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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Jesus was a Muslim!

Much has been written recently about the cross and whether it is appropriate for Christians to wear it as an expression of their faith. At the same time in Afghanistan the cross has been publicly burned by Muslims who complain bitterly about any form of disrespect shown to their own faith.

It seems ironic then that Muslims claim Jesus as one of their own, a prophet referred to in the Quran as well as in the Bible. But that is only part of the story, a story which some years ago was the subject of an ITV programmeThe Muslim Jesus. To the casual viewer I imagine the story would have been quite compelling without further evidence of the truth. Muslims deny that Christ died on the cross (some say another took His place) so they would have no objection to burning the cross as a Christian symbol. There is no dispute that Jesus is referred to in the Quran but the claim that Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible is readily disputed even by many Muslims.

Visitors to Birmingham will be familiar with Islam being freely promoted on the streets as illustrated in this video. Last year I heard complaints that similar operations had been extended. A stall had been set up opposite a well-known Anglo Catholic church in a Cardiff suburb where, in common with many other areas, Christians are becoming marginalised as parishes become dominated by Islamic influences and appearance. When a dispute arose over the claim that 'Jesus was a Muslim' the police intervened. On being told that exception was taken to people shouting outside the Church that Jesus was a Muslim, the police response was that the pamphlets were not offensive and that we live in a free country.  One wonders what would have been the reaction if Christians stood opposite one of the City's 32 mosques and made counter claims. The group still engages with passers by claiming: "Let us show you what the Bible really says about Islam - and how Jesus really was a Muslim"!

When Channel 4 broadcast a programme, 'UnderCover Mosques', to highlight what was being said inside rather than outside mosques, in this case the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham, the West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service ignored the hate allegations uncovered and investigated the programme makers instead. They were later forced to apologise after the programme makers were vindicated. The National Secular Society (no friend of Christianity) recently quoted this example in their evidence to the United Nations. Illustrating the extent to which Islamic influence is spreading around the world the NSS included this astonishing testimony:

 "I am deeply saddened that in this Council of all places in the whole world, Sharia law has been ruled to be beyond discussion by distinguished delegates, unless they are "experts" and therefore presumably Muslim. If I have got that wrong and non-Muslim experts are acceptable, I will be quick to apologise.

For those of you who like solving simultaneous equations, or are logicians, I have a little exercise. If criticising Islam = Islamophobia, and Islamophobia = racism (as we are told), and racism = unacceptable (as we agree), does this therefore mean that criticising Islam is unacceptable? That is the very questionable algebra or dubious logic that is being increasingly employed to silence critics in the UK by guilt-tripping them. We must not allow criticism to be stifled in this manipulative way. I'm very much struck by Indian born UK writer Kenan Malik's opinion that: "The trouble with Islamophobia is that it is an irrational concept. It confuses hatred of, and discrimination against, Muslims, on the one hand, with criticism of Islam on the other. The charge of 'Islamophobia' is all too often used not to highlight racism but to stifle criticism. And, in reality, discrimination against Muslims is not as great as is often perceived - but criticism of Islam should be greater. All too often Islamophobia is used as an excuse in a way to kind of blackmail society."

I am not suggesting that restrictions to freedom of expression are the monopoly of any one religion. I therefore oppose all blasphemy laws, and helped in the abolition of the UK's remaining (Christian) blasphemy laws. We also know of censorship by Sikhs and Hindus. The worst example of countries operating a blasphemy law, however, is Pakistan where accusing a rival of blasphemy is a convenient way of removing them. Not only does this result in their removal to jail, but the survival prospects of those accused of blasphemy, far less convicted of it, is very poor. And the judiciary are wary of even trying such cases.

Looking at the categories of Muslim influence in What Islam Isn't, it is clear what is now happening in the UK and elsewhere around the world. Islamic street propaganda must be seen for what it is. 

Jesus was NOT a Muslim. He died on the Cross and is the fulfilment of the prophecies.

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