by whites is like a good mother being attacked by kids. Soviets were not this bad. Shame on secular Americans who know no parents or history.

      August 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  16. Faith

    What did Western Europeans learn in the last century? Didn't they learn that self-reliance and cowardice would bring complete disasters upon everyone? America was untouched then except for her brave soldiers, but today's Americans worry over money too much when they have no threat of starvation.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  17. Faith

    Summary: Actually, Britain is facing a religion-less chaos. Godless amorality is Britons' problem. Small portions of Evangelicals and Muslims can't bring the nation back to normality. Secularists want their filthy autonomy; societies taste their willful choice. Life is fair. Humanism let Europe go through two world wars last century. Godless secularism will be yet worse. I never knew Westerners would be this stupid.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Sporkify

      They got you young, didn't they?

      August 12, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Bob

      Humanism caused two wars? Hitler was a humanist? What drugs ARE you taking?

      August 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Faith

      Bob, the rise of Hitler(WW2) was a failure of Europe and a failure of Germany. Get a history, cute little Americans.

      August 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  18. *frank*

    Anemic article is anemic.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  19. myweightinwords

    We shouldn't need our religions to call us to peace, we should use our brains and our hearts to realize when our actions cause harm and stop.

    When a crime is committed in response to a crime, when violence is meted out in response to violence, all we do is perpetuate a cycle. We need to rise above, to stop seeing others as labels and see them as human beings with needs and desires the same as the rest of us.

    August 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  20. JF

    The "Rich" have been trying to get this 5 % live very good and 95 % live very hard, to work from the beganing of time.
    And every nation in history was fell to make it work. Why do people with food, need people to be without food, in order
    for their food to taste good. Why do people with money, need people to be without money, in order to feel good with money.
    Why is it that the more people get, the more they become cold, like the dirt in the grave yard.

    I told you years ago these things will come. And I told you people, the one and only """ FIX """"

    August 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      JF what people need is a proper education and the ability to communicate. If you heard some of those rioters being interviewed they sounded that they had a poor command of language, and i had to wonder what level of education they had.

      August 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • BG

      Imagine "To Sir, with love" minus both the Sir and the love.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
1 2
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.