Friday, September 05, 2008

Gordon Brown's Ramadan greeting to British Muslims

Further to Gordon Brown’s Ramadan greeting to the Muslims of Kuwait, Cranmer has been directed to the Prime Minister’s message to the Muslims of the United Kingdom. It is dated Thursday 4th September on the No.10 website, so it is observable that he greeted the Muslims of Kuwait before those of the UK. Perhaps No.10 monitors His Grace, and has seen fit to issue a belated greeting.

In summary, he says ‘Ramadan teaches patience and humility’. It embodies ‘the message of empathy for the less fortunate’. It talks of ‘compassion and social justice’.

And the Prime Minister refers to ‘the Prophet Mohammed’ (he twice accords him ‘prophet’ status) who ‘emphasised the duty of care we owe one another’, so we should ‘celebrate diversity’.

Cranmer thinks this a somewhat tenuous interpretation of the hadith.

It is good, right and Christian to issue such greetings to our Muslim neighbours, as Cranmer did himself on Monday. But it is deception or dhimmitude to give the impression of accord with aspects of Islamic belief and theology. How can any professing Christian aver that Mohammed was a prophet of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Lord Jesus Christ? Since Mohammed denied that Jesus is the Christ, and rejects the resurrection, and refutes the truth of the gospel, he is manifestly what Christians throughout two millennia have called a ‘false prophet’.

Of course, the Prime Minister is not going to say ‘the false prophet Mohammed’, but what is wrong with simply saying ‘Mohammed’? And Cranmer is quite sure that the Prime MInister will not deliver any comparable dogmatic theological message to Christians at the beginning of their most holy week - on the run up to Easter.

Do you really him saying, ‘the Son of God, Jesus Christ’? Or might it be phrased something like ‘Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God...’? Doubtless there would be riots and uproar if he dared to say, 'Mohammed, whom Muslims believe to be a prophet...'.


Anonymous len said...

What planet does gordon live on?
Has he parted company with reality, or is he just in denial with the realities of life?

5 September 2008 at 19:24  
Blogger Arthur said...

What does this idiotic traitor think he is doing. He uses words like WE and US whilst talking of Islam and thinks it is relevant to the lives of Britons.

He really has suborned himself to this subversive presence in the UK and tries to take us all with him. Disgusting.

5 September 2008 at 19:45  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

Does your Grace have any evidence that Gordon Brown is a confessing Christian ? I have yet to find any.

He's happy to take credit for his upbringing and being the "son of the manse", but I yet to see any evidence of faith.

5 September 2008 at 20:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he does he'll say 'Christ' or 'Jesus' like everybody else. Not many people say 'the Son of God, Jesus Christ'.

Don't you feel better that he didn't go the whole way and say 'the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him,'?

5 September 2008 at 21:10  
Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

"Since Mohammed denied that Jesus is the Christ..."

Did he?
If by 'Christ' you mean 'Messiah', then he certainly did not.

"When the angels said, 'O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a son through a word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those brought near to God.

'He shall speak to the people in the cradle, and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous.'
(Surah Nisa).

Muslims do beleive Jesus to be the Christ/Messiah. That does not however authenticate the Christian claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Messiah simply means 'the anointed one'.

5 September 2008 at 21:53  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

Miss Jelly-Bean has a point - I never thought of it like that before..

Myself? I believe there was a man named Jesus. I call him what he was called when he was alive - Jesus of Nazareth. I believe he was a radical social philosopher much along the lines of Socrates, 400+ years before him.

It's the God thing I don't go along with.

And I'm still an enemy of Islam until it returns to it's own parts of the world. Just as I believe we should stick to our parts of the world.

5 September 2008 at 22:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

miss jelly bean
jesus`s proper name,(his jewish name) is Yahushua meaning son of Yahuweh.(God)
Muslims acknowledge Jesus as a prophet nothing more.
There are hundreds of prophesies in the bible that declare yahushua to be exactly who he is. Mohammed alone had his revelations from an unnamed spirit.

5 September 2008 at 22:49  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

dithering perhaps

5 September 2008 at 23:09  
Blogger mckenzie said...

Stuff Gordon Brown, and stuff the Muslims.
We know who we are and what we know: Rejoice and Sing

5 September 2008 at 23:33  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Messiah is a Hebrew word. Are you aware of this? How many Muslims believe this Hebrew word with its Hebrew connotations? Epstemologically, a Hebrew word will carry with it an understanding determined by culture and temporal context.

When His Grace uses the word 'Messiah', he means the Old Testament understanding of the term: of the lineage of Abraham and Issac, of the House of David, who would restore Israel, who sits at the right hand of God, be the salvation of the Jews.

This is manifestly not the Islamic understanding of either the (Hebrew) Messiah or the (Greek) Christ. There are many who would assert that yours is a false Jesus, and thereby anti-Christ. Since you reject those parts of the OT which conflict with the Qur'an, and those parts of the NT which conflict with the Qur'an, there is no discussion to be had. His Grace is wrong because the Qur'an decrees it.

5 September 2008 at 23:49  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

According to the Muslims standards Jesus is now an impostor who absurdly declared himself to be the son of god.

6 September 2008 at 00:35  
Anonymous Handel said...


6 September 2008 at 00:40  
Anonymous invincibly ignorant said...

Sir Henry Morgan might benefit from reading CS Lewis who has an answer to those 'radical social philpsopher' arguments

6 September 2008 at 08:48  
Anonymous len said...

You either believe Jesus Christ is God as he claimed, or he is a liar and a deceiver.
There is no in between!

6 September 2008 at 09:33  
Blogger Not a sheep said...

Shouldn't he have said "Your prophet, Mahammed"?

6 September 2008 at 09:54  
Blogger mckenzie said...

"I don't think we should give up our values to find common ground. Then it's not common ground, it's their ground and we're just standing on it."

6 September 2008 at 10:15  
Anonymous Rob Farrington said...

not a sheep: I was going to say that, but you got there before me!

len: It IS possible to believe that there was a man called Jesus, or at least that there was a man on which Jesus was based, but that the biblical claims about him are inaccurate. He might never have actually claimed to have been the Son of God, but just had those words attributed to him by the gospel writers (although I personally AM a believer).

6 September 2008 at 10:32  
Anonymous len said...

I AM, too!

6 September 2008 at 10:51  
Anonymous papa said...

While PM Brown is prattling multicultural platitudes about Ramadan, the people who actually observe it are saying things like this:

"The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) passed through approximately nine Ramadans together after the Hijrah. They were filled with decisive events that took place in Ramadan and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah the Most High in the cause of making His Word the highest. ... For us today, there are numerous ahadeeth which indicate similar victories to come not only over the Jews but also about Islam’s dominance extending over the entire world."

Does that sound like a celebration of diversity, Gordon?

Read it all:

6 September 2008 at 10:56  
Anonymous len said...

Islam ( which believe means submission) intends to make the entire world submit to allah!
Gordon Brown is either going along with this or he is under the delusion that Islam is a peaceful religion .Read the koran!

6 September 2008 at 11:40  
Anonymous pilgrim said...

rob farrington

As len points out 'there is no in between.' If the Bible holds inaccuracy then what is there to base your 'belief' upon?

Satan is the author of lies and seeks to distort the truth in order to place stumbling blocks at our feet.

It is completely possible to believe what you suggest may be possible, but you would have to draw the same conclusion as C.S Lewis.

It has taken me thirty years to come to terms with 'much', while I see many sailing on the stream effortlessly. But juno what? I wouldn't change sod all! I would have done if the temptation was place before me back in the day, but I thank God for his Grace.

6 September 2008 at 11:46  
Anonymous StrulZigelboim said...

The fact that Gordon Brown refers to seventh-century warlord, mass-murderer, paedophile, polygamist, and demoniac Muhammed ibn 'Abdullâh as a "prophet", as though this were an incontrovertible religious fact, is indicative of the grovelling submission (or 'islâm, to use the Arabic word) that already exists at the highest levels of British government.

To call Muhammed a "prophet" is, in a certain sense, to become a Muslim, to submit.

As for the rest, Brown takes "brown-nosing" to sickening new extremes.

How exactly has Islam enriched our lives over the centuries? What are its contributions to the world? The burning of the Library of Alexandria? The more recent culturally enriching activities of the Taliban at Bamayan and elsewhere?

6 September 2008 at 11:50  
Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

I am well aware Cranmer, that Messiah is a Hebrew term. It is also used in the Quran as 'maseeha'. Muslims beleive the Quran to be a continuation of previous revelation and therefore terms such as messiah or maseeha (however you wish to pronounce it) would have been made use of with similar context, apart from that which has been distorted from previous scripture.

Muslims do beleive Jesus to have descended from the lineage of Abraham and Issac and that he was sent to the 'banu israeel' (children of Israel) to guide them to the straight path of God.

Your definition of messiah being one who sits on the right hand of God (indicating that he is Son of God)is an adaptation to the nature of Jesus' character.

Anonymous 22:49, I am also aware that in the early form of Aramaic supposedly spoken by Jesus, his name was pronounced as Yeshua, so it is beleived. Jesus the Son of God. Must this be taken literally? We could have continuos lengthy debates on the literal as opposed to metaphorical, and I have done so previously on this blog. However, my intention was not to argue semantics. I simply wanted to make a point regarding the Muslim conception of Jesus as Messiah.

6 September 2008 at 12:13  
Blogger mckenzie said...

miss jelly bean

In my opinion you seem to be arguing purely on semantics and interpretation, which will always be subjective.

I think it is a safe conclusion, however, that Mohammad did not believe Jesus was who the New Testament says he is. And I know that the New Testament has something quite different to say about your idea of the Messiah and Jesus being the Christ. Based on this, I would say that yes, Mohammad did deny Jesus is the Christ. It comes across as a self evident truth to me. Even my little knowledge of Islam and my observance of its followers is enough to confirm this statement outright in my own mind. It is staggering to me that anyone could suggest otherwise.

6 September 2008 at 12:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace:

'me genoito' ('may it not be', NT Greek) that I should correct you on the Scriptures, but 'messiah' is actually a 16th century English calque of Septuagintal and NT Gk 'messias', which in turn renders the Hebrew 'mashiach', a relatvely common word in the OT meaning 'anointed' (from the verb 'mashach'), and frequently (not exclusively) applied to the Davidic king. In the intertestamental period it takes on a more exalted significance, but still usually denotes Davidic lineage. 'masih' is simply the Arabic (or more likely Syriac) rendering of 'mashiach', but there is no indication from the Qu'ran that Muhammad understood its meaning and religious significance.
According to 'Christoph Luxenberg' (google this!), a great deal of the Qu'ran is actually derived from Christian Syriac hymns, postdating Muhammad by a long time. The Qu'ran (mis)understanding of Christianity is a hugely interesting subject in its own right.

'Jesus' is simply the Septuagintal and NT Gk rendering of 'Yehoshua'. It does not mean 'Son of Yahweh' but 'Yahweh is salvation'. That is the point of the angel's words in Matt. 1.21.

Finally, I invite your readers to join me in marking Ramadan in my usual modest way, with a lunch of peperoni pizza and lager. Cheers!

6 September 2008 at 13:02  
Anonymous kevin said...

Try as you may, if you are trying to reconcile, or find common ground between the two faiths, you are wasting your time: You stand more chance of shoving a pineapple up your arse.

6 September 2008 at 13:19  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Of course His Grace is aware that the actual Hebrew is 'mashiach' and that 'messiah' is the Anglicised spelling.

He was simply trying to explain simply, but he takes your point that it is rather like saying 'Jehovah' is Hebrew, when it is the Anglicised YHWH.

Miss Jelly Bean,

As His Grace says, there is no conversation to be had since, as you say, his understanding emanates from 'distorted' scripure.

6 September 2008 at 13:32  
Anonymous len said...

Examine the lives of Jesus Christ and mohammed.
Who would you rather spend eternity with?.

6 September 2008 at 14:22  

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