ITV to broadcast ‘The Muslim Jesus’
In a documentary which professes to contrast the Jesus of the Bible with the Isa of the Qur’an, they dare to boast that ‘the two faiths have more in common than most people realise’. There will, of course, be nothing objective about the historical evidence for the crucifixion and resurrection: the documentary will unashamedly portray Jesus as Muslims see him, and use the Qur’an as its primary source material, completely and conveniently ignoring the fact that it was ‘revealed’ centuries after Jesus lived and the Gospels were penned. The accounts of the real primary material are thereby rubbished, and Jesus’ divinity is denied. It is both blasphemous and offensive to Christians the length and breadth of the country, but as long as it’s not blasphemous for Muslims, everything’s alright.
The programme is directed and produced by one Irshad Ashraf, and was commissioned (and is narrated by) Melvyn Bragg, a member of the Anglican ecclesial community. Lord Bragg, it seems, was ‘fascinated by the idea’. His hope is that it will ‘provoke among Muslims the feeling they are included in television’. You can alienate the Christians, but as long as the Muslims feel included, everything’s alright.
The Guardian reports that ‘Representatives from mainstream Anglican and Catholic organisations were invited to take part in the film…but nobody was available’.
Nobody available? From the spiritual and theological centres of Westminster and Canterbury, from the bishoprics to the academic faculties of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church nobody was available? What are these people doing with their time? Are they all at home washing their hair, eating dinner in front of the television, or writing yet another article condemning gay bishops? Have they any sense of their priorities that, given a chance to witness to the gospel on national television, to be apologists for the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection, they are ‘not available’?
One Anglican has, however, entered the fray. Canon Patrick Sookhdeo, a convert from Islam to Christianity in 1969, said: "How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?’ He asserts that the Qur’an’s denial of Jesus's divinity is ‘unacceptable’, not least because at his Second Coming it says he will destroy all the crosses.
Christians ought to be besieging ITV headquarters and demanding a documentary on the alternative view to the hagiographical Islamic account of the life of Mohammed. One that might examine (impartially and objectively, of course) the historical assertions that he was a mass murderer, a torturer, rapist, child molester, thief, and a liar; that he was not a prophet, and that he plagiarised vast sections of the Qur’an from contemporary literature, and developed ‘Islam’ out of the primitive worship of a pagan moon god.
If one may broadcast a blasphemous documentary on the Qur’anic view of Jesus, then a fortiori ought one to be allowed to broadcast one on the biblical view of Mohammed, which would have to assert that he was not merely not the last prophet; he was not a prophet at all. Indeed, he manifests all the attributes of what the Bible terms a false prophet and an antichrist:
Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son (1Jn 2:22).
But after the broadcast, Cranmer hopes the police and the CPS will investigate, and will report ITV to Ofcom for biased editing...