|Archbishop Justin Welby with Dr Waqar Azmi (l) and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones (r) at the|
Muslim Council of Wales dinner, Cardiff, Wales, 1 October 2015. Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace
In his address to the Muslim Council of Wales (see previous entry), the Archbishop of Canterbury urged faith groups to "go the extra mile" for the common good. Speaking "as a Christian" Archbishop Welby spoke of the values that spring out of the person of Jesus Christ:
"The first of these springs from the fact of incarnation, that in Christian belief we understand that Jesus was at the same time both fully God and fully human, two persons in one nature. Incarnation is summed up in a title of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Not just God for us, but God with us in all the mess of the life in which we live." Full report here.
The event marked the 10th anniversary for Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK with its "mission to promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam and the life of Muslim communities in the UK". According to its Director, Prof Sophie Gilliat-Ray, we should understand that "poverty, lack of aspiration and Islamophobia are partly to blame for radicalisation of Muslims from Cardiff and elsewhere". Poverty and lack of aspiration are not peculiar to Muslims while Islamophobia is a construction to deflect honest questioning of a system of oppression and often the utmost cruelty when Muslims are in the majority but that does not prevent them from playing the victim.
Prof Gilliat-Ray has been appointed to a UK-wide commission which will be in Cardiff to hear from local Muslims what barriers they face getting involved in the societies in which they live (here).
When it comes to barriers, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh University’s Divinity School gives an account of essential differences between Islam and Christianity in her book 'Christians, Muslims And Jesus'. From a review here "Jesus is revered within Islam as the most significant prophet before Muhammad, and is seen as a key precursor in bringing the message of God’s unity and sovereignty to humanity. He is not, however, worshipped as God; and the ideas of the Incarnation, Resurrection and the Trinity led Muslim scholars to see in Christianity a surreptitious polytheism...The idea of the Crucifixion – that God could voluntarily elect to die – struck Islamic theologians, particularly of the Mu’tazilite school, as a paradox verging on blasphemy."
No meeting of minds there! While the charm offensive continues in this country, Muslims continue to persecute Christians abroad so the real problem remains unaddressed as Islamic influence expands unabated.
'Ancient Faith' Interview: Islam through the heart and mind of a convert to Orthodox Christianity - Part 1.
"In this two-part interview Kevin's guest is "George," who became a Sunni Muslim at age 14 and studied to become an Imam at a madrasa, studying Quran, Arabic language, Islamic theology, hadith, and jurisprudence. He left Islam and became an Orthodox Christian 20 years later. Among other things, Kevin and his guest discuss Islamic theology, common misunderstandings of Christianity by Muslims, differences between "orthodox" Islam and the Nation of Islam, the true understanding and practice in Islam of slavery and jihad, and the extraordinary journey that led "George" to Orthodox Christianity". Hat tip to Facing Islam Blog.
More from the "Religion of peace" to "promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam":
Abroad - Christians fleeing Muslim persecution are finding just as much oppression in the refugee camps and shelters of Germany as they suffered in their home states. As the vast majority of asylum seekers are Muslims, many of whom have imported an adherence to sharia law with them, the few Christian co-travellers find themselves ostracised, abused, and even physically attacked. Full report here.
At home - A family who converted from Islam to Christianity say they are being driven out of their home for the SECOND TIME by neighbours who accuse them of blasphemy. Nissar Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children claim they have become "prisoners in their own home" as neighbours attack them in the street, smash their car windscreens and throw eggs at their windows. Report here.
'Ancient Faith' Interview: Islam through the heart and mind of a convert to Orthodox Christianity - Part 2.