Oxford’s Christians apologise to Muslims for daring to pray during Ramadan
The Muslim Education Centre of Oxford (MECO) has accused the Evangelical group ‘Open Doors UK’ of preaching ‘evangelical propaganda’.
Do not Muslims preach Islamic propaganda? Do the Christians in Oxford complain about this? Would the Muslims of Oxford apologise or even care if the Christians did complain about it?
But the greatest offence was taken because the Christians had dared to refer to their event as a ‘Call to Prayer’. Apparently, only Muslims may now use this term, despite the manifest and lengthy heritage Jews and Christians have of calling believers to worship, celebration or prayer with the blast of the shofar or the peel of church bells. It might also be noted that in previous decades the monarch or prime minister issued a call to prayer to the entire nation at times of crisis, though the practice has inevitably fallen victim to pluralism and secularism.
Let us not forget that it was in Oxford that Muslims were being insensitive and unduly provocative in their demands to sound the call to prayer amid the dreaming spires. But what irritates Cranmer no end - in fact he is incandescent with rage for only the second time since this blog’s inception - is that this Christian event was not some triumphalist public parade or obtrusive prayer march down the narrow lanes and crowded streets of the city (as some Evangelicals are wont to indulge in) - but that it consisted of prayer and teaching in a church - St Aldate's, to be precise.
And Cranmer’s incandescence is not because Oxford’s Muslim’s have complained - for they are surely entitled to voice their opinion, notwithstanding that what goes on in St Aldate’s in manifestly none of their business. No, what inclines Cranmer almost to use the very scriptural term recently deployed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is that these lily-livered Christians have apologised, saying they ‘regret’ any offence that had been caused. In fact, they ‘very much regret’ causing offence, and are bending over backwards to stress that they ‘were not denigrating Islam or criticising Muslim beliefs’.
Why IN THE NAME OF CHRIST are Christians apologising for praying in a church? And why are they so ashamed of the gospel that they prostrate themselves before those who have complained and express regret for seeking their salvation?
The chairman of MECO is one Dr Taj Hargey, and it is he who is ‘flabbergasted’ that these dhimmi Christians organised a day-long initiative termed ‘Call to Prayer’. But he really ought to express his humble gratitude to these Christians that they are so concerned about the eternal salvation of Muslims that they are even bothered to pray for them at all. Do the Muslims pray for Christians at Easter?
Apparently, Dr Hargey checked the Open Doors website, and was appalled that ‘innocent sounding publicity was headlined “A Call to Prayer”’. Dr Hargey was also offended that these Christians dare to tell of miracles and how ‘God answers these prayers, revealing Himself to Muslims around the world, and bringing many to faith in Jesus’. He was further offended that Open Doors refers to Islam as an ‘ideology’, and said he was ‘shocked by their theological self-righteousness’ because they ‘assume the self-appointed task to pray for Muslims'
Setting aside the manifest hypocrisy in the accusation of ‘theological self-righteousness’, the good doctor might like to consider that he is himself denigrating and criticising Christian beliefs, for Christians are not ‘self-appointed’ to pray for Muslims: it is the commandment of the Lord that they do so, and also that they preach the gospel – 'in season and out' (2Tim 4:2). And they do so not out of pride or with any assertion of superiority, but out of gracious humility and love (which in some countries would be on pain of torture and death), for they long to share with the world the wondrous salvation of Jesus.
But Cranmer wonders why one has never heard Dr Hargey be so vocal in his condemnation of Islamist terrorism - the murder, rioting, the execution of children, or barbaric tribal practices like burying girls alive for the glory of Allah.
And while he is contemplating a response to that, Cranmer would like to ask the good doctor how he would respond if Christians were to tell him what they might find ‘offensive’ about Ramadan or about his own ‘theological self-righteousness’. For who is he to express disapproval of Christian prayer in a church or disgust at the Great Commission when Muslims are still hearing exhortations to murder and messages of hate in their mosques? And he might also like to consider that he follows a man who massacred and assassinated women, children and the elderly; who married a girl when she was just six years old and had sexual intercourse with her when she was nine; and who taught that Islam is the one true religion and that all must be subject to the rule of Allah.
What ‘theological self-righteousness’ is this?
Some Christians might indeed be ‘appalled’ that such a man might be considered a role-model to be emulated. But they might be absolutely ‘flabbergasted’ to learn of the deceitful qur’anic doctrine of taqiyya (3:28 and 16:106), not to mention the humiliating and discriminatory jizya (9:29) which should be imposed on all non-Muslims.
But Cranmer is delighted to learn from Dr Hargey that MECO’s aim is ‘to bring people of all faiths together, not divide them further’.
He is sure that Oxford’s Christians will be delighted to receive this message of love and unity from a learned spokesman for the religion of peace.
And he is also relieved that MECO ‘would not hold a grudge’.
At least the dhimmi Christians of Oxford may sleep safely in their beds, secure in the assurance that there will be no reprisal... unless, of course, the assurance is just taqiyya.