Unholy War (2007)
Channel 4 Dispatches
Dispatches investigates the violence and intimidation facing Muslims who convert to Christianity in Britain. Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett meets former Muslims who now live under the threat of reprisals from their former communities. Many are still living in fear. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on Monday 17 September claimed to have uncovered evidence of the “violence and intimidation facing Muslims who convert to Christianity in Britain”. The investigation uncovered a network of churches supporting converts from Islam who have to worship under a veil of secrecy. Dispatches estimated there are as many as 3,000 Muslims who have converted to Christianity living in Britain.Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett met former Muslims who said they were living under the threat of reprisals from their former communities, including a family who have been driven out of their home and a convert whose brother was beaten close to death.
The Evangelical Alliance’s recently published Alltogether for Asylum Justice report was mentioned in the documentary. The report looked specifically at the issue of conversion and persecution of asylum seekers. The Alliance is seeking to ensure that asylum seekers are not sent back to countries where they could suffer serious religious persecution. The report is clear that the Alliance is only interested in genuine cases of conversion. Genuineness can only be assured with a review of Home Office questioning, which we currently believe to be inconsistent and often poorly informed. In the documentary Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali said that we should all uphold civil liberties and the right for people to believe what they want to believe.
R. David Muir, Public Policy Director of the Evangelical Alliance said: ”As the Bishop of Rochester made clear; religion is a matter of choice. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are two sides of the same coin.”