EU joins with Islamic states to declare ‘the importance of respecting all prophets’
'Respect' in the OED is defined as ‘deferential esteem felt or shown towards a person or quality’. To be respectable is to be ‘deserving or enjoying respect’; ‘of good social standing or reputation’; ‘honest or decent in character or conduct’. The term comes from the Latin respectus, which was concerned with looking round or back, consideration or regard. Not infrequently since the 11th century the word has denoted subservience: a respecter of a respected. Throughout all Europe, it is concerned with deferential regard or esteem.
And this is what the European Union, in conjunction with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the Commission of the African Union, has determined that we should all have for ‘all prophets, regardless of which religion they belong to'.
Of course, the moment the highest article of veneration is a prophet, we know which one they have in mind: we are not being exhorted to respect Haggai. We saw in the demands for a global blasphemy law that they are talking principally of Mohammed: if they had been concerned with all religions equally, this statement would have demanded ‘respect’ for all deities and divinities which, to many Muslims of the OIC, would have amounted to idolatry and blasphemy.
So, citizens of the EU must heed the words of our supranational High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Baroness Ashton), and learn of ‘the importance of respecting all prophets’ which leads to ‘full respect of religion’.
The statement is couched in all the requisite freedom and human rights stuff, and talks of the need for peace, tolerance, cooperation and understanding. But it is essentially concerned with prophetology and religiosity, to the specific exclusion of divinity and, indeed, of philosophical non-belief. In that respect, Baroness Ashton is rolling Europe back to the superstitious darkness of the Middle Ages, as if there had been no Reformation or Enlightenment.
The Christian is commanded to love his or her neighbour: there is no exhortation to manifest ‘full respect of religion’. The limits of syncretism and demands for holiness are clearly set out in Scripture: the entire Canon is a story of the consequences of unfaithfulness and idolatry. It is bizarre that the European Union, the inheritance of Christendom, should unite with Islamic states to expound an orthodoxy of apostasy and blasphemy.
His Grace says ‘orthodoxy’, because the statement reads somewhat like a creed: ‘We share a profound respect for all religions’.. ‘We reiterate our strong commitment’.. ‘We believe in the importance of respecting all prophets, regardless of which religion they belong to’..
Wicca? Satanism? Pastafarianism? Jedi Knights?
In the absence of a definition of ‘religion’, there can be no ‘respect’ for its multiplicity of manifestations. And, indeed, should the Euro-beast move toward a definition of religion, and then attempts to apportion rights and liberties under the guise of an enlightened tolerance of relativist equality, there is no logical end to the official recognition of all manner of weird cults, strange sects, spurious beliefs and pseudo-religions, all of which have to be equal under the law irrespective of the common good and irrelative to the inherent counterknowledge believed or propagated.
The problem with respecting all prophets, of course, as that they tend to disagree: one religion’s divine revelation is another’s false prophecy. While Muslims respect the prophethood of Jesus, they reject unequivocally that he is also priest and king, fully man and fully God. And Christians do not hold the prophet Mohammed to be any kind of prophet at all, any more than they ‘respect’ the revelations of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, or Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. A cult is cult.
Except when it’s a sect.
The decision of an increasingly anti-Christian EU to embrace the Islamic agenda to outlaw the defamation of religion is a negation of religious liberty and an affront to human rights. Of course we must all work for peace, tolerance and mutual understanding, but these will not come by supplanting the principles of the Enlightenment with the precepts of Islamophobia. For the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, ‘full respect of religion’ means only one thing.
Ask Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran.
Or Rimsha Masih in Pakistan.
If the noble Baroness Ashton is intent on obliging His Grace to respect all prophets ‘regardless of which religion they belong to’, doubtless he'll eventually be led back to the faggots and flames. There's nothing new under the sun.