Sunday, August 19, 2007

ITV to broadcast ‘The Muslim Jesus’

Today is the Lord's Day, but never mind that. Tonight, at 11.15, ITV will broadcast the story of the Islamic Jesus – a man born of a virgin, and a man who performed miracles, but there was no crucifixion and no resurrection. Yet there is a Second Coming, when he shall descend in the clouds as a Muslim to destroy the Jews and 'the swine'.

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...

129 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If ever there was validation for Hitchens comments about religion, this is a perfect example.

It does not take much for any of the various comic title readers, and fantasy merchants, to start throwing toys out of their prams.

Grow up.

19 August 2007 at 11:17  
Anonymous CCTV said...

Anonymous should remain so....fatuous comments are best left unattributed.

19 August 2007 at 11:31  
Anonymous Observer said...

It seems that provocation knows no bounds. Christianity is being put to the test by the childish behaviours of media.

It would seem that the resolution of conflict between Islam and other religions will not come through dialogue, nor through modus vivendi.

It will come through violence. The West Europeans have lost the taste for violence assured that wishful thinking would bring security and prosperity...but the Post-1945 world of money and jobs and homes is over. The world has intruded into their space just as an invader first settles near the ports before moving inland.

The pillars upon which the West was built are sinking into the mud, and it will be interesting to see how much Europeans will cede before the dam breaks.

I find the experiment most interesting - Testing To Destruction - to see how long a society can hold the onslaught before the structures shatter. Those who sow the wind .....as they say in Hosea 8:7

19 August 2007 at 11:39  
Blogger Ali Gledhill said...

If someone in the Anglican community is willing to make a film denying the majesty of Christ, surely someone is willing to make one denying the prophetic integrity of Mohammed as a messenger of God?

If such a programme were made, it would be interesting to see if ITV would show it. If it is any good, they might show it when most people are watching TV, not at 11.15pm on a Sunday.

19 August 2007 at 11:44  
Anonymous Observer said...

It is time to note the advertisers who buy airtime near this programme and subject them to boycott

19 August 2007 at 11:51  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?"

Hmmmm, Muhammad ibn Abdullah of Arabia never denied that Jesus is Christ. Infact, may I direct you to the Quran 3:45 "Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah)"

In the bible it is said "Every Spirit (meaning every prophet) that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in flesh is of God" 1 John 4:2. Well, Muhammad did exactly that. Does this not therefore mean that Muhammad is indeed a true prophet according to the very teachings of the Bible?

19 August 2007 at 11:56  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Why do you selectively quote but half the Scripture?

He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son.

Mohammed denies that Jesus is the Son of God, and Islam teaches that God has no son, ergo Mohammed is a false prophet.

19 August 2007 at 12:09  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

The phrase "father and the son" is open to many interpretations. You seem to take things very literaly. Others (including many Christians) prefer to interpret this phrase in the metaphorical sense, in which case Muhammad never denied the existance of the father or the son.

19 August 2007 at 12:18  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

P.S the bible also teaches that God has no son(s) "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" To believe that Jesus is God, you must consequently deny the first commandment.

19 August 2007 at 12:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

P.S the bible also teaches that God has no son(s) "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"

Profound ignorance indeed. Perhaps you should study Christian Theology more assiduously ?

You are too bound up in Mohammedan Dogma to know what you are saying and there is NO conflict between the First Commandment and anything said by Jesus Christ - he was a Torah-observant Jew.

19 August 2007 at 12:43  
Anonymous billy said...

Miss Jelly bean said...
P.S the bible also teaches that God has no son(s) "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" To believe that Jesus is God, you must consequently deny the first commandment.

12:22 PM

Bollocks Miss Jelly Bean

Herein lies the mystery of the Trinity.

Your Grace

I seem to detect a more emotional approach in many of your recent posts. Are you changing, or coming near to despair?

19 August 2007 at 12:45  
Anonymous Miss jelly bean said...

"there is NO conflict between the First Commandment and anything said by Jesus Christ"

Indeed not. That's because Jesus Christ never claimed to be God.

19 August 2007 at 12:49  
Anonymous Voyager said...

That's because Jesus Christ never claimed to be God

but he was highly literate and not subject to epileptic fits so he did not need to have mysterious voices telling him to indulge carnal pleasures because he was the chosen one.

That is why Christianity has Morality

19 August 2007 at 13:07  
Blogger Cranmer said...

I seem to detect a more emotional approach in many of your recent posts. Are you changing, or coming near to despair?

Mr Billy,

His Grace changes from day to day, for each day is made anew, and each day he is a day older and a day wiser.

His Grace is not near to despair, for he is bearing nothing compared to what he bore on that fateful day, but he is mildly irritated with the perpetual fawning deference displayed towards Islam and the constantly eroding disrespect shown for Christianity, both by the media and by politicians.

Miss Jelly Bean,

You appear to be incapable of understanding Jesus' very precise use of terms which would have been replete with meaning for first-century Jews, and the implications clearly comprehended. Instead of imposing your Islamic understanding of the Greek word 'Christ' or the Hebew word 'Messiah', do a bit of research into how these words would have been interpreted by the audience to whom Jesus spoke.

The process of your enlightenment is, however, fatuous, for Muslims believe the New Testament to be flawed and to have been polluted by the propaganda of the Early Church. Anything which may be adduced to disprove what you believe is thereby conveniently refuted by your belief.

19 August 2007 at 13:12  
Anonymous the doc said...

As a D.D. I have no hesitation in saying that the "faith" of Islam is an abomination in the face of God and Man . Mohammed was of the same ilk as
Hitler , Pol Pot and Stalin ..a genocidal maniac with a power lust .

19 August 2007 at 13:25  
Anonymous billy said...

Cranmer said...
"Mr Billy,
His Grace changes from day to day, for each day is made anew, and each day he is a day older and a day wiser.

His Grace is not near to despair, for he is bearing nothing compared to what he bore on that fateful day, ..."

I stood on the spot in the 'Broad' only the other day and pondered the strength that you, Latimer and Ridley showed. If you had been mohammedens of course, you'd have 'bravely' taken a few of the unsuspecting crowd with you.

19 August 2007 at 14:16  
Anonymous Observer said...

Little Green Footballs

547 comments

http://www.truthnet.org/islam/src-chp2.htm

http://www.truthnet.org/islam/src-chp4.htm

http://www.truthnet.org/islam/src-chp5.htm

19 August 2007 at 14:37  
Blogger Cranmer said...

I stood on the spot in the 'Broad' only the other day and pondered the strength that you, Latimer and Ridley showed.

Mr Billy,

Bless you.

The overwhelming majority simply trample upon it. Few bother to recall what His Grace and the noble Latimer and Ridley endured, and even fewer now understand why. History is thereby doomed to repeat itself.

19 August 2007 at 14:48  
Blogger Steven_L said...

Of course Mohammed was a false prophet.

Following his teachings often leads to the perpetration of great evil.

The un-secular civilisations that have sprung up from his 'revelation' are inhuman and barbaric.

Personally I was astonished when I found out that Muslims rever a man who killed people and had sex with young children.

His legacy can only be defended from criticism through the constant threat of death and destruction. The life of Jesus stands up to moral criticism, the life of Mohammed does not.

This is why Satans minions are trained to kill in order to defend the 'homour' of the antichrist.

19 August 2007 at 15:20  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Profound ignorance indeed. Perhaps you should study Christian Theology more assiduously?

Countless people have studied 'Christian Theology' assiduously down the centuries. They have not all reached the same conclusions.

You are too bound up in Mohammedan Dogma to know what you are saying and there is NO conflict between the First Commandment and anything said by Jesus Christ - he was a Torah-observant Jew.

You do like your ex cathedra pronouncements, voyager, dunya? Here's one of mine: Theology is taken seriously only by idiots or lunatics. Bald men arguing over which comb best suits their flowing locks are less ludicrous.

19 August 2007 at 15:43  
Blogger Philip Andrews said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for making this stand. What it boils down to is this: Secularists, Muslims, and others, can say what they like about Christ and his Church. Christianity is the ultimate faith with love and as such, Christians don’t go around murdering innocents in the name of their faith. There is therefore no real problem if the media blasphemes the Prince of Peace because Christians will not blaspheme the One True God by taking up arms. Islam, on the other hand is faith with delusion. There is no love in Islam and so the evil that is perpetrated in its name is justifiable. This is not to say that Muslims are bad people, many, through the grace that God gives all people exhibit great love and charity, but this does not come from their Muslim faith; it comes from the grace of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

19 August 2007 at 16:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

nedsherry said...

Profound ignorance indeed. Perhaps you should study Christian Theology more assiduously?

Countless people have studied 'Christian Theology' assiduously down the centuries. They have not all reached the same conclusions.


They are not obliged to...that is the difference between Christianity and Islam


The rest of your rantings are for your nurse

19 August 2007 at 16:12  
Anonymous Sir HM said...

Observer:

" The West Europeans have lost the taste for violence assured that wishful thinking would bring security and prosperity... "

Not all of us.

19 August 2007 at 16:27  
Blogger Greg said...

billy said...

I stood on the spot in the 'Broad' only the other day and pondered the strength that you, Latimer and Ridley showed. If you had been mohammedens of course, you'd have 'bravely' taken a few of the unsuspecting crowd with you.


It took me a long time to find it, even after the Tourist Information Office's misinformation! Such as small mark for such a momentous occasion.

19 August 2007 at 16:40  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Profound ignorance indeed. Perhaps you should study Christian Theology more assiduously?

Countless people have studied 'Christian Theology' assiduously down the centuries. They have not all reached the same conclusions.

They are not obliged to...


Heresy. Blasphemy. Anathema. Excommunication. If these terms ring any bells, please explain how they do not invalidate your claim. For bonus points, confront the etymology of 'heresy'.

that is the difference between Christianity and Islam

Christianity and Islam have both been highly intolerant of those who reach the wrong conclusions.

The rest of your rantings are for your nurse

Neither accurate nor original.

The process of your enlightenment is, however, fatuous, for Muslims believe the New Testament to be flawed and to have been polluted by the propaganda of the Early Church. Anything which may be adduced to disprove what you believe is thereby conveniently refuted by your belief.

Are there no depths to which Muslims will not stoop? But of course: nomine mutato de te fabula narratur.

Of course Mohammed was a false prophet.

Following his teachings often leads to the perpetration of great evil.


If that is the criterion of a false prophet, Jesus and Moses are false prophets too.

His legacy can only be defended from criticism through the constant threat of death and destruction. The life of Jesus stands up to moral criticism, the life of Mohammed does not.

This is why Satan's minions are trained to kill in order to defend the 'homour' of the antichrist.


Remind me: if someone had ventured a 'moral critique' of Jesus' life in Europe in say 1300, what would have happened to him?

Christianity is the ultimate faith with love and as such, Christians don’t go around murdering innocents in the name of their faith.

Wars of Religion. St Bartholomew's massacre. Witch trials. Pogroms. Ring any bells?

There is therefore no real problem if the media blasphemes the Prince of Peace because Christians will not blaspheme the One True God by taking up arms.

See above. Islam is a problem because it is an Abrahamic faith, not because it is Islam.

Btw, this isn't Islam, tho it is one of the other vibrant faiths we've allowed into the UK recently:

Over the past 20 years, it has been estimated that some 10 million female foetuses have been aborted. Girls are unwanted because they are seen as a financial burden. Landholdings can pass to in-laws and dowries, which themselves are illegal, siphon money from families. Why pay 50,000 rupees to your new in-laws when you can pay 500 rupees for an abortion? You do not even have to leave home. Many unscrupulous doctors carry portable ultra-sound equipment in the boots of their cars. Increased consumer choice is one of the hallmarks of the new India. Tragically, it is being applied, with almost industrial efficiency, to depress the female birth rate.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6934540.stm

19 August 2007 at 18:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, am infuriated at the constant pro-Islamic-Anti-Christian state that Britain seems to be moulding itself into.

I am sick to the teeth of hearing that Islam and Christianity have so many parallels...well, seeing as most faiths hold within them thousands of beliefs its not surprising that one or two will be the same.

But there are no two religions whose cores, the true cores, are the same, LEAST OF ALL CHRISTIANITY'S AND ISLAM! I would rant about the immense differences, but I am satisfied that His Grace portrayed them clearly enough in his blog.

In response to the fact that no representatives were available to speak from the Anglican or Catholic communities, I suggest that in actual fact the producers of this blasphemous trash didn't try hard to find them at all. Enjoy allowing the Muslims to insult every Christian in the country, but woe betide them should they attempt to allow anyone to challenge back.

What an insult to God. (By God, I mean Yahweh).

19 August 2007 at 18:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

See above. Islam is a problem because it is an Abrahamic faith,

No it is not - no more than L Ron Hubbard's Scientology. It is Arab Paganism based upon Al-Lat the moon god.

It has nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity but is a cut-and-paste Arab political system

19 August 2007 at 19:04  
Anonymous tolkein said...

I'm not surprised that representatives of Christian churches were not available. Perhaps they sought assurances that what they said would not be twisted to fit the story ITV wanted to tell. Or perhaps they didn't trust ITV. Who could blame them?

19 August 2007 at 19:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Islam is an attempt to supplant Jesus as Son of God with Mohammed.

It is a confected doctrine of political power by desert tribes feeble in comparison with the Roman or Greek or Persian empires.

It is attempting today to revive its Imperialism and to threaten those around. Whther Iran under the bizarre Achmenijad or Saudi Arabia with its Wahhabi proxies; it is simple Koranic Imperialism

19 August 2007 at 19:08  
Anonymous sparkyd said...

nedsherry, you keep re-iterating all of the deaths caused by Christians a thousand years ago, seemingly without realising that every religion, ideology and belief system has had people use it to legitimise murderous actions. Atheism has tens of millions of deaths on it's hands by the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot etc, and these happened in the last 100 years, indeed, atheism has spawned abortion in the name of "enlightenment" and "choice" which has killed possibly more humans than any other group or religion in history. I could go on listing such actions by other religions, but I'm sure that you are well aware of the things I'm talking about. Just because someone, or indeed a group of people act in an unethical manner, claiming that they are doing it in the name of something, or someone, doesn't mean that the this abstract thing is responsible.

To take this a step further, your lack of belief, and as a result, lack of an absolute moral framework has opened you up to moral relativism, you cannot argue that Abrahamic faiths are "bad" because your belief systems are relative and cannot be applied to others without you claiming moral superiority. We know you cannot claim this, because you have no extrinsic measuring system, no law-giver, you just have your own thoughts. To you, there is no inherent evil in any action, evil cannot exist to you, life is just a collection of cells, atoms and electrons moving and reacting with one another, particles which have no higher purpose but to buzz around. At the most you can say what you believe, and no one should stop you, but to carry on judging Christianity, and measuring it up against your non-existant moral-ometer is just plain ludicrous.

19 August 2007 at 21:26  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

I wondered how long it would be before the Christian religion got its indirect attack from an Islamic perspective on television.

Off topic, did Your Grace happen to catch a report in today's Sunday Express that a mention of links to murder on Gerry Adams' Wikipedia profile have been removed by the Vatican?

19 August 2007 at 22:41  
Blogger Steven_L said...

I'm watching it, here's some commentary:

One of them said something along the lines of 'Jesus started it Mohammed finished it'. What is 'it'? In primitive parts of the world perfectly curable mental illnesses are still dealth with as posession by evil spirits. Civilisation is not 'finished'. If we have no common values it soon will be.

Now I'm watching an Islamic faith school. I was lucky enough to go to a C of E faith school. I'm scared now, they are brainwashing them. I had to conform and sing hymns, pray and learn about Noah and Jesus, but my teachers never said 'We as Christians have to believe....' The idea of education is to impart knowledge and teach people to think for themselves.

I get it now. The Muslim book says that the Christian book is rubbish and that anyone who says the Muslim book is rubbish must have their head cut off.

Oh, I've seen these guys at speakers corner, it's an absolute hoot there on a Sunday, but watch out for pickpockets.

Now the ex-Christian convert, seems a nice enough guy, but it takes all sorts I guess.

The Islamic version of the 'antichrist' who stands for 'hatred and war' and 'exploiting power', the 'imposter', the 'liar' the 'deceiver' and some analogy about dodgy salemen. Muslims in corner shops have even sold me yesterdays newspaper. He has 'one eye'.

YIKES they are right it's Gordon Brown!!!!

20 August 2007 at 00:04  
Blogger Steven_L said...

Remember guys, the 'mark of the beast', '666'.

Labour want us to have 'personal tradeable carbon allowances' so that we can not but or sell unless we trade carbon at the same time.

What is carbon? An atom made up of 6 electrons, 6 protons, 6 neutrons - 666!

I think these Muslims have a point - they have 'finished' it, they've helped us solve the riddle by pointing out that the antichrist will have one eye.

Now all the Tories need to do is produce literature to hammer the point home in Arabic and Urdu.

20 August 2007 at 00:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always feel that christians, or those extremists of the christian faith are always explicitly offensive to those of other religions, it portrays christians in a very negative and rude way. As above, where the author of this article obviously is being very rude and offensive to all muslims, on account of one documentary.

20 August 2007 at 00:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems the reviewer has taken things slightly to far. Why make such a fuss, sometimes it is best to see outside the box and view others perceptions.

20 August 2007 at 00:44  
Anonymous Dr C. Riyal Kilah said...

The wishy-washy second-rate prophet Jesus said "Suffer little children to come unto me"
But Mohammed, the seal of the Prophets said "Suffer little children when I cum into you"

Allah Akhbar !!!

I am currently applying these Koranic teachings in the hospital's children's ward. I am experimenting with an ancient Islamic physiotherapy known as 'Mufa Khathat', and have obtained promising indications from the children resulting in many early discharges!

- Dr C. Riyal Kilah

20 August 2007 at 00:59  
Anonymous Infidel said...

part 1

part 2
part 3
part 4

20 August 2007 at 01:30  
Anonymous The Last Toryboy said...

As an avowed atheist and admirer of Richard Dawkins, but I find Islam far more appalling than Christianity. In fact I don't find Christianity, at least of the secular form as practiced in the UK, to be much of an issue at all.

Things like alien sharia law, honour killings and other third world barbarities is what annoys me. As far as I'm concerned the likes of Saudi Arabia are literally that - barbarian states, not much different from the Huns who submerged Rome, and I have no interest whatsoever in importing any of their culture and least of all their totalitarian laws to the Enlightened West.

Yes, Christianity did used to burn people at the stake (Cranmer would know that, right? :) ) but not anymore, while heads are still being lopped off and adulterers stoned to death in Saudi.

This in response to nedsherry.

So, while it is true I am no Christian, I consider Cranmer and other Christians like him to be the allies of secularists like me against the true enemy.

20 August 2007 at 01:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHO ARE YOU TO POST JUDGMENT
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARROGANT SWINE
OH AN BY THE WAY YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU DESERVE YOU CHEEKY SMALL MINDED DEVIL>>

MUSLIMS RESPECT ALL RELIGIONS AND WOULD NEVER EVER OFFEND ANYONE
IF A CHRISTIAN< HINDU OR AN ATHEIST REQUIRED HELP, BELIEVE ME TRUE MUSLIMS WOULD HELP........
THINK ABOUT IT MR IGNORANT

20 August 2007 at 04:25  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Yes, Christianity did used to burn people at the stake

Yes and Christians used to be nailed to crosses and be set alight in gardens by secular politicians....not much has changed really

20 August 2007 at 06:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Nero

20 August 2007 at 08:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Nero

Nero laid blame for the fire on the Christians. The emperor ordered the arrest of a few members of the sect who, under torture, accused others until the entire Christian populace was implicated and became fair game for retribution. As many of the religious sect that could be found were rounded up and put to death in the most horrific manner for the amusement of the citizens of Rome.

In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. Nero offered his own garden players for the spectacle,..... were victims of the ferocity of one man."

20 August 2007 at 08:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am muslim and I am shocked by what I just read:

"Yet there is a Second Coming, when he shall descend in the clouds as a Muslim to destroy the Jews and 'the swine'."
Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them) will destroy the Anti-christ, the cross and kill the pigs (not the jews unless they fight him).

"the documentary will unashamedly portray Jesus as Muslims see him, and use the Qur’an as its primary source material"
Helloo... It is a broadcast about Jesus in Islam, a version never told on British TV.

"...completely and conveniently ignoring the fact that it was ‘revealed’ centuries after Jesus lived"
Like the Gospels you mean?

"The accounts of the real primary material are thereby rubbished,"
What account are you talking about? The ones that the Romans have imposed in the 4rth century?

"Jesus’ divinity is denied. It is both blasphemous and offensive to Christians the length and breadth of the country,"
Escuse me, I'm not christian..I am Muslim and believing In Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them) as a Messenger of God is not optional it is an integral part of my FAITH. I am sorry my faith offends you...

""How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?’ "
You do not believe in Muhammad but we also believe in Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them), it is our right to explain what is PART of OUR FAITH.

"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."

With pleasure, really, so we can explain the truth to the British people that are mislead by ignorant people like you.
In the mean time, there are already some documentaries and a film on his life that have never been shown on UK TV, why?


"...to broadcast one on the biblical view of Mohammed..."
Lol, it's easy to say so to your fellow christians.
People, make your own mind: google Muhammad in the Bible and watch Ahmed Deedat videos. You will easily see that Muhammad has been prophecised more than once in the Bible. Also, How can we deny Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon them) when we actually believe in them and love them??????

20 August 2007 at 10:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am a Christian and I'm not at all shocked by what I just read but I am shocked by the ignorant Muslim who posted above. It's all one-way - they can say what they believe because its their faith, but I can't say what I believe if it just happens to be mine. And Mohammed IS in the Bible. He is there with all the other false prophets who spread their lies and speak of a false Jesus. Their Jesus is NOT the Jesus of the Bible - just someone pretending to be him - Mary and Jesus were pretty common names in 0AD.

20 August 2007 at 10:37  
Anonymous Anonymous Aisha said...

Muslims do not realise that the dead are all baptised as Mormons....there are no Muslims after death....only Mormons

20 August 2007 at 10:47  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Please, please, please would anonymice tap into the God-given creativity within their souls and ascribe to themselves a name.

His Grace used to have a Colin, but he has been somewhat absent of late, so that name is available.

He might also like Sharon or a Tracey - anything is preferable to anonymous, since it becomes impossible to know who is responding to whom. Please take a lesson from Dr C Riyal Kilah...

20 August 2007 at 10:50  
Blogger The Ludingtonian said...

Your Grace -

I would welcome a documentary exploring the claims of some of the Early Church Fathers, such as St John of Damascus, that Islam is actually a Christian heresy. Indeed, its theology has long struck me as the result of a sort of theological Chinese whispers - a bit of Judaism, a bit of Christianity and a big dollop of Nestorianism, all with Mohammed's own unique spin.

Does You Grace know of any textual scholars who have applied Higher Critical methods to the Quran? That might prove interesting as well.

20 August 2007 at 11:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its only a TV programme about the muslims view, shown at a time when not many people watch TV. It was VERY basic, didnt go into depth, and wasn't even all that anyways.

My Lord is one, and Jesus, son of Miriam is the Messenger of God and the Messiah.

Who cares, get over it.

20 August 2007 at 11:17  
Anonymous Asma Rafiq said...

"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."

Sorry for the above pasted comment. No doubt you know your own work, but i felt it neccessary to highlight this statement incase you try to deny my furthur point. Whilst I fully accept that the documentry has caused several christians to be upset, I am simply astounded by the fierce reaction you have shown above. You seem to be an intelligent individual and yet still, you have sunken to a low of using obsceneity and vulgarity to get your point across.
The muslims who appeared on last nights documentry in NO WAY disgraced or ridiculed the prophet jesus. on the contrary, they spoke of him with with as much respect and love as they do of their Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). prehaps a lesson needs to be learned here: How about you start practising this love which you calim that jesus died for? tolerance is needed. not ignorance from biased people. grow up please!

20 August 2007 at 11:24  
Anonymous Khalid Mujaheed said...

The Observer is trying to instigate hatred towards Muslims. At times when media covers Islam and muslims with dirt, people like Observer justify it as part of Democracy and freedom of speach. On the other hand the programm did not in anyway offend Jesus (PBUH), on contrary it hailed him. But expression of muslim view on historical Jesus (PBUH)by third (non-muslim) party has offended intolerant people like Observer.
It is called hypocrisy and double-standards.

20 August 2007 at 11:57  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

@Voyager

Of course secularists have proven to be perfectly capable of tyranny, I'm surprised you didn't bring up Chairman Mao or Stalin myself.

Thats irrelevant however, Communism and the Roman Empire was not based upon Enlightenment values, and you don't have to be religious to be moral.

I don't want to get into an atheist rant as that wasn't the purpose, indeed my post was about secularists allying with Christians, but Voyager seems up for a flame war versus all comers.

20 August 2007 at 12:05  
Anonymous Observer said...

Khalid Mujaheed said...

The Observer is trying to instigate hatred towards Muslims


Observer need do nothing. The only instigators of hatreed towards Muslims are the followers of Mohammed and their violent campaigns against Jews, Christians, Hindus, and anyone else not submitting to their fantasies

20 August 2007 at 12:15  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Communism and the Roman Empire was not based upon Enlightenment values,

Communism was based entirely on "Enlightenment values" just as was the French Revolution. Communism was nothing more than the values of the Paris Commune 1871 fused with millennialist humanist rhetoric and the economic controls of the German wartime economy of 1914-18.

20 August 2007 at 12:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

you don't have to be religious to be moral.

What is morality ?

20 August 2007 at 12:19  
Anonymous Khalid Mujaheed said...

The Observer, look up the history. Christians and Jews have always lived in peace and harmony under Islamic State at times when in Europe innocent Jews and Christians were persecuted and burnt alive under banner of inquisition. I can see that you are blinded by ignorance and hatred.

The Observer, we are aware of people like you and our answer to you is as follows:
"They intend to put out the light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will complete His light even though the disbelievers hate (it)." (As-Saff 61: 8)

Your actions or actions of people like you are irrelevant and insignificant no matter what you do.
“Remember how the unbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad). They plotted, and Allah too plotted; but Allah is the best of plotters. Qur’an 8:30

You are doomed and you have already lost, but you do not yet realise that.

No point for further conversation. To you be your way to me mine.

20 August 2007 at 12:47  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

Oh yawn, Voyager. As you persist, I guess you'll get your atheist rant.

Communism was based on Marxism, which I'm sure you will agree. Marxism was not the sum total of the Enlightenment. Stuff like the labour theory of value was debunked before Marx even came on the scene by western Enlightenment inspired philosophers. Sure, it was a strand of secular philosophy, and Robespierre's 'wisdom' too, there are plenty of other strands too, as indeed there is in religion. Rather than reading the murderous ideologies of the continent I suggest you find offence with some English and Scottish enlightenment philosophers, if you can, for it is that that I'm talking about. There aren't many Trots left in the west these days you know, and Robespierre and his followers had their heads cut off centuries ago...

Theism is essentially backwards looking though, just look at all this creationist guff in the United States being peddled at the moment. Look at how backwards anywhere which comes under the sway of Islam ends up. Religion can be a comfort to the religious, I'm sure, but whenever it gets powerful it invariably becomes a regressive force.

As for 'what is morality', you tell me. :p

20 August 2007 at 13:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In islam, as moslims, we believe that someday will come that all moslims and cristians will be together to fight agains the so named "daccal". Because despite some differencies the origin is the same.

20 August 2007 at 13:37  
Anonymous Ismaeel said...

I. Jesus (A.S.) In Islam

Muslims do believe that Isa (A.S.) was sent down as a Prophet of Allah (God), but he (Jesus) is not God or Lord, nor the son of God. Muslims do not believe that Isa (A.S.), also known as Jesus by Christians and others, is dead or was ever crucified. We believe that he was raised to heaven and is there, and will descend at the appointed time, end all wars, and bring peace to the world. Like Jesus (A.S.), Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is also a Prophet and Messenger. Muhammed (P.B.U.H.) is the last Prophet, though, and there is none after him. Hence, Islam is the last religion, complete, with the Holy Qur'an as the unchanged and perfect word of God for over 1400 years, as God promised to preserve it till the last day for all of humankind, unlike sacred texts of other religions which have mulitple versions and are "revised" periodically. God, or Allah in Arabic, is Divine and Supreme Being and Creator.

What the Holy Qur'an says about Jesus:

They slew him not, nor did they crucify him but it was made dubious to them.
(Holy Qur'an, Surah Nisaa, Verse 157)

Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) himself told of the coming of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). In the Bible, Jesus (A.S.) says,

If you love me, Keep my commandments. And I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another comforter that he may abide with you forever.
(Bible, John 14-15/16)

But when the comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, and he also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
(Bible, John 15-26/27)

I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the spirit of Truth will come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall speak not of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and he shall show it unto you.
(Bible, John 16-12/14)

Ulema (learned scholars in Islam) have said that the person who is described by Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) to come after him - in the above verse - does not comply with any other person but Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

In this case, the "comforter" he mentions is none other than Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his laws and way of life (Shariah) and Book (Holy Qur'an) are those that Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) asks his followers to abide by.

The "person" whom Jesus (A.S.) prophecised will come after him, is called Pargaleeta in the Bible . This word was deleted by interpreters and translators and changed at times to "Spirit of Truth" and at other times, to "comforter" and sometimes "Holy Spirit." The original Greek and its meaning is "one whom people praise exceedingly." The sense of the word, then, is applicable to the word Muhammad in Arabic, since Muhammad means "the praised one."

Jesus (A.S.) also says in the Bible,

... and a little while and you shall not see me; and again a little while, you shall see me because I go to the Father.
(Bible, John 16:16)

... and the Holy Qur'an says,

And surely they slew him not. But Allah (God) raised him unto Himself.
(Holy Qur'an, Surah Nisaa, Verse 157-158)

As such, Muslims believe that Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) was raised to heaven. According to Hadith, he is on the second heaven. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam=Peace be upon him) mentioned, "During the Meraj (Ascension), I met Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) on the second heaven. I found him of medium stature, reddish white. His body was so clean and clear, that it appeared as though he had just performed ghusal (ablution, cleansing of the entire body) and come." In another Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned to the Jews that, " Hadhrat Isa (A.S.) is not dead, he will most surely return to you before Qiyamat (the Day of Judgement)."

May Allah Guide all people to the Truth. Aameen.

20 August 2007 at 13:39  
Anonymous Dr. Irene Lancaster FRSA said...

Although there are arguments in favour of free speech and even in favour of historical appraisals of Jesus, in this case, barely a month after the attempted suicide bombings of London and Glasgow by well-educated Cambridge Muslims, the context is all.

A year or two ago Radio 4 had a series on Jesus as seen from the viewpoints of different religions, as well as from Christianity. It was all done in good taste and did not seem to be a sop to Muslims.

However, it may be as well to point out that Arab and Muslim countries would never ever allow a similar programme about Muhammad.

When I taught about the Quran as part of a history course at one of our major universities, attempts were made by a Muslim male student (whose Arabic I am sure was negligable) to stop me on the grounds that I was both female and Jewish and therefore 'doubly unclean', as well as having been responsible for the Prophet's death, being from that 'perfidious' race.

This March, another university, the one of which Melvyn Bragg is Chancellor, Leeds, banned an expert from giving a lecture on the links of Islamo-fascism and Nazi ideology, even though they themselves had orginally invited him!

Before that, on the Radio 4 series 'In our Time', Melvyn Bragg had curtly shut up a respected female Jewish academic when she was about to bring something of relevant Jewish interest into the debate, stating on air that he was 'not interested in Judaism, only interested in Islam'.

Plus, he is a great friend of Prince Charles whose love for all things Arab and Muslim, including the Saudi desert, are well known.

So, before those who object to the programme are dismissed as raving racist nutters, let's ask who really are the raving racist nutters.

Especially as, thanks to a recent Channel 4 programme, entitled 'The War Against Britain's Jews', we now know exactly which minority is actually being abused in 21st-century Britain.

20 August 2007 at 13:50  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Dr Lancaster,

His Grace welcomes you to his revered blog of intelligent and erudite comment upon matters religio-political.

He also thanks you heartily for responding to some of the above. His blog appears today to have been somewhat overrun...

20 August 2007 at 14:15  
Anonymous Observer said...

The Observer, look up the history. Christians and Jews have always lived in peace and harmony under Islamic State at times when in Europe innocent Jews and Christians were persecuted and burnt alive under banner of inquisition. I can see that you are blinded by ignorance and hatred.

How droll...now go and write some more florid poetry

20 August 2007 at 14:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Stuff like the labour theory of value was debunked before Marx even came on the scene by western Enlightenment inspired philosophers.

Really... do tell who debunked it.

20 August 2007 at 14:19  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Ismaeel - read up on Christian Theology...you are way off track

παράκλητος

20 August 2007 at 14:25  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Communism was based on Marxism, which I'm sure you will agree.

Go back Toryboy and read your handouts - Communism preceded Marx by a considerable period.

Marxism was simply the use of Proudhon Socialism wrapped with Hegelian Dialectic and infused with the spontaneity of The Paris Commune.

Hegel was heavily influenced by the Enlightenment and his notion of Historicism through Dialectics is perfectly in line with the mechanistic view of human development inherent in the atheists of the Enlightenment period.

Communism was however Marxist-Leninist in practical terms since the gibberish put out by Marx was simply a pseudo-religion - whereas Lenin made himself high priest in the Secular Temple dedicated to the reification of the gospel according to karl

Karl Marx is perfectly in line with Rousseau and other Enlightenment gurus - indeed being a Jewish journalist from Trier born into a line of rabbis and whose father was a respected lawyer in Trier - Marx married the daughter of a baron and joined the Young Hegelians who were critiquing Christianity.

Marx simply fancied himself as an analogue to Darwin setting Mankind on the rails of predictability to the dawning of the New Nirvana and restoration to the Garden of Eden.

It was the most complete Secular Religion produced by man in centuries and holds its adherents enthralled if not in thralldom

20 August 2007 at 14:44  
Anonymous Ismaeel said...

Dr Lancaster,

"So, before those who object to the programme are dismissed as raving racist nutters, let's ask who really are the raving racist nutters"

Do you have nothing else to do?
You're neither Christian nor Muslim but you come here to throw dirt muslims and other people that do not support fully the zionist agenda.
Zionists are occupying and colonising Palestine, operating the most disgusting "soft" ethnic cleansing with the blessing of Western power.
Anyway, let's not divert the subject. I guess, it is what you came here for in the first place...

20 August 2007 at 15:19  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

sparkyd --

To take this a step further, your lack of belief, and as a result, lack of an absolute moral framework has opened you up to moral relativism,

The 'absolute moral framework' of Christianity justified torture and the most horrendous forms of execution for many centuries and would do so again under the right circumstances.

We know you cannot claim this, because you have no extrinsic measuring system, no law-giver, you just have your own thoughts.

There is no need for a law-giver. Can God make murder right or charity wrong? If he can't, morality is logically independent of God and your claims collapse: we do not need God to recognize or apply morality.

To you, there is no inherent evil in any action, evil cannot exist to you, life is just a collection of cells, atoms and electrons moving and reacting with one another, particles which have no higher purpose but to buzz around.

I'm not a particle and I have higher purposes than to just buzz around. I don't take them from religion and I don't believe they have any eternal significance, but if that's the way the universe is, I'm not going to indulge in wishful thinking and pretend otherwise.

At the most you can say what you believe, and no one should stop you, but to carry on judging Christianity, and measuring it up against your non-existant moral-ometer is just plain ludicrous.

Morality, as I pointed out above, is independent of God, and I'm judging Christianity against Christianity's moral-o-meter. You say it's a religion of love and peace; history offers copious examples of Christian hatred and war.

voyager --

See above. Islam is a problem because it is an Abrahamic faith,

No it is not - no more than L Ron Hubbard's Scientology. It is Arab Paganism based upon Al-Lat the moon god. It has nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity


Don't be ridiculous. It's a Christian heresy as Christianity was a Judaic heresy.

but is a cut-and-paste Arab political system Islam is an attempt to supplant Jesus as Son of God with Mohammed. It is a confected doctrine of political power by desert tribes feeble in comparison with the Roman or Greek or Persian empires. It is attempting today to revive its Imperialism and to threaten those around. Whther Iran under the bizarre Achmenijad or Saudi Arabia with its Wahhabi proxies; it is simple Koranic Imperialism

Islam is lots of things, imperialism among them. Ditto for Christianity and Judaism: see Iraq. Religions have always served secular ends, among others.

20 August 2007 at 15:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Zionists are occupying and colonising Palestine

Muslims are terrorising Christians and dricing them from Christian lands throughout the Middle East......

20 August 2007 at 16:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Don't be ridiculous. It's a Christian heresy as Christianity was a Judaic heresy.

Which part of Judaism did Jesus Christ refute ?

20 August 2007 at 16:05  
Anonymous Amused said...

Irene Lancaster...

Dr? God, if thats the state of Docters today, racist, vile and childishly sensitive, I would hate to see the state of Britain in the next few years.
DO get over yourself darling! Everyone faces prejudice of some kind during their lives. Its all very well to point the finger, but some of us are adult enough to accept the ignorance of others (such as yourself).
Good Day!

20 August 2007 at 16:07  
Anonymous Ismaeel said...

Voyager,

" ...It is Arab Paganism based upon Al-Lat the moon god. It has nothing to do with Judaism or Christianity..."

It is very difficult to hold a discussion with people who have not got the slightliest idea of what they are talking about...
Go back to sleep, it'll do you good.

20 August 2007 at 16:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It is very difficult to hold a discussion with people who have not got the slightliest idea of what they are talking about...

Thanks for sharing the comments on your job-appraisal with us Ismaeel......

20 August 2007 at 16:23  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

I notice Voyager was keeping banging on about the likes of Rousseau and other continentals but didn't address my note that the Enlightenment also includes people like Hume.

As I'm of an empiricist bent you're not really persuading me by talking about nutters like Marx and Rousseau.

You are absolutely right, Marxism is a pseudo religion. It bears all the hallmarks of a religious belief - unswerving faith in the revealed word of the Prophet, in defiance of reality. The answer is to forget about adulation of prophets and adherence to backwards and often straight out ignorant doctrines, be they those of Jesus, Mohammed, Marx or anybody else, and stick to the wisdom gained by tried and tested experience, combined with some humility regarding what we know and what we do not.

20 August 2007 at 16:29  
Anonymous ToMTom said...

Dr? God, if thats the state of Docters today, racist, vile and childishly sensitive, I would hate to see the state of Britain in the next few years.

Well amused your spelling tells us your age....and we are all dreading the state of Britain in the next few years with illiterates like yourself

20 August 2007 at 16:47  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Sigh...

20 August 2007 at 16:51  
Anonymous Amused said...

well er.. "ToMTom" it is apparent what an educated individual you seem to be!
Still, I hpe it makes you feel better that the only thing you could pick on from a comment by someone "MY AGE" is the spelling. Good for you! Tomorrow, you can check for punctuation, ok? Thats a BIG PEOPLE's task :)

20 August 2007 at 16:57  
Blogger Ginro said...

You and me both Your Grace, lol.

20 August 2007 at 17:09  
Anonymous the doc said...

Amused : " adult enough " , from your post you appear to be a juvenile oik,
and you cannot spell .
I apologise to His Grace if this also makes him sigh .

20 August 2007 at 17:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologise to His Grace if this also makes him sigh.

I am enjoying the debate on this blog, but have some self respect please! your making me cringe.

20 August 2007 at 17:25  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace was simply trying to identify the precise minute at which his august blog of intelligent and erudite comment upon matters religio-political descended into puerile insult-hurling.

Could it be when a hoard of people did a google search on three specific words (one search every two minutes is hitting His Grace's blog), after which His Grace observed a certain descent...

20 August 2007 at 17:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing "Doc", hate to point it out but "oik" is not a word. That's twice you've embaressed yourself in one blog. please refrain from furthur inputs. Leave the debate to the professionals.

20 August 2007 at 17:31  
Anonymous Amused said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

20 August 2007 at 17:33  
Anonymous Amused said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

20 August 2007 at 17:34  
Blogger Cranmer said...

For those visiting His Grace's august blog for the first time today, principally as a result of entering three words into Google, he would respectfully like to point out that gratuitous insult-hurling and fowl language will not be tolerated.

Offensive posts will be deleted, and if people persist in posting inane comments anonymously, the facility will be removed.

Now, may we return to the subject matter of the thread?

20 August 2007 at 17:50  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Don't be ridiculous. It's a Christian heresy as Christianity was a Judaic heresy.

Which part of Judaism did Jesus Christ refute?


I said Christianity, not Christ.

20 August 2007 at 18:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Christianity was a Judaic heresy.

so elaborate on your assertion

20 August 2007 at 18:33  
Blogger The Ludingtonian said...

Your Grace -

...those visiting His Grace's august blog for the first time today, principally as a result of entering three words into Google...

Interesting. I was wondering if that might not be the case. Sort of Islamic Anti-Defamation League strike force.

It may well be that my previous question was lost in the rush of posts, so with your indulgence I'll post it again.

Is Your Grace aware of any textual scholars who have applied Higher Critical methods to the Quran? The academic circles in which Your Grace moves may drawn works to your attention that I have missed, so I should very welcome any suggestions Your Grace should care to make regarding my reading list.

20 August 2007 at 18:43  
Blogger Buenaventura Durruti said...

I've watched a fair number of 'documentaries' on Christianity in my time. I don't recall many of those of those on either the historical Jesus on the Christ of faith (who may or may not be the same being; I reckon that's a question of faith not fact) leaning over backwards to involve Muslim scholars or Jewish theologians (as oppposed to historians).

That said the Muslim view on Jesus as laid out in the Qur'an is just that a view, an interesting perspective which sheds light on the relationship between religions, but which comes only as close to historical evidence as does Geoffrey on king Arthur or the Bible on Abraham.

20 August 2007 at 19:00  
Anonymous m.d. said...

nedherry,

"The 'absolute moral framework' of Christianity justified torture and the most horrendous forms of execution for many centuries and would do so again under the right circumstances"

No, those who killed tried to justify their actions by using the Bible, there is a big difference. As I said, anyone can quote something as their reasoning for doing something, this in itself does not make the source quoted from a valid 'reason'.

"There is no need for a law-giver. Can God make murder right or charity wrong? If he can't, morality is logically independent of God and your claims collapse: we do not need God to recognize or apply morality."

My morality is not logically independent of God, and by and large, your morality (whether you like it or not) exists as it is, because you live in a part of the world built upon Judaeo-Christian teachings. You have the moral compass that you do because of Christianity. Perhaps a framework of morality can exist without God, but that framework, as I have stated, rests on nothing but your own ideas and perceptions of 'right' and 'wrong', ideas which many people would disagree on you with. I'm sure that you'd agree that each and every person in the world would have slightly differing moral codes than each other, some would find murder ok, many wouldn't, but what you would not have is the position to accuse anyone else of being immoral, because who is to say that you are correct in your understandings?

"I'm not a particle and I have higher purposes than to just buzz around. I don't take them from religion and I don't believe they have any eternal significance, but if that's the way the universe is, I'm not going to indulge in wishful thinking and pretend otherwise."

You sound sure of your higher purpose, may I ask what it is?

"Morality, as I pointed out above, is independent of God, and I'm judging Christianity against Christianity's moral-o-meter. You say it's a religion of love and peace; history offers copious examples of Christian hatred and war."

History offers people's actions, that is all. I won't bother copying and pasting the figures, because I'm sure that you can find them yourself, but if you dare compare the crime figures between those of a religious persuasion and those of a non-religious persuasion, what you will find is that 99% of all domestic crimes (discounting terrorism) are committed by those who have stated to have no faith. Practically all murders in America were committed by those who claim no faith in God. Practically all terrorist murders in hte last 5 years were committed by Muslims. As it happens Mr. Nedsherry, Christians commit less crime, under any classification, than any other group of individuals in the world today. So, by all means bring up something which happened 700 years ago, all I need to do is switch on BBC news 24 to get my retort.

20 August 2007 at 19:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I'm judging Christianity against Christianity's moral-o-meter.

Why don't you judge Islam by that same standard ? It would require you to inject a great deal of ethical content....in that respect it is markedly deficient compared to JUdaism or Christianity

20 August 2007 at 20:07  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It's my birthday !

Birthday

NASA's two Voyager spacecraft are celebrating three decades of flight as they careen toward interstellar space billions of miles from the solar system's edge.

Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977.

"The Voyager mission is a legend in the annals of space exploration. It opened our eyes to the scientific richness of the outer solar system, and it has pioneered the deepest exploration of the sun's domain ever conduct.

20 August 2007 at 20:15  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Voyager,

His Grace wishes you many happy returns to his blog.

Blessings,

+Cranmer

Mr Ludingtonian,

There are few Islamic scholars who are operating in the area of textual criticism, not least because they endanger their lives by so doing. His Grace is aware of Ibn Warraq and Steven Masood, yet (of course) both scholars are repudiated by the Islamic communities as apostate.

20 August 2007 at 20:31  
Anonymous najistani said...

Mr Ludingtonian,
Regarding textual criticism of the Koran, try Googling for 'Christopher Luxenberg Koran' (or Quran)

For example:
While recently reading 'End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason' by Sam Harris I found the following endnote that explains a new theory about why Muslim extremist suicide bombers think they'll be rewarded with virgins when they reach Heaven (from an endnote on p253):

Christopher Luxenberg (this is a pseudonym), a scholar of ancient Semitic languages, has recently argued that a mistranslation is responsible for furnishing the Muslim paradise with 'virgins' (Arabic hur, transliterated as 'houris' - literally 'white ones'). It seems that the passage describing paradise in the Koran were drawn from earlier Christian texts that make frequent use of the Aramaic word 'hur', meaning 'white raisins.' White raisins, it seems, were a great delicacy in the ancient world. Imagine the look on a young martyr's face when, finding himself in a paradise teeming with his fellow thugs, his seventy houris arrive as a fistful of raisins. See A Stille 'Scholars are quietly offering new theories of the Koran' New York Times, March 2, 2002.

If this is true then for me it prooves that if there is a God he/she/it/they have a weird (wicked?) sense of humour... That said, it does help clarfiy what female suicide bombers can expect in heaven...

From http://timoliver.blogspot.com/2006/08/suicide-bombers-and-their-just-rewards.html

20 August 2007 at 21:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have missed the point. "the Muslim Jesus" is the title of the documentary. Consequently, it follows that the whole film should be from an Islamic point of view. It is not blasphemous to Christians the length and breadth of the land (my parents are Catholics) and it does not become you to use such childishly inflammatory (and incorrect) language. You made your comment public, so I lambast you in public, if you dare to publish this comment. The fact that you seek the police to intervene in an editorial matter is sufficient proof that you are a buffoon. The fact that you have gathered together the usual "doubts" about Islam also shows your compound ignorance without a shadow of a doubt. The Quran specifically refutes the Bible - the Bible does not specifically refute the Quran. However, continue to boil in your seething rage. You cannot stsop Islam, and by this I am not talking about people who wish to commit hijackings and suicide bombings, rather I mean Islam in its essence: singling out our Creator with all worship.

20 August 2007 at 23:21  
Anonymous Sufisticate said...

Oh my God... seriously you people, too much anger and hatred on here! Come on! We are all children of Adam and Eve! Learn to put differences aside and try to respect one another!

We are all God's creation. All equal otherwise. So humble yourselves...

20 August 2007 at 23:52  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

this television special is shocking, because just when the world needs to convince Muslims to stop believing in Islam, and preferably to believe in the real and divine Jesus, not only for their eternal salvation, but for the survival of our own freedom and civilization, so many elites in the UK and Europe are out doing the opposite to their own hurt. I suppose it is more empirical evidence for the reality of evil. Only the devil could get Muslims, on the one hand, and liberal non-believing "christian", secularists, atheists, and socialists on the other, on the same page. But then "liberal Christians" (i.e. those who do not really believe the bible) believe something similar to the Muslims in that they always had trouble with Jesus death, atonement for our sins, resurrection, eternality, identity as the Logos, and divinity. At least the Muslims do not have trouble with miracles and the virgin birth, the early stumbling blocks of the "liberals."

What we really need today are whole seasons and collections of films that will be shown in the middle east and in Muslim markets in the West that explain the truth about Christianity and western civilization in subtle sophisticated ways. The Jesus film and Mel Gibbson's film about Jesus have had some success in changing hearts and minds. We need much more. We need to at least win their "tolerance" and "understanding." But if we really want peace Islam will need to be discredited and the truth believed in its place. This is a tall order when so many in the west doubt the truth. But we can pray and we can make a start. Doing nothing good only makes failure more likely.

P.S. For ms. Jelly Bean far above, Jesus often proclaimed his divinity through his deeds and the implications of his words. The New Testiment clearly testifies to His divinity, as do the witnessed facts of His death, resurection, and glory.

21 August 2007 at 02:50  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Well Dean, elaborate upon your understanding of these 'words' and 'deeds' you speak of, and how they testify to Jesus' divinity.

21 August 2007 at 11:24  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

I'm judging Christianity against Christianity's moral-o-meter.

Why don't you judge Islam by that same standard ? It would require you to inject a great deal of ethical content....in that respect it is markedly deficient compared to JUdaism or Christianity


I'm not sure it is: to me the nastiest of the lot is Judaism.

My morality is not logically independent of God, and by and large, your morality (whether you like it or not) exists as it is, because you live in a part of the world built upon Judaeo-Christian teachings. You have the moral compass that you do because of Christianity.

Your morality is logically independent of God. Can God make virtues into sins and sins into virtues? No, because morality has an objective standard that he must obey as much as his creatures. You recognize holiness because it conforms to the standard, you do not recognize the standard because it conforms to holiness.

You sound sure of your higher purpose, may I ask what it is?

Sex'n'drugs'baroque'n'roll. It's higher than buzzing around.

21 August 2007 at 18:03  
Anonymous sparkyd said...

nedsherry, God can do whatever he wants, including making virtues into sins etc.. I must say that I liked your baroque'n'roll comment though.

21 August 2007 at 22:31  
Anonymous najistani said...

Sparkyd,
If "God can do anything he wants" then presumably he could turn himself into a Muslim who could blow himself up on a train for his own greater glory. There would then be no God.

The philosophical problem with this scenario is that a truly omnipotent God would be a contingent rather than a necessary being. His continued existence being contingent upon his not deciding to end it all in numerous possible ways.(He could turn himself into a donut and be eaten by Homer Simpson).

To be a necessary being he must be forbidden or incapable of performing certain actions upon himself. Hence he cannot be truly omnipotent.

21 August 2007 at 22:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was merely a documentry!!! An informative documentry. It was not aired with the intention of trying to prove one religion over the other, on the contrary it was aired as a means for people of both religions to find common ground!! And anyone who cant see this is undoubtbly ignorant!

21 August 2007 at 22:54  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

Ms. Jelly Bean,

Here are my elaborations on Jesus claims to divinity in word and deed.

Here is a link with lots of articles on Jesus divinity: http://www.loveliftedme.com/site/OurMinistry/StudyResources/TheologyDeityofChrist/tabid/154/Default.aspx.

Also let me lay out a few of the many passages that support Jesus claim to be God.

First, we have claims made by action. Jesus did many things only God can do. You could say he did them in the power of God, but they are the sort of things that testify to who Jesus was. The similar miracles done by Jesus followers have been done “In Jesus Name” – in other words through Jesus authority. Jesus raised the dead (Matthew 9:18 – 26, Luke 7:12 – 17, John 11:1 – 44), made or healed human eyes out of mud (John 9:6 – 7), forgave sins (Mark 2:5 – 12, Luke 5:17 – 26), and created bread and fish to feed thousands (Mark 6:30 – 44).

Jesus accepted Peter’s statement that he was the “Son of the living God”, a statement that made Jesus divine if true. See Matthew 16:16 – 17. Jesus also accepted worship (Matthew 14:33, 28:9, 17, 16 – 20, Luke 19:35 – 40, John 9:38). Only God has a right to do this. You cannot claim Jesus is not God, but is a nice holy man if he accepted the worship due only to God alone.

Jesus claimed to be God’s son, as well as to be God. See John 1:49, 3:10 – 21, 5: 16 – 47, 8:12 – 36, The Jews of the time clearly understood that sonship implied being the same thing as the father – so Jesus claim to be God’s son was a claim to be God. See John 5:18.

Jesus also referred to himself by the term that only God spoke of himself. It was forbidden to utter the name in Hebrew culture. Yet Jesus says I AM – YHWH – of himself. See John 8:58 – 59. The Jewish leaders knew what this meant and tried to stone Jesus for claiming to be God.

Jesus also claimed to be God through riddles. Jesus implied he had lived from eternity. Job 19:25 already said there would be a “redeemer” who was alive in Job’s time and who would stand upon the earth at the resurrection. Jesus said he existed before Abraham. See John 8:49 – 59. He also pointed out that David called the Messiah “my Lord.” See Mark 12:35 – 37, Luke 20:41 – 44. How could this be since the Messiah would be David’s son? Only if the Messiah was the incarnate God/Man of the Christian trinity.

Before any of this happened, the Old Testament predicted that a man, the Messiah, would also be God – “mighty God, everlasting father.” See Isaiah 9:6 – 7. So none of this should really be a surprise to anybody really paying attention.

22 August 2007 at 03:56  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It was not aired with the intention of trying to prove one religion over the other, on the contrary it was aired as a means for people of both religions to find common ground!

I do not know what intentions Melvyn Bragg had in commissioning this piece.

However Christian liturgy states:-

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
All
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
All
God from God, Light from Light
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
All
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
All
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
All
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
All
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
All
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the prophets.
All
We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
All
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


This programme failed to make this clear and was as such an attack on Christianity far more serious than any commentary by a Pope in Regensburg saying:-

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on-- perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara-- by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian.

The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. In this lecture I would like to discuss only one point-- itself rather marginal to the dialogue itself-- which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.

But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels,” he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death....

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: "For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.

As far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: In the beginning was the logos. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts with logos.



How many Muslims have died as a consequence of ITV broadcasting an Anti-Christian programme ? How many Christians had to die because Muslims would not read the Pope's Regensburg Speech ?

22 August 2007 at 08:52  
Anonymous The Jelly bean said...

"Yet Jesus says I AM – YHWH – of himself".

That's interesting. There was once a sufi saint who whilst in the state of 'wajd' claimed 'anal haq' (I am the truth). He was executed for being a blasphemer, yet they failed to understand the meaning of his words. What he meant was that God is everywhere (his presence) and everything ultimately is from God, or originates from God. Some, due to this explanation, perceive sufism to be a form of pantheism, essentially because they are ignorant of the concept of 'wahdat-ul-wujud' (God is in all and all is in God). "since created things are the expression of divine power they have no seperate being and are graded as attributes of God. They are included in God's being and have relative, imaginary or non-real existance."

The difference in Hindu and Chrsitian pantheism and Islamic Wahdat-ul-wajud is that for you God descends in Rama Krishna and Christ, and in Islamic Wahdat-ul-wajud, God who is unlimited cannot be contained by limited human beings, nor by satues or idols.

When Jesus said "I AM – YHWH – of himself", it doesn't mean that he claimed to be God.

22 August 2007 at 11:05  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

Ms. Jelly bean,

In any other cultural context you might have a point. But Jesus kept all the laws appropriate for orthoox Jews and lived in a culture that did not recognize panthiesm as legitimate (as orthodox Christians still do not today). It is quite unthinkable that Jesus was saying he was one with God only in the sense we all could come to say that. In addition, all of Jesus closest friends and followers maintained, in the face of torure and persecutuion, the orthodox Christian view of jesus as God incarnet. Shurely it is unlikely we have a better understanding of what he ment than the people who spent three years with him, and who were inspired by the Holy Spririt to pen the Scriptures of the New Testiment.

22 August 2007 at 17:34  
Anonymous najistani said...

The Jelly bean said...
What he meant was that God is everywhere (his presence) and everything ultimately is from God, or originates from God. ......

(God is in all and all is in God). "since created things are the expression of divine power they have no seperate being and are graded as attributes of God. They are included in God's being and have relative, imaginary or non-real existance."


Is God in Pigs?

22 August 2007 at 22:20  
Anonymous najistani said...

And another thing...

"The difference in Hindu and Chrsitian pantheism and Islamic Wahdat-ul-wajud is that for you God descends in Rama Krishna and Christ, and in Islamic Wahdat-ul-wajud, God who is unlimited cannot be contained by limited human beings, nor by satues or idols."

So who or what lives inside that meteorite? http://www.crystalinks.com/blackstone.html

22 August 2007 at 23:11  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

trust you to make such a stupid comment najistani. you epitomise the ignorant people I was talking about who fail to understand the concept of wahdat-ul-wajud. 'God is in all and all is in God' doesn't literally mean that God is in everything he created, and therefore everything is God. That would declaire sufism to be a form of pantheism (which it isn't). Like I said, God doesn't descend into unlimited things. All creation whether good or bad, human or pig, IS FROM god. He is the origins. You, just like Cranmer, seem to take things a little too literally.

23 August 2007 at 08:54  
Anonymous najistani said...

"All creation whether good or bad, human or pig, IS FROM god. He is the origins."

So God is the origin of evil and suffering? I always thought it was the Other One who caused all the trouble.

23 August 2007 at 12:33  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

who satan? he is also God's creation. don't know the Christian perspective, but Muslims believe Satan was from amongst the 'Jinn' and was first known as 'iblees'.

23 August 2007 at 14:29  
Anonymous najistani said...

God is compassionate, omnipotent and omniscient. Choose any two attributes, but you can't have all three without logical contradictions.

People are dying of malaria.
God either doesn't know, doesn't care or can't do anything about it.

Creationists believe that a Special Creator God made the malaria parasite in the first place. Alternatively an omniscient Intelligent Designer could have prevented it evolving but didn't.

Maybe 'an enemy of God' (I love that phrase - it's so tribal!) sabotaged the universe at an early stage. But there again an omniscient God could have seen it coming and an omnipotent God could fix it.

23 August 2007 at 17:02  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"Choose any two attributes, but you can't have all three without logical contradictions".

You cannot find God in philosophical debate, logic or reason.

"God either doesn't know, doesn't care or can't do anything about it."

The fourth alternative would be that God is testing you. Why cause pain, why create evil and give us the freedom of will to accept or regect it? God created satan, so why not just get rid of him and remove all evil? Why did God create temptation, lust, desire and emotion in man? What's the greater purpose? A test of faith? Blind faith?

23 August 2007 at 21:10  
Anonymous najistani said...

If he's omniscient, then God has no need to test us, because he knows the result in advance (pass = up, fail = down).

The need to test us suggests that God himself is a creature of time.

24 August 2007 at 09:44  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Indeed he knows the result, but he's given us the choice. He knows what choice we will make because he created time and is not restricted by time. He will not prevent us from making a choice, nor alter our choice, because it's our test. He knows the outcome, but the outcome is as a result of the choices we make.

24 August 2007 at 10:02  
Anonymous najistani said...

A choice which is predetermined is hardly a choice at all. It certainly precludes freewill. In fact the idea of human mental actions being predetermined turns us into computers running a totally predictable program - a doctrine which is indistinguishable from mechanistic materialism.

24 August 2007 at 10:15  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

the choice is only predetermined in the sense that God knows what we don't know. God didn't however make the choices for us. He tried to direct us with scripture, prophets, logic, reason, intellect. This is difficult to comprehend when dealing with God who exists beyond the realms of time, and man who is restricted by time. God hasn't predetermined our choices, but he knows our past, present and future. The choice seems predetermined to you, because you cannot coexist in your past, present and future. Your future is predermined due to the choices you made in your past and are presently making. God knows your future but that doesn't mean he determined it or made the choices for you.

24 August 2007 at 10:45  
Anonymous najistani said...

But if God knows my future he has created me predestined for heaven or hell. No need for any tests. This is beginning to sound like Calvinism.

24 August 2007 at 10:52  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

no no no! (deep breath). ok, God knows your future and your destination (heaven or hell), but your destination is as a result of YOUR actions. God doesn't make the choice for you. I feel as though I'm repeating myself.

24 August 2007 at 11:02  
Anonymous najistani said...

But they aren't MY actions because I am not free to choose them. They are already predefined decisions written as statements in God's mechanistic computer simulation which we mistakenly think of as the universe. I have as much freewill as a character in a computer game.

True freewill (open ended outcomes) requires that God relinquishes some of his powers and ceases to be fully omnipotent.

Otherwise we are actors committed to performing a script which we have no power to alter.

Hence we are back to any two attributes but not all three.

24 August 2007 at 11:41  
Anonymous najistani said...

I googled for 'Islam Predestination Free Will' and found an excellent article by Rebecca Bynum which puts my thoughts into words much better than I could.

http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=4557&sec_id=4557

24 August 2007 at 13:23  
Anonymous Miss jelly bean said...

Maybe this will help.

Al Ghazzali uses an allegory to illustrate his views as to how far will is determined and how far it is free.

"A devotee saw a paper with a spot of ink on it. He asked the paper why it had blackened its face. The paper said that the ink was responsible for it.The ink being asked, laid the charge against the pen, saying, that it was living in an ink pot quite innocently when the pen disturbed it in its comfort. The pen tried to prove its innocence; it related its life history and discribed the cruelty of the hand in depriving it of its home and removing its covering and shaping it with a sharp knifeand then putting it into the inkpot and removing the ink from itand letting it fall onto the paper. The pen argued that it had no power and that the hand slone was responsible for the spot of ink. The hand explained its inability to do anything of its own accord. It was moved only by power without which it was no better than a dead mass of matter. The devotee then asked the power which answered thus: "I am not to blame. I was latent in the hand long before it moved. I was absolutely inactive. I was neither in motion, nor had i the ability to impart motion of my own accord. A certain agent came, shook me and obliged me to work. I had no power to rsist its orders. This agent is 'will'. I know it only by name". When the will was asked, it answered: "The mind send an agent named 'knowledge' who delivered his message to me through reason to put power into action, and I was simply compelled to obey, though I do not know the reason for my obedience. By nature, I am inactive, and I remain so as long as my master hesitates and deliberates. As soon as he decides, I accept his orders without questions. So please do not rebuke me, but ask 'knowledge'. The devotee then turned to the mind knowledge and reason for an explanation. The reason said that it was a lamp which was not self-illumined and did not know who lighted it. The mindreplied that it was a mere 'tabula rasa' which had been spread by someone other than himself. The knowledge excused itself by saying that it was a mere inscription made on a tablet; it becamevisible only after the lamp of reason had become luminous, it was not the author of the inscription. "You had better ask the 'pen' (the celestial pen)said the knowledge "as there can be no other inscription without the pen".
When the devotee heard from the knowledge about the pen, lamp, tablet, inscription, etc. He was perplexed that he was being driven to one thing from another without getting a satisfactory reply. Hitherto he had been receiving some concrete answers, but the answers given by the knowledge cut the ground from under his feet and he knew not where to go next. The ink, pen, hand, etc could be seen. But this tablet other than that of wood or metal, this lamp other than those lighted with oil or fire, this writing other than that written with ordinary pen or ordinary paper, were wholly incomprehensible to him. He was therefore completely at a loss of what to do.
The knowledge, hearing the complaints of the devotee, answered that he (the devotee) was right, for he was not in a position to continue his journey, not having the equipment necessary to pursue the path successflly and reach destination. But if he was still determined to attain his goal, he must listen to it most attentively. Seeing that the devotee was determined, the knowledge proceeded as follows:

"Your journey consists of three stages: the terrestrial world (the objects of which can be perceived with the physical eyes). This region you have left bhind. The celestial world (which lies beyond the physical senses). The pen which writes on the heart belongs to this world. You should know that you have entered this worldwhen you have seen this pen. This world is full of dangers and i do not know hether you will be able to overome them. Finally, the intermediate world (lies between the first two and serves as a link between them). You have travelled three stages of this world: power, will and knowledge.
"The celestial world begins when the pen which records knowledge on the heart becomes visible and man begins to think that he has aquired unshakable faith in the reality of the unseen world. If you cannot see the pen, you had better discontinue your journy."
The devotee who had until know only seen a material pen, opened his eyes wide to see the celestial pen. His mind was accustomed to experience only the things of the physical world. He failed to see the celestial pen. The knowledge again helped him by giving him further hints to have a conception of the celestial world which was free from physical determinations and limits, and proceeded to explain in this way: "The furniture of the house is according to the status of the dweller. Now God does not resemble anything. So his attributes are also transcendental. He is beyond space and time. His hand, pen, writing, speaking, etc, are unlike the thingswe experience in this world. Only that person who has the right conception of him can apprehend him and his attributes. You do not seem to have the right conception of him. Then listen. There are three categories of men as regards thir apprehension of him: (1) Those who conceive him as transcendental and beleive him to be not only above all material limitations but also above metaphorical limitations.(2) Those who conceive him to be an anthropomorphic being. (3) Those who beleive him to be neither of the two and yet both. They hold a middle position. You beleive that he is immaterial and you cannot have a transcendental conception of his hand, pen and tablet."
As the devotee heard this learned discourse of the knowledge, he realised his shortcomings. The realisation was the starting point of his ascent. The consciousness of his ignorance regarding the nature and essence of the reality of things aroused in him a sense of shame and self-reproach which tore away the curtain whch was hindering from seeing the reality. The light of knowledge dawned upon his heart and the curtain from before his eyes fell. He witnessed the spiritual realities as they were. The devotee then thanked the knowledge for its invaluable help and proceeded on his journey further. Now he asked the invisible pen as to why it writes knowledge on the heart of men, which produces will, and which in its turn moves the power whereby voluntary actions result. The invisible pen told him to address the inquiry to the Head which was the cause of its activities. The hand to him to direct his inquiries to the power. The devotee then asked the power and received the answer: "I am merely a quality, you had better ask the possessor of the quality." The devotee was about to ask the omnipotent, when he hearda voice from on high,saying: "He cannot asked about what he does, and they shall be asked." The devotee was over-awed and became unconscious, in which state he remained for a long time. When he came to his senses, he began to speak forth his heart in silence: "Thou art divine and benficient. I shall fear no mortal. Thy forgivness is my solace. Thy mercy is my refuge. Oh God! open my heart so that i may know thee. Untie the knot of my tongue." A voice came from behind the curtain, "stop, do not transcend the limits of the prophets. Return and follow them in everything. Take what they give you, and do what they ask you to do. All that you can have from the divine favour is that you have known the great fact that you cannot know him, his beauty and grandeur."
When the devotee heard the voice, he realised his limits. He returned to the world of power and accepted the excuses of the knowledge, the reason, the will, the power, the hand, the pen, the ink and the paper becuase he had now realised that God was the cause (the origins). The other substances spoken of as causes were such merely in a metaphorical sense. Everthing proceeds fro him, and returns to him. He is the first and the last, the manifest and the hidden, the architect of the universe."

24 August 2007 at 14:57  
Anonymous najistani said...

A revealing passage in the parable above is:

"A voice came from behind the curtain, "stop, do not transcend the limits of the prophets. Return and follow them in everything. Take what they give you, and do what they ask you to do. All that you can have from the divine favour is that you have known the great fact that you cannot know him, his beauty and grandeur."


This is the major difference between Allah and the Judeo-Christian God.

To quote from a more recent article by Rebecca Bynum (http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/9549/sec_id/9549 ), who seems to be something of an expert on the distinctions between Islamic and Judeo-Christian theologies:

"In Islam, Paradise is given to the individual as a reward, like a bone to a dog. Allah himself is not conceived as either approachable or attainable, even in the afterlife. There is no bridge between God and man in Islam, which was one of the main points the Pope tried to make at Regensburg, but which was ignored in the melee over his use of an ancient quotation.

Here is a major difference between Islam and Christianity that needs to be understood. For Christians, following the teaching and example of Christ leads one closer to God, but under Islam, growing closer to Allah is not possible because he is portrayed as absolutely transcendent and ultimately unknowable. Even in the supposed “paradise” of Islam, man is still shut away from God and truth is not revealed.

It is also useful to remember that the goal of Islam is not to advance human happiness, morality or salvation, but to advance Islam itself, regardless of the cost to human happiness, morality and salvation."

24 August 2007 at 16:42  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Rebecca Bynum, I feel needs to do some research upon the Islamic concept of heaven and the afterlife.

"For Christians, following the teaching and example of Christ leads one closer to God, but under Islam, growing closer to Allah is not possible because he is portrayed as absolutely transcendent and ultimately unknowable."

Actually, it's not knowing or understanding him that builds the desire and need to know him even more. You can grow closer to Allah and you don't have to physically see him to do so. You can never completely know God, but you can always grow closer to him. Christians have seen God (Jesus). He died for them, lived amongst them. Since your God is ultimately knowable, can any Christian now explain to me: What is God?

24 August 2007 at 17:04  
Anonymous najistani said...

The emphasis is on the ULTIMATELY knowable.

Some might say 'God is Love'.

But for the present life we can only know in part, so no complete explanation is possible.

"But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

24 August 2007 at 17:27  
Anonymous Miss jelly Bean said...

Hmmmm, here's another thought. If you will eventually come to know God in his entirety, you will consequently possess all knowledge that God has. Would that not therefore make you God's equivalent.

24 August 2007 at 18:09  
Anonymous najistani said...

The fact that we have a complete knowledge of the laws governing the movement of the planets does not mean that we could create the solar system.

24 August 2007 at 18:45  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

so you're saying that you can have the knowledge, but not have the ability to practically utilise the knowledge. Interesting. Well we can only know once a Christian claims to know God entirely. Until then, we shall wait patiently.

Although, inorder to possess complete knowledge, one must consequently be unlimited and unrestricted. Humans most certainly are limited and restricted beings. inorder to know God in his entirety, we must be unlimited. For that to happen, our nature would change and we would cease to be human. This means that man cannot comprehend God, atleast not in his current human form.

24 August 2007 at 19:37  
Blogger Meg said...

Man are you ignorant.

It wouldn't be so bad if you weren't a bigot to boot.

Oh well. I hear it doesn't rain in Hell. That should warm the cockles of yer 'eart.

4 September 2007 at 08:15  
Blogger MoneezAwan said...

O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender. (171) The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah, nor will the favoured angels. Whoso scorneth His service and is proud, all such will He assemble unto Him; (172)
Chapter 04 (Holy Quran)

Answers for all christian & Jews who don't beleave in last Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and they both make sons, wives and fathers of their GOD, they all are foolish , don't think that Jesus(PBUH) was also belief in One and Only GOD(not none of three), like other prophets Moses, Ibraham, Adam, David, Muhammad(Peace Be Upon all of Them) they all were muslims, and belief in only One GOD, they need to Understand and read the Holy Quran(last Holy Book after Injeel(sent to Prophets(Jesus)).When people change the book of GOD after Prophet Jesus(Peace Be Upon Him), then GOD sent his last and final book (Holy Quran) to his Last and final Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), thats why mostly christians and Jews afe leaving these false faith, and reverting to their true religion.

http://www.youtubeislam.com/video/3779/22-Born-American-who-converted-to-Islam-and-went-to-Hajj


http://www.islam-inside.co.uk/video.htm

8 September 2008 at 08:33  
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 January 2009 at 07:24  

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